2YO Maiden Special Weight ‘Picks, Plays and Pontification’ – Keeneland, 04/07/2024

April 5, 2024

Keeneland, Race 1 – Friday, April 7, 2024

By The 2YO EdgeMan

KEE1:040724 – 4 1/2f on Dirt.  12 fillies are entered, along with two waiting on the AE List.  Trainers that caught my attention include two from The 2YO Maestro – W. Ward – and one each from Jena Antonucci, McEntee, Chapman, Ennis, and John A. Hancock.  Notable sires in this affair are American Pharoah, West Coast, and Street Sense.  Additionally, debut sires Caracaro and Thousand Words will each be represented by one filly.  Below is our breakdown of the five that interest us the most and we finish the piece, as always, with our pick.

#2 – Whatintheliteral (6/1) – Jena Antonucci sends out this filly who comes to us from Lord Nelson.  She has never gone through the auction ring and her dam was winless in 20 tries on the track, but mama’s thrown two foals who both won as two-year-olds (one at Colonial Downs and one at Gulfstream Park).  Jena has put this gal through her morning paces five times, all down in Florida at GP.  On 3/17/24 she fired off a bullet, covering 3f in 36.22 seconds (1/15).  Javier Castellano will be her pilot.

#4 – Baytown Cleopatra (8/1) – American Pharoah is the sire of this filly and she comes from an Irish-bred mare by Galileo.  Mom put together a record of one for seven overseas with total earnings that equate to $47,000.  She has thrown six other foals, but none were winners in their juvenile year.  Today’s runner went through the sales ring as a yearling and brought $17,000 (54/60).  Trainer Paul McEntee started working this filly at Blackwood Stables back in early February where she put in six works before moving to Keeneland where she’s logged two additional morning spins.  Both KEE works were bullets – on 3/21/24, she went a half mile from the gate in 48.0 flat (1/13) and most recently on 3/29/24, she zipped 3f in 34.8 (1/26).

#6 – Sweet Kaufy (2/1) – Not surprisingly, this Morning Line favorite is trained by Wesley Ward.  She’s by Caravaggio would was shipped off to Japan to continue his breeding duties.  Her dam is by Montbrook and she was two for seven on the track, bringing home $58,000 in purse money.  She’s produced two other foals, one being Kaufy Maker who is a 4YO that has won four races in 10 tries ($433K), including a score in her first run at age 2 in the spring at Keeneland, while posting a 90 Equibase Speed Figure.  Today’s competitor is a homebred from Gregory Kaufman who has worked six times with her most recent pair coming here at Keeneland.  Her first spin around the KEE oval on 3/20/24 resulted in a bullet, as she went 3/8th of a mile from the gate in 35.4 (1/8).  We expect that she’ll go off at very skinny odds and Irad Ortiz, Jr. will be her reinsman.

#8 – Image of Me (9/2) – The second runner from Ward in this one is his homebred by Hootenanny.  Her mare is by First Samurai and she was one for 11 on the track.  She has thrown two other foals (both by Hootenanny) – one never made to the races and the other was six for 22, while banking $100K.  This gal’s first work was back on 3/1/24 and she’s been out in the morning a total of five times.  On 3/25/24 she went 3f in 35.8 (2/12) and prior to that, on 3/16/24 she posted a bullet move of 35.6 seconds (1/31) over 3/8th at Turfway Park.  Today’s jockey will be Gerardo Corrales.

#11 – West Memorial (4/1) – First-Crop Sire Caracaro is the stallion that brings us this filly who comes from an unraced Super Saver dam.  She sold as a yearling for $45,000 (6/31) and has thrown one other foal – a 3YO gelding that is one for five, with his only win coming at his first race as a 2YO which was a Maiden Claiming Event at Horseshoe Indy.  Conditioner John A. Hancock has sent her out for six morning works – her first four coming at Turfway Park and her most recent two each covered a half-mile, here at KEE.  Her last effort was her best, breaking from the gate and finishing in 47.60 (6/102).  Reylu Gutierrez will slip his feet into the irons.

Pick – #11 – West Memorial – I like the fact that her half-brother won at first asking while still a juvenile, even if it was a Maiden Claiming race.  Although it didn’t come until January of his 3YO campaign, Caracaro won his second start posting a blistering 107 Equibase Speed Figure.  It is encouraging that today’s runner has a total of 20 furlongs under her girth in the morning.  John A. Hancock does some great stuff with these babies in the early spring and the word is that he has some runners in his barn.  The Ward duo will be bet heavily, so let’s go for a bit of a price today.  

Good luck and I hope that you are as excited as I am that the babies are back!  Take care, my Edgie Faithful.  

Contributing Authors

The 2YO Edge Man, Past The Wire

The 2YO EdgeMan

The 2YO EdgeMan started following horse racing when his family moved to Louisville, KY when he was 9 years old.  The story goes that he...

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@jonathanstettin in the @PastTheWire seminar you told us a horse "Obviously" needed a cutback, and would be an "obvious" winner. Great Call!

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