2YO Maiden Special Weight ‘Picks, Plays and Pontification’ – Keeneland, 04/20/2023

April 19, 2023

Keeneland, Race 2 – Thursday, April 20, 2023

By 2YO EdgeMan @2YOedge

KEE2:042023 – 4 1/2f over the Dirt. The entry box was jammed full of 16 horses (15 colts and one gelding) – four will have to wait their turn on the AE list. No trainer has more than one entered, including Wesley Ward. Let’s dive in and look at six of these guys…

Wayne Catalano bringing back one of his babies to Keeneland. (Coady Photography)

#1 – Cowes (9/2) – Wayne Catalano (1 for 2 with juveniles going back to the 2018 Spring Meet at Keeneland – his lone win coming last year) trains this colt by Outwork. He sold well last fall going for $50,000 which checks in fifth highest for a yearling by his sire in 2022 from 63 to sell. His dam was only 2/23 as a race mare ($79,000) and it took her 10 tries to finally break her maiden as a four-year-old. This guy has a ½ sister that got off her maiden schneid in her second start as a 2YO at Del Mar in September of last year, an effort that earned an 84 EBSF. Cowes has worked four times – twice at 3f and twice at 4f – with the last three efforts coming at KEE. His most recent move was clocked in a speedy 46.4 seconds from the gate which was a bullet for the day (1/40). Jareth Loveberry gets the nod to ride. 

#5 – Kore Kinetic (6/1) – is a Nyquist colt who sold as a yearling for a somewhat modest $35,000 (59/71) and his immediate dam side is not overly impressive, however he did have a half brother by Violence who won at first asking in July of his 2YO year in a maiden claimer at Ellis Park. The mating that produced this runner today does earn a TrueNick rating of ‘A’. Luis Mendez will toss the saddle across today and he did have a winner in one of the eight juvenile races that he tried at KEE last April. He’s given this guy four works, his first two going 4f at Dixie Downs and then two more at KEE covering 3f and both of those were accomplished in 35.2 seconds – one earned a bullet (1/19). Declan Cannon will be aboard.

#8 – American Rascal (6/5) – Most likely to go off as the heavy, odds-on favorite is a Stonestreet homebred from the sensational, multiple Group 1 winning mare – Lady Aurelia (5 of 10 and $834K earned on the track) – who was also trained by this colt’s conditioner, Wesley Ward. On top of that, the mare won at first asking in April of her two-year-old year, right here at KEE posting a wicked fast 95 EBSF. Pops is a pretty decent sire in his own right – Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms’ top gun – Curlin. The mating earns the highest possible rating from TrueNicks – ‘A++’. The Maestro has built six total works into this filly (all limited to 3f), the most recent three at KEE, including a bullet two back on 4/9/23 of 35.6 (1/19). Ward’s go to rider in these juvenile races this meet gets the call – Joel Rosario.

Doug O’Neill takes a trip east for the Keeneland meet. (Benoit Photo)

#9 – Wilson Q (15/1) – Doug O’Neill will send out his first runner in a 2YO maiden special here at KEE for at least five years with a colt by Constitution who hammered down for $100K as a yearling which put him in the top half of the 105 yearlings sold by his sire last year. His dam, by Speightstown, was winless in six tries and has produced only one runner of note – a mare by American Pharoah who won once in six races, but cashed in for $129K for his owners. This guy has only logged two official workouts – both at KEE – one 3f and one 4f, neither being anything to write home about. Reylu Gutierrez is the listed jockey.

#11 – Legal Titan (20/1) – represents the lone gelding in the field. He is a homebred by Bantry Farms, LLC by Algorithms who was bred to a mare by Parading who could only muster two wins from 16 races, earning $85,000 on the track. This guy does have a ½ brother who went 3 for 15 on the track with prize money of $350K, including a win second out in August of his 2YO year at Arlington Park. On the workout front, trainer Michael Ewing has breezed this gelding five times, all at The Thoroughbred Center with his last covering ½ mile. Two of his 3f works were bullets performed in 35.6 seconds, one breezing from the gate (1/3) and one not from the gate (1/21). We find it very interesting that a top jock – Flavien Prat – is listed as the rider. 

#12 – Chisparrajos (15/1) – Bred by Claiborne Farm and sired by Blame, out of an Empire Maker mare, this colt sold for $75,000 last year (17 of 42 for his sire’s yearlings in 2022). His mother was stakes placed finishing with a racing total of two wins from eight runs and banking $87,000. He has a ½ bro that earned north of a quarter of a million dollars going 4/21 in his racing days. TrueNicks is a big fan of the cross that produced this guy, giving it that rare mark of ‘A++’. Conditioner Fausto Gutierrez has put only one baby in competition at Keeneland in the spring over the past five years (that one was last year). This guy has been out for work in the morning six times with the last four going four panels. His first five were at Palm Meadows Training Center and his most recent was at KEE. None of his morning moves have been much better than average. Another interesting reinsman will be atop this one – Luis Saez. 

Pick – #1 – Cowes – The rail is tricky, especially for these babies, but I’m going to trust that Loveberry can get him to break fast and clean to earn the lead immediately after leaving the gate. From there, hopefully he’ll have enough to hold off American Rascal who looks to be a beast. As noted above, Cowes was in the top 10% of yearlings sold last year by his sire – Outwork – who is a solid young stud standing at Winstar Farm. Also, I love his last morning effort over today’s strip.

We’ll do our postrace analysis, as usual, with our ‘Sum Up and Learnings’ piece, after the race is final. Have fun with this one, Edgies – and good luck to all of the Game of Silks owners that have one lining up to race today!

Also – a quick ‘heads up’. Spendthrift Farm’s exciting First-Crop sire – Vino Rosso – sends out his first ever offspring to race this Friday at Gulfstream Park in Race 1 – #5 Zaino. Glad to see this colt get a chance to compete after having his race get cancelled last week due to the torrential rains in south Florida.

Contributing Authors

The 2YO Edge Man, Past The Wire

The 2YO EdgeMan

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