2YO Maiden Special Weight ‘Picks, Plays and Pontification’ – Keeneland, 04/21/2024

April 19, 2024

Keeneland, Race 2 – Sunday, April 21, 2024

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By The 2YO EdgeMan

KEE2:042124 – 4 1/2f on Dirt.  Ten colts face off against one filly and one gelding.  Add to that, a single colt on the AE list.  Wesley Ward, Paul McEntee, and John A. Hancock each have two locked and loaded, along with one from Steve Asmussen.  Looking at the sires, I’ve circled West Coast, American Pharoah, Maclean’s Music, Mendelssohn, Runhappy, and Daredevil.  We’ve got four standout youngsters in this one, so let’s not wait one more second to jump in…

#2 – Dreamaway (2/1) – The Morning Line favorite is one of the two trained by ‘The 2YO Maestro’ and she’s also the lone gal in the field.  This filly is sired by Flameaway and comes from a Tapit mare that was a fine runner on the track back in her day as she earned nearly a half million dollars, winning four of 18 of the events that she competed.  Additionally, she won as a 2YO, capturing a MSW race at Saratoga in August of her juvenile season.  She’s thrown two other foals of racing age – a 3YO by Gun Runner whose only win in three tries was last year as a 2YO when she scored at Ellis Park in July.  Her 4YO half-sis by Justify has yet to start.  Today’s runner has never gone through the auction ring and was bred by John Oxley.  Her morning efforts have been strong – she started with four drills down in Florida at Payson Park (her first three were bullets) before coming north to put forward three here at KEE.  Her first one here was done in 35.2 seconds breezing three panels from the gate (2/30) and then her next was a bullet – 35.6 for the same distance, also from the gate (1/28).  Johnny V. gets the call from Ward to ride.

#4 – Clever Again (5/2) – Steve Asmussen will tighten the girth on his first juvenile starter here at Keeneland in 2024 with this pricey American Pharoah colt.  He’s out of an Irish-bred Galileo mare who went 2 for ten on the track and banked $89,000.  She’s thrown two other foals, but neither has found the Winner’s Circle (0 for 3 and 0 for 0).  This American Pharoah/Galileo cross has produced four 2YOs that have started in six MSW races with a purse of $30,000+ in North America, however, none were winners.  This blueblooded colt hammered for $500K as a yearling (5/60) and she’s now owned by the powerhouse consortium of Winchell, Magnier, Tabor, and Smith.  Asmussen has had him out for four morning moves at Keeneland (15 total furlongs), but in typical Steve style, his times have been modest.  Joel Rosario gets the opportunity to pilot him today.

#8 – Johnny Come Lately (6/1) – Ward’s own Hootenanny is the stallion that is responsible for this gelding who was thrown by another Irish-bred dam, this time by Mujadil, who was two for 18 in her racing days, winning $30,000, but one of those scores came while still a two-year-old in May over in England.  She’s produced five other foals of racing age, three of them winners in MSW races while babies.  The Maestro has worked him five times, all 3/8th of a mile here at Keeneland, and three of those five have been bullets.  His quickest was his second outing on 3/1/24 when he ended the stopwatch in 34.2 seconds (1/20).  Walter Rodriguez will tickle the leather.

#11 – Baytown Sundance (20/1) – I’ll give you one guess as to the trainer of this colt….yes, that’s right, it’s Paul McEntee.  He picked him up with his Baytown Partnership as a yearling for the scant price of $4,500 (26/29)  as a son of Daredevil.  Momma is by Gone West and she made her only win her first ever start at age two in July when she zipped an 87 Equibase Speed Figure at Churchill Downs.  She ended one for four and $45,000 richer.  In the breeding shed she’s thrown six other foals of racing age, including two 2YO MSW FTS winners.  This dude has been no slouch in the mornings, either, as he took six, 3f spins at Blackwood Stables and notched three bullets, with two of his efforts being sub 36 second moves.  He then vanned across town to Keeneland where he’s worked twice – his first on today’s oval was a flashy, ½ mile drill from the gate that he blazed in 47.2 seconds (2/28).  Albin Jimenez will guide her from the saddle.

Pick – #2 Dreamaway – We’ve had some great juvenile events at Keeneland this meet, but this one looks to be the best of the year so far.  As much as I’d like to pick #4, I have to side with Ward.  The ownership group behind the #4 horse is impressive, but they so rarely run a baby this early in the spring that I just have to believe that his best running as a juvenile will come later this year on the lawn.

Dreamaway’s dam side is so impressive with the success that she had as a 2YO (and total career), along with the fact that she’s already thrown one 2YO MSW winner from the two others that she’s had of racing age.  Flameaway is a second-year sire and he produced five First-Time Starter winners in 2YO MSW races last year from the 37 that started (13.5%).  And this runner’s trainer ain’t too bad – ha.

Of course, the last week at Keeneland’s Spring Meet is already approaching with three last baby events calendared – one each on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  As much as I love this KEE Spring Meet, from a waging perspective, it gets far more interesting in Louisville at Churchill Downs and also at the Spring/Summer Meet at Belmont at the Big A.  So, first things first, enjoy this great race on Sunday, but buckle up as things just get better and better.  Thank you for everything, my 2YO Edgie Fanatics – please take care and stay safe.

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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