2YO Maiden Special Weight ‘Picks, Plays and Pontification’ – Keeneland, 04/24/2024

April 21, 2024

Keeneland, Race 2 – Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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By The 2YO EdgeMan

KEE2:042424 – 4 1/2f on Dirt.  A chuck-full field of 16 filly’s names have been dropped into the entry box, so let’s analyze the 12 that have secured a spot in the main field.  First, these conditioners all have one entered in here – Ward, McEntee, Antonucci, Asmussen, Chapman, Ennis, John A. Hancock, and Jack L. Hancock.  The sires that have caught my eye include Speightstown, Street Boss, Candy Ride, Tapit, and Street Sense.  Add to that list the Freshman Sire, Thousand Words.  Let’s take a closer look at four of these gals…

#1 – Caribbean Wind (6/5) – The Morning Line favorite comes from the red-hot Wesley Ward barn and was sired by Speightstown (94 of 518 over the past 12 years in $30,000 2YO MSW races for an 18.1% win rate).  His mama is by Bernardini, but she never made it to the race track in the afternoon and this is her first foal.  The Speightstown/Bernardini cross has had three unique horses (six races) contesting $30,000+ 2YO MSW events over the past 12 years with two winners.  Ward signed the ticket for her at the Saratoga Select Sale last year as a yearling for $385K for Breeze Easy LLC.  She started her work down in Florida at Payson Park where she took three spins, each at 3/8th of a mile.  After traveling north, she has put in three more 3f morning moves over this Keeneland strip with her best being two back on 4/12/24 when she clipped off the distance in 36 seconds flat (1/7).  Irad Ortiz, Jr. gets the mount.

#6 – Good Looking (20/1) – Daniel Leitch is the conditioner for this Candy Ride filly who is a homebred from Katie Rich Stables.  Going back to 2019, he’s never started a juvenile in a MSW here at Keeneland in the spring, however, he does have a batting average of 25% (5/20) with babies in MSW races at all tracks over the same period, but the earliest winner was in July.  This colt is from a Speightstown mare who was four for 27 on the track with earnings of $160K, but she didn’t capture her first event until her four-year-old season.  She’s got three other foals of racing age, one won a minor 2YO MSW race at Camarero.  This colt’s cross – Candy Ride/Speightstown is responsible for the outstanding racehorse, Vekoma, who won at first asking while a two-year-old.  The work tab shows a total of four morning efforts, all at Keeneland, and the last two were ½ mile drills.  Luis Saez will be her reinsman.

#8 – Tapit First (7/2) – Yes, this filly is by Tapit (14.6% winners with First-Time Starters in 2YO MSW races with a purse of $30,000+ going back 12 years)and comes from a Girolamo dam who won at third asking while a two-year-old in October at Belmont Park.  She went on to win a total of $211K, going three for 16 and she’s thrown three others of racing age.  The powerful Winchell Thoroughbred operation bred and retained ownership of this gal and, per usual, they’ve put her in the ever-competent hands of Steve Asmussen.  She’s only been out for three morning moves – all at Keeneland, with her last stepping up to ½ mile.  Steve will give his son, Keith, a leg up on this gal.

#10 – Little Alexa (10/1) – John Ennis will send out this filly whose stallion is Unified (14.9% winners with FTSers in 2YO MSW races with a purse of at least $30,000).  She only demanded $3,000 as a yearling (41/52) and she’s the second one in here with Speightstown as the broodmare sire.  Mom was four for 24 on the track, banking nearly $100K and she has produced five others of racing age, including two 2YO winners – one a MCL victor and one a FTS starter champ in a MSW event at Laurel Park in June (86 Equibase Speed Fig).  Today’s competitor has put in six nice works across town at The Thoroughbred Center (20 total furlongs) that’s featured two bullets – on 3/28/24 she zipped off 3/8th of a mile in 35 seconds flat from the gate (1/27) and then on 4/16/24, she covered the same distance, again from the gate, in 35.6 (1/23).  She’ll get the expert services of Tyler Gaffalione in the saddle.  

Pick – #1 Caribbean Wind – Although she’ll be the heavy favorite, I’ve got to put my ‘X’ next to this gal.  She’s the product of an excellent cross and was in much demand as a yearling.  As is the case with most Ward trainees, this filly has been working smartly and it will work to her benefit having three spins over the Keeneland dirt.  The #1 gate is not optimal, but I foresee Irad getting her out quickly, allowing her to clear and hit the line first.

Thursday will provide the first turf event of the year for the babies.  So, come back so we can finish the Keeneland Spring Meet strong with another grass affair and also another dirt event on closing day, Friday.  Take care and stay safe and well.  Thank you!

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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