2YO Maiden Special Weight ‘Picks, Plays and Pontification’ – Keeneland, 04/25/2024

April 23, 2024

Keeneland, Race 2 – Thursday, April 25, 2024

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By The 2YO EdgeMan

KEE2:042524 – 5 1/2f on the Turf.  The baby boys will have the first crack over the grass as a full field of 16 has gone through the entry box, but of course, the track will only fit 12.  New trainers at this level here this spring include Kenneally, Arnold, and Casse; they will be joined by Ward, Ennis, and McEntee.  The sires that interest me include two from Caravaggio in the main field, along with one each from Twirling Candy, Good Magic, Maclean’s Music, Collected, Constitution, and Into Mischief (Spendthrift).  Let’s peel the onion back on four of these fellas…

#4 – Cheval de Guerre (6/1) – Conditioner Eddie Kenneally will sling the saddle across this Caravaggio colt who hammered for $22,000 as a yearling.  Mom is by Declaration of War and this is her first foal of racing age.  She only found the Winner’s Circle once in 13 tries with earnings of $55,000 and it took her until her 4YO year to do it.  Kenneally has put this guy through six morning works, all here at Keeneland and his last four have covered a ½ mile (one was over the KEE All-Weather track).  His best was probably his most recent – on 4/20/24 he went in 48.0 seconds, breezing from the gate (5/127).  The ever-dangerous Luis Saez will be his guide.

#5 – Bright Skittle (8/1) – Twirling Candy and a Shackleford dam are the breeding responsible for this colt.  The bidding stopped at $142K on him last year at the Fisig-Tipton Kentucky Select July Yearling sale (25/70).  His mama scored twice in the 11 races that she competed and won purse money of $95,000.  She did win at first asking while a two-year-old at Ellis Park in August with a 77 Equibase Speed Figure.  She has one other foal of racing age, but it’s yet to make a start.  Today’s combatant started his morning work back on 3/22/24 at Palm Meadow Downs and drilled there twice (once over the turf) and then has logged three more breezes here at KEE, with the most recent two being at four panels.  Prat will tickle the leather.

#7 – Monterey Bay (6/5) – No surprise that the M/L favorite comes out of the Wes Ward barn.  Four of his 23 wins from 2019 through 2023 in 2YO MSW events during the KEE Spring Meet have been over the Keeneland lawn (four for 10 on the grass; 40%).  Good Magic is the stallion behind this colt and he’s only three for 34 (8.8%) over the grass with his 2YO MSW runners in races of $30,000+.  However, his dam is by Galileo, but she was winless after three tries at racing.  She’s thrown six other foals of racing age with one winning a MSW affair at the Fair Grounds in November of their two-year-old campaign.  Today’s runner demanded $330K at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Select Yearling sale last year (8/45) and Ward signed the ticket, presumably for the current ownership group of Magnier, Smith, and Tabor.  After flashing two 3f bullets in early March down in Florida (one on the grass), Ward brought this dude up here to Lexington for five spins on the Keeneland dirt (his last two have covered a ½ mile).  His most brisk effort was his first in KY when on 3/20/24 he traveled 3/8th of a mile in 35.4 seconds from the gate (1/8).  Ward will entrust the reins to Jose Ortiz.  

#12 – Into Diamonds (7/2) – New shooter, Mark Casse, will tighten the girth on this Gary Barber homebred who is sired by the great Into Mischief (16% with his runners in $30,000+ 2YO MSW turf affairs).  His dam, by War Front, won only once in her racing days, but she did it in July of her 2YO campaign over in England and this is her first foal of racing age.  Mark worked her 3/8th of a mile twice back in March at his training facility before shipping her over to Louisville for two more efforts under the Twin Spires, once at ½ mile.  Irad gets the call to ride.

Pick – #12 Into Diamonds – Although it is always difficult to beat WW, this guy should love the grass, and I’m encouraged to see that mama won on the lawn in her two-year-old year.  It’s got to be a positive to have Irad in the irons and I think she’s got a real shot to hit the wire first.

We’ve got two more to close out the Keeneland Spring Meet on Friday – the fillies on the lawn and a final dirt event for the boys, so be sure to check back in with your turf authority – PastTheWire.com and see what we have to say about these two affairs.  Until then – thank you, you Fabulous Edgies!

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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