2YO Maiden Special Weight ‘Picks, Plays and Pontification’ – Keeneland, 04/26/2024

April 24, 2024

Keeneland, Races 1 and 2 – Friday, April 26, 2024

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By The 2YO EdgeMan

KEE1:042624 – 5 1/2f on the Turf.  12 fillies will try their luck over the lawn for the first time this spring.  The lineup of trainers in this one is solid – two from John A. Hancock and one each from Ennis, Mark Casse, Maker, Ward, McEntee, and Arnold.  The sires that I’ve circled are Munnings (2), More Than Ready, Mendelssohn, and Kantharos, along with newbie sire War of Will.  Let’s do a deep dive on five of these…

#4 – Flip Flops (4/1) – Mark Casse will saddle his second juvenile in two days for owner Gary Barber in this grassy affair.  She will be the first starter from first-year sire, War of Will, and her winless dam (0/1) comes by way of Munnings (this is her first foal of racing age).  Barber plunked down $85,000 for this gal last year when she was a yearling (32/67).  Casse put her through her paces twice in March at his training facility earning two small bullets and then has given her two more works over at Churchill.  Her first was a ½ mile breeze in 48 seconds flat (10/111) and then, most recently, a three-panel freshener in 36 flat (3/5).  Jose Ortiz will handle the riding duties.

#6 – Goth (10/1) – This filly is by the late More Than Ready, out of a Street Cry mare who never made it to the racetrack.  She hammered for $40,000 as a yearling and is trained by Mike Maker.  She’s only worked out three times (11 total furlongs), all over the synthetic surface at Turfway Park.  Her last effort was a nice four furlong move completed in 47.8 seconds breezing from the gate (3/20).  Luis Saez gets the assignment to be her reinsman.

#7 – Saturday Flirt (7/5) – This Wesley Ward homebred is the Morning Line favorite and her stallion is Mendelssohn.  Ward was also the conditioner of her dam who won at first asking here at Keeneland in April of her two-year-old campaign.  However, she never found the Winner’s Circle again in four more tries and ended with just over $100K in earnings.  WW has not had her working quite as fast as most of his others, but she did fashion a bullet on 4/5/24 at KEE when she covered three panels in 35.6 from the gate (1/28).  She’s taken one spin on the grass and that was her first at Palm Meadows on 3/10/24 when she did 3/8ths in 36.45 seconds (3/11).  In total, she’s logged six works, totaling 20 furlongs.  Irad will be in charge in the saddle.

#9 – Her Holy Name (10/1) – John Stewart’s Resolute Racing owns this filly who was sired by Kantharos (15.1% with Non First-Time Starters in 2YO MSW races with a purse of $30,000 or higher.  Conditioner John A. Hancock signed for her as a yearling for $50,000 (10/32).  Her dam finally won in her last race as a four-year-old, on her 11th try, and banked a total of $33,000.  This is her first foal.  Today’s filly ran here at KEE on 4/11/24 and on that day she was competitive – running on solidly at the end after being in the middle of the pack, ultimately finishing third, beaten by six lengths by one of Ward’s monsters – Perfect Shances.  The worktab does not show a breeze since that recent effort.  Tyler takes over the reins for today’s run.

#12 – Pootoogook (6/1) – Rusty Arnold will saddle this Munnings filly who was thrown by a winless Scat Daddy mare (0/2).  This is the mare’s first foal.  Originally, today’s runner was sold for $150K as a weanling (9/17), but then went back through the sales ring last year and brought $120K as a yearling (56/92).  She’s had five total works with her initial spin coming on the grass down at Palm Meadows in March where she breezed twice.  She then traveled to Keeneland for three more morning drills, with her last two going a ½ mile.  Arnold taps Prat to do the honors in the irons.

Pick – #9 Her Holy Name – I’m gonna take a shot in this one and go for a price with this second out filly.  I like her last run and also the fact that it was in the slop.  She gets a huge upgrade with Tyler and I look for her to run big – hopefully she can collar Ward’s filly.

KEE2:042624 – 4 1/2f on Dirt.  Nine ‘Open’ Maidens have signed up to run, including five colts and four fillies.  ‘The 2YO Maestro’ and Paul McEntee each will saddle two runners.  The sire cast is this one is terrific – all of them interest me – Union Rags, American Pharoah, West Coast, Hard Spun, Daredevil, and Nyquist, along with Freshman Sires – Instagrand, Improbable, and Instilled Regard.  Let’s take a close look at this Keeneland Spring Meet finale…

#2 – Blistering (20/1) – Jason McCutchen is the conditioner for this American Pharoah colt who was an RNA at $95,000 last year as a yearling, so he’s a Wilbert Tan homebred.  His Tale of Ekati dam was a fine runner in her day having banked $248K, winning four of 11 races, including a G2 and a G3 affair.  One of her other wins was at first asking in August of her two-year-old season at Gulfstream Park.  She’s responsible for three others of racing age – one was a filly that scored in her second start at Presque Isle Downs in which came in July of her 2YO campaign.  Today’s runner has had four total workouts, his last three coming over the Keeneland oval with his first here covering a ½ mile, then three furlongs, and his last was 5/8th of a mile.  Luan Machado will be his jockey.

#4 – Spun Lovin (5/2) – This filly is the first of two that ‘The 2YO Maestro’ will tighten the girth on.  As you likely guessed by her name, she comes from Hard Spun and is out of a Street Cry mare who was 0/1 on the track.  She was sold here at Keeneland during the January sale last year as a ‘short yearling’ and brought a winning bid of $36,000 (39/61).  Ward has given her a total of six drills – her first at Turfway Park and then her most recent five at KEE, all at 3/8th of a mile.  Her last three were all done between 36 seconds flat and 36.4, earning her two bullets (1/16 and 1/18).  Gerardo Corrales is listed to ride.

#5 – Baytown Boo Boo (15/1) – Trainer Paul McEntee will send this colt by Debut Sire, Instagrand, out for the second race of his young life.  In that race back on 4/17/24, he started well and was in the mix before giving way and finishing fifth, beaten by five+ lengths.  This guy was bred by Larry Best’s OXO Equine, but then likely was sold to McEntee and partner in a private transaction.  His broodmare sire is Proud Citizen and mom scored twice in 14 tries ($78,000), but one of those wins was in her first start at age 2 at Emerald Downs in June (83 Equibase Speed Figure).  This is her first foal of racing age.  Today’s runner has not worked out since he last competed and Agustin Gomez will get the return engagement to be his pilot.

#7 – Burning Pine (4/5) – Judging by the scant morning odds, you likely have already ascertained that this filly is the second runner in here for Ward.  This filly is sired by Nyquist, out of a More Than Ready mare who never started.  She has, however, thrown five others of racing age led by the colt – Neat (by Constitution) – who was a graded stakes winner of $347K, winning four of his six starts, including a second out score in October of his freshman year at Laurel, earning an 81 EBSF.  She also is responsible for a 2YO MSW First-Time Starter champ in July at GP who went on to bank over a ¼ million dollars.  Today’s competitor sold for $80,000 last year as a yearling (50/73).  Her workout tab shows eight total works with the first three coming at Turfway Park.  Her last one there on 3/16/24 earned her a bullet by traveling three panels in 35.6 seconds from the gate (1/31).  Her last five morning moves has been on the main track here at KEE.  Her quickest here was also a bullet – it came on 4/5/24 and covered 3/8th of a mile and was completed in 35.6 seconds from the gate (1/28).  Rosario has earned the mount.

Pick – #7 Burning Pine – The second half of the double looks to be chalky.  I keep saying it, but will say it again – you don’t get anything for backing a horse with long odds that does win, except for ripped up tickets.  As all of my Committed Edgies know, I’m a big fan of Nyquist as he hits with nearly 17% of his First-Time Starters in 2YO MSW races with a purse of $30,000+.  This dude has been working smartly and Ward turns to Rosario with whom he had on his ‘A horses’ last year.  

Hard to believe, but that’s already a wrap for Keeneland’s Spring Meet.  Get fired up for Churchill and Belmont at the Big A – we’ll be with you every step of the way with the babies.  As always, thank you for your support and encouragement.  Be well.

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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