Anthony Fontaine continues his work on the Keeneland meet.
Race One: Selections 2-1-4-6
#2 Eve Harrington makes first start this side of the pond for red hot trainer that wins at a high clip with first time acquisitions. Presence of Irad on board only adds to the appeal of this runner.
#1 Harmony Victory had a nice confidence boosting victory last out in a starter allowance race. Back with some tougher foes this runner will have to dig deep but the flow of the race may allow him to stalk off the lead and catch a few tiring runners late. #4 Fun Paddy ran a good race last out only to lose the place spot late. Many a horse have fell victim to the long Churchill stretch however with the dimensions of the Keeneland surface and a well-timed ride this runner can hold for a major share.
Race Two: Selections 10-5-3-1
#10 Corkman goes for the red hot Walsh who normally does not do well with firsters but this barn is going so well and with the aggressive Santana in tow this runner is worth consideration in this spot.
#5 Fearless Rocket takes a precipitous tumble in price searching for competition where his ability will allow him to be competitive with. Mixed signals with this runner as the question looms are the connections flashing the clearance sale of defective merchandise or are they looking to swoop in take a purse and if anyone is so inclined to drop 30k recoup some cash. I think this one has ability and this field may allow that to be displayed today. #3 Warrant Officer has struggled mightily in the maiden allowance ranks so the drop to 30k appears to be the right move. I am expecting improvement which may not be enough to get to the winners circle but can boost exotics payouts.
Race Three: Selections 1-4-5-2
#1 American Anthem appears to be out for a paid workout against this field. This runner has recently been moved from the Baffert barn but the new trainer is more than capable of getting this charge prepared for this assignment.
#4 Fact Finding discovered speed as a weapon in the last race and fought hard for a game victory. Will need an effort like that to beat the top choice however speed is always a weapon particularly in the skillful hands of a Hall of Famer like JR Velazquez, so beware to all singling American Anthem. #5 Colonelsdarktemper has been having difficulties making an impact in his raced over the last two years but appears good enough to outrun the rest of this small field for a slice.
Race Four: Selections 8-9-6-2
#8 Mean Mary got an educational run in a one turn mile at Laurel on debut. Has worked well since and Motion has great numbers second time out so looking for a big effort today, not to mention the progeny of Scat Daddy run on any surface so the grass will be no problem.
#9 Ilha Do Mel ran well at Kentucky Downs and may not have been able to move when the rider wanted to, thus the leaders got away. Runner attracts top rider for this assignment and has worked sharply since the last outing. #6 Joy of Learning is a well-bred filly going out for a trainer that prefers to race them into shape, however the rider is known to bring home some nice prices while riding in the Bluegrass state and this one looks like a prime candidate to blow up the tote board in this spot.
Race Five: Selections 2-1-6-10
#2 Candy Store returns to the main track where he has ran well after a solid attempt on the lawn at Delaware. Motion ads blinkers for this race and the rider will have this one well positioned to pounce late in this elongated sprint.
#1 Delinquent was found wanting last race at Colonial however this spot seems ideal to get back on track. Rider should be able to save ground and allow the speed to develop then make a move on the bend. Cannon is establishing himself as an up and coming rider and I have no qualms backing in this spot. #6 Debating enters the selling ranks for the first time as runner has had difficulty with the competition in the allowance ranks. Lanerie has been pushing all the right buttons the last few days and will give this charge the best chance to have an impact on the outcome of this event.
Race Six: Selections 4-7-3-11
#4 Day Dayenu ran exceptionally well on debut considering the trouble encountered at the start. Hit the gate after breaking from the pine which is difficult for a young horse yet somehow managed to finish third. With a better post position and a clean start this runner is a serious player.
#7 Palio Flag is a well- bred firster for Chad Brown that has been working evenly for the debut. Trainer normally does not drill them fast but has them ready for action right away. Deserves consideration for all slots. #3 Loaded has been working lights out for the debut for a trainer that normally applies a patient approach, however these connections have already popped at the meet for a price and they appear to have their stock tuned for the fall meet. Must consider.
Race Seven: Selections 4-1-10-11
#4 Mustaaqueem ran well off a very long layoff and first time in the US coming from South Africa. Runner has had plenty of time to recover and was a serious sprinter in his home nation. Beware!
#1 Velazquez is named on both Ward entrants so not sure which one will run but feel good about either to give a solid effort in this spot. Will require them to run every step of the way however I feel they are capable against this group to have a significant impact. #10 I Can Do Anything will bring some fire to the pace and will warrant some attention as these types of races often produce one dominant speed after appearing to be full of speedy types. Rider will ensure this one is engaged from the bell and if able to get comfortable may forget to stop.
Race Eight: Selections 9-5-7-3
#9 Curate walked out of the gate last race but made up a ton of ground to close for second. Will need an alert beginning today but this runner is capable of taking this race for the new connections at a nice number.
#5 Battle Station will be overlooked at the window but this runner fits this race like a glove. Runner has handled the dirt before and Velazquez will get this one involved early to establish position. This runner warrants serious consideration in this race. #7 Cautious Giant will appreciate a return to the dirt and an easier level of competition as this one was overmatched last out. Another speedy type Jose Ortiz will more than likely reserve this runner off the main speed then make his move around the bend in this ultra-competitive race.
Race Nine The Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II : Selections 7-6-3-8
#7 Magnetic Charm is not in Lexington for the weather or a sightseeing tour. This runner is here to take the race named after her owner QE II. Horse ran a very game race up north and earned a serious speed figure and Geroux will have this filly poised to strike at the top of the lane. Ignore this runner at your own peril.
#6 Café Americano appears to have the most upside of the Chad Brown trio and this runner has displayed a genuine ability to master 9panels. The only bad race on the resume resulted from a difficult trip with lots of traffic forcing this one wide. If for any reason QE II horse fails to fire this is your most likely winner. #3 Cambier Parc was simply breathtaking at Del Mar as she came from out the clouds to sweep past the field for an easy score. This race is very competitive and runner will need to avoid any traffic that could potentially slow her momentum. Capable of taking this however willing to use a few others as insurance in case of any difficulties this one encounters navigating the course.
Race Ten: Selections 7-9-4-10
#7 Crown Jewel makes her debut in today’s finale after some even works. Trainer not really known for fast drills however I love the pedigree and the rider is good out of the gate.
#9 Sister’s Creed comes off a long layoff after two good races in the spring. The level of competition today will be tough but racing experience is invaluable in these races. I expect Leparoux to have this one well-placed and in contention in the lane. #4 Club Car is another runner coming off a break after a series of good races. Has worked well for the return and the rider has been hot at the meet. Worth inclusion for the exotics and multirace wagers.