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Check out what our red-hot racing handicapper Sweet Lou Monaco is picking in today's racing at Keeneland

The start of another Keeneland racing weekend begins today with the $150,000 Grade 3 Pin Oak Valley View Stakes for 3 year olds fillies over 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

The field of 14 will go to gate for race 9 of the 10-race card with an approximate post time of 5:30 p.m. ET.

#7, Catch a Bid, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 6-1

A solid (2-1-0) in three career starts this year, Catch a Bid, one of three fillies entered for today’s race by trainer Chad brown, is coming off a head victory over Dalika (GER) (also entered for today) in the $100,000 Riskaverse Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 22. Her neck runner-up finish was to Varenka in an allowance optional claiming race also at Saratoga on July 14. She is probably second-best of the three Brown entrants today, but I’m taking a shot, especially with Irad Ortiz, Jr. back in the saddle for his second straight start. The pick.

#2, Blowout (GB), John Velazquez, 5-2

The morning-line favorite and best of the three Brown fillies entered today, Blowout (GB) certainly has had a fine season thus far, 3-3-1 in seven career starts, including a 2 ¼ length win over Seek and Destroy in the $200,000 Pebbles Stakes at Belmont in her last on Sept. 14. Her lone third-place finish was to Varenka (see above) and Regal Glory in a photo in the G2 Lake Placid Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 17. Needs to be noted: never has won a graded stakes race in three tries (0-2-1). I think that trend continues today, but barely especially with Johnny V aboard. Runner-up.

#13, Hard Legacy, Julien Leparoux, 6-1

Hard Legacy has raced in four straight graded stakes races at four different racetracks, including a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Appalachian Stakes here on April 7 in her second start at Keeneland. She broke her maiden here on Oct. 20, 2018 with a commanding seven length win over Cosmic Code. After winning the G3 Regret Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 15 by 1 ¼ lengths over Winter Sunset and the aforementioned Varenka (see Catch a Bid analysis), she came back to finish fifth in her first G1 attempt in the Del Mar Oaks at Del Mar on Aug. 17. The winner of that race: Cambier Parc, also trained by Brown. She definitely has experience and will look to make up for her last with the always tough Julien Leparoux. Contender.

#10, Turf War, Joel Rosario, 12-1

Another Brown trainee, Turf War will be making her 10th career start (2-2-2) and is 1-0-1 in three starts this year. Flew home for today’s jock, Joel Rosario, in her last going from fifth in the stretch to winning by a neck over Brooke Marie in the $100,000 Christiecat Stakes at Belmont on Sept. 6. After six races across the pond in 2018, this will be only her fourth start in the states and her first at two turns. Rosario back on board for his second straight start, which I love, especially off a win. Might be the less talented of the three Brown entrants today, but warrants a look after her last performance. In the mix.

PICKS: 7-2-13-10

By Lou Monaco


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