Friday Free Horse Racing Picks Late Pick Four at Keeneland
Closing weekend at Keeneland is upon us, and the upcoming Friday card is the last one of the 2021 fall meet. The late Pick Four begins in the seventh of 10 races on the program. I think there’s value to be had here, and I’ll look to attack it with an $18 ticket. Here’s how I’ve put it together.
While I think you can go against a few favorites in this sequence, that’s not the case in the opening leg. I think the 2-1 morning line choice will be very tough in here, and as a result, I’ve singled that runner.
#3 KISS THE SKY has yet to run a poor race to this point in his career. He took to the turf two back in a maiden-breaking score at Saratoga, and then ran second behind a next-out winner in a $500,000 stakes race at Kentucky Downs. This is far from a bad field, but it’s certainly a step down from the one he most recently faced. If he continues his upward trajectory, I think the race will be for second.
Okay, here’s where the fun starts. This is the Myrtlewood Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, and I’m taking a stand against the likely favorite. #1 JESTER CALLS NOJOY exits the Grade 1 Frizette and ships in for Todd Pletcher, but I’m not crazy about her. Her two-back win was visually impressive, but she had a perfect trip that day against a field that hasn’t proven itself to be a good one. She might win, but her likely price hits me as an underlay, and I’ll try to beat her.
#7 MAJESTIC D’ORO is my top pick. Her debut win at Indiana Grand was superb, and her connections saw fit to run her in the Grade 3 Pocahontas last month. She was fifth beaten 11 lengths that day, but that winner was a very good horse that won by more than nine lengths. By extension, this one missed second by less than two lengths, and she may have bounced a bit in her first two-turn effort. She cuts back to what seems like a friendlier distance here, and I think she’s very well-meant.
I’ll also use #5 KANT BELIEVE IT and #10 SWEET DANI GIRL. The former figures to be right up front early on given the speed she flashed in her first-out victory, while the latter showed professionalism when rating and pouncing to win her unveiling last month.
This is the Grade 3 Valley View for 3-year-old fillies on the turf, and it’s turned out to be a very strong race for the level. I’m trying to beat both 3-1 favorite #3 CRAZY BEAUTIFUL and #4 TOBYS HEART. The former has run on turf just once (and didn’t beat much in that race last summer), while the latter seems far better meant going shorter distances.
I’m going four-deep, and my top pick is #11 LADY SPEIGHTSPEARE. I liked her in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II before she scratched, and I think she’ll be the main early speed horse in this field. Emma-Jayne Wilson sees fit to travel down from Canada to ride for Hall of Famer Roger Attfield, and I think she’s got a shot to lead them at every call at a nice price.
#8 BREAKER OF CHAINS, #9 ARM CANDY, and #12 QUEENSHIP are also on my ticket. Breaker of Chains is 8-1 on the morning line, but given her ultra-impressive performance last time out, I’m expecting that to come down. Still, I don’t think she’ll be favored, and if we knock out chalk-players in this race, the potential payout will increase significantly.
We finish with a true handicapping puzzle. This is a maiden claiming event for older runners, and the 10 horses in here have combined to go 0-for-62 to this point.
My top pick is a bit of a price. #3 BREACHER sure looks like the main early speed in here, and the October 14th work hints that he’ll be sent hard from the gate here. He hasn’t run since July, but in a field with many horses that don’t seem to want to pass others, you can do worse than betting a speed horse that will likely provide some value.
I’ll also use #8 BROTHER BRAD and #9 KOLSCH. The former goes second off the bench for Saffie Joseph, Jr., and showed plenty of talent on dirt back in 2019 before a long break, while the latter was third against similar last time out at Churchill Downs and was claimed out of that race by a barn that hits at a 26% clip with new acquisitions.