Updated after late scratches were announced. Hopefully that’s it for changes. As noted below, the picks for the Preakness Stakes are in a previous post, to which a link is provided.
The weather looks pleasant after some possible early morning showers that shouldn’t get in the way of a fast track for all but the early races.
Race 5 | The Very One Stakes | 5 furlongs turf
1. Pretty Perfection
3. Royal Renege
Comment: Pretty Perfection should get a better trip from the five post and fits when you draw a line through the Giant’s Causeway at Keeneland Race Course. Euroboss has been running the longer turf sprints and can factor, as usually forward placed, at the shorter distance (five furlongs versus five and a half or six).
Race 7 | Chick Lang Stakes | 6 furlongs
1. Three Rules
2. Even Thunder
3. Always a Suspect
Comment: Three Rules comes out of the best Kentucky Derby prep and shortens in distance from his time on the Derby trail. If you consider seven furlongs a sprint, he’s four for five sprinting. Even Thunder should like the cutback of a furlong from the Bay Shore.
Race 8 | James W. Murphy Stakes | 1 mile turf
2. Mo Maverick
3. Bird’s Eye View
4. Adonis Creed
Comment: Yoshida had a strong maiden score at Keeneland and shouldn’t be hurt by the furlong turnback. Mo Maverick won in his first start outside state-bred company and offers some value. Bird’s Eye View is multiple graded stakes placed and also offers value.
Race 9 | Maryland Sprint Handicap | 6 furlongs
2. A.P. Indian
3. Classy Class
4. Awesome Banner
Comment: Like another race later in the card (the Preakness) the top two stand out here. Unlike the other one, this is a coin toss.
Race 10 | Grade III Gallorette Handicap | 1 1/16 miles turf
1. Elysea’s World
3. On Leave
Comment: Elysea’s World avoids the now-Grade I winning Dickinson and will have every chance.
Race 11 | LARC Sir Barton Stakes | 1 1/16 miles
1. Hedge Fund
2. No Mo Dough
3. Time to Travel
4. Honor the Fleet
Comment: If Multiplier is a bit of a buzz in the Preakness based off his Illinois Derby win, then you’ve got to consider the runner-up in the Hawthorne race here. Hedge Fund also boasts a bullet work in his last clocking. A deserving favorite. No Mo Dough can give a little value to an exacta after winning at Churchill Downs.
Race 12 | Grade II Longines Dixie Stakes | 1 1/8 miles turf
3. Conquest Typhoon
4. World Approval
Comment: Where a couple contenders tower over competitors in other stakes, this one has a half dozen evenly matched turfers. Projected gets a narrow edge with a reasonable chance to improve in his third start off a two-year layoff. Blacktype can improve in his second off the layoff and only lost a Grade I after a slow start in his 2017 debut. Conquest Typhoon finished fifth here beaten two lengths a year ago and can factor with his best — at a price. World Approval scratched out of the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill — a race he finished second in last year — and looms large. A tough, wide-open race.
Race 13 | Grade I Xpressbet.com Preakness Stakes | 1 3/16 miles
See previous post — here