The Makers Mark Mile- Grade I
KEE Race 1 1M Turf
Purse $300.000 for
Four Year Olds and Upward
An interesting collection of horses will try and take down a Grade 1 on the turf at Keeneland this Friday. Some will be making their graded stakes debut in this prestigious race and others are extremely accomplished at the level. Let’s see if we think it will be a veteran or a newcomer that takes this down.
1 Controlled Power, trained by Spankys Barn
The light seems to have come on for this four year old gelding as he has won his last three races while steadily rising in class. His last victory was in the Kilroe Mile where he beat the likes of Clockwork Chai, Serious Cobra and today’s challenger Compress. There is nothing obvious that may have caused his change in form so perhaps it was an instruction change as all of his victories have come from a nice stalking position. With the good rail draw here it seems like he should get another good trip and be a serious threat to win again.
2 Preacher Man, trained by Luz International
Claimed out of a dirt sprint at Tampa for a meager $12.500 he was given a couple of months off where his new trainer must have discovered he would love the turf. His first race for his new connections found him routing on the grass and he destroyed the field going wire to wire in an allowance. He now finds himself thrown right into the deep end of the pool in a Grade 1. I do not think he will get to the front as easily here and will need to see him succeed against this caliber of competition before recommending.
3 Sleet, trained by fractious
Most of this gelding’s success has come when he has been able to get loose on the lead which I do not think he will be able to do here. Was beaten soundly by Contolled Power in a CA state bred stake two races back but did run a solid second in a Grade 3 last out. Works seem a bit softer than others in here so I think winning this will prove difficult.
4 Senor Wish, trained by Canadian Racing
Another gelding that comes into this on an impressive winning streak having taken 6 races in a row. While he will be making his stakes debut here his last three wins were all in open allowances at high level tracks which typically draw very good fields. He prefers to do his running on or near the pace like several others in here so that may not bode well for him. I would be more inclined to back if this was a Grade 3 or Grade 2 but this may be a little too ambitious.
5 City Ball Drop, trained by Pan Farms
This four year old colt will be making only his fourth start on the grass here but he does have a first and a second in his three previous tries. His last race was his poorest effort but that was contested at 1 3/8ths so we may be able to throw that out. Today’s distance would seem to be more in his wheelhouse and I think he will be a major contender for the top prize.
6 Far Too Cool, trained by Night Rider Stables
Super consistent gelding that has won 6 of 10 career grass starts. Returned off of a 4 month layoff in a CA bred stakes contested over a yielding course where he ran a good second even though it was not at his favorite distance. That effort should serve as a good prep for this and he should be ready to give his best effort. I believe he will have a nice pace to run at and if he had drawn a better jockey he would be my pick to win.
7 T N T Dynamite, trained by Saratoga Stud
This gelding is another that has been hot with three wins and two seconds in his last five. He has been steadily rising in class and today has his toughest challenge yet. He has a running style that may fit well in today’s field and a recent bullet work suggests he is in top form. May not be the favorite but I think he has a decent chance to surprise.
8 Inverted Calibration, trained by Nakamura Stables
Another entrant who will be making his graded stakes debut here in a Grade 1 in his 21st lifetime start. The vast majority of those races were contested around one turn but his last outing was a victory at a 1 1/16 so distance should not be an issue. He also seems to like to be near the front so I am concerned with the outside push he may wind up in a speed duel. Would not be a complete surprise but I prefer others.
9 Compress, trained by Cherrytree Hill Farm
Our last entrant is also the most accomplished in the field having won multiple grade 1’s and earning over $3000 in the process. Unfortunately in his most recent races the post position gods have not been kind to him and that is the case again here. His works are fantastic and with a lot of speed inside of him his trainer will have to hope he can find a way to save some ground and make a big run.
I do anticipate a lively pace here with 3 or 4 horses being on or near the lead. This should allow for the stalkers and pure closers to have the best of it with horses more to the inside of course having an advantage. I will look for Controlled Power to keep his winning streak intact with a hard fought victory over Far Too Cool and City Ball Drop.