Turf Sprinters Make for Interesting Field in Woodford at KEE


  4  KEE    Woodford (GII)           

$350.000   3yo&Up    5 1/2f  Turf     3yo 121lbs   Older 124lbs

KEE in the fall…  just glorious!!  My favorite place on the flying ball of carbon, and we catch a great field of sod speedsters for the Woodford (GII), going five and a half furlongs on the lush Lexington lawn.  A few of these come out of the field and the KYD Turf Sprint (GII) including my top pick, Albaquirky, who was second in that big purse dash.  He closes, most of the time, and this is a full field, so traffic could be a deciding factor.  I like that he won here in the spring… so let’s take him.  Rantanen was third in that KYD race, so let’s put him in the picture as well.  He hasn’t had his picture taken in quite some time but may be overdue for a win.  He has been knocking on the door, so maybe today is the day. 

It’s going to be a great day at KEE… because they ALL are! 

Here’s The Field –

   Whipped    Smokey Stover    Centeno D E   121   10/1

One win in his life as he broke maiden at WO going a route of ground over soft sod at WO, but he did show some life sprinting vs. Alw types at SAR, so they take off the gloves and go big-game hunting here today.  That was quick time at the spa, but he’s going to need to continue to step up his game to run with some of these. 

   Insist On A Change    Luz International    Achard A   124   10/1

Three wins from his last four starts, the other being a second and all of those coming in ’23, but he’s been running with softer than what he sees today.  He loves the green stuff and certainly has the sprinter mentality, so maybe he surprises and shakes this one up, a bit. 

   Mystery    Fractious    Gutierrez Mario   124   8/1

His lone ’23 win came at SA on the down-hill turf course, taking the Lure by a head in quick time.  He has two other third place finishes including the Beau Stakes at CD and last out in the West Point (DH) vs. empire-bred types, so he’s running well, and I’d give him a look.   

   Sir Lionking    Black N Gold Stable   Lopez P   124   7/1

Claimed for just $15.000 four starts back but has won half of those starts for the new connections.  Fourth, last out, in the Green Flash (GIII) at DMR, but closed in a rush to be a length back… the extra distance could land this one a big, big win.  He may have some value, as well.

   Albaquirky    Santan Stables    Geroux F   124   3/1

A few of these came out of that KD Turf Sprint (GII) and he just missed, closing fast to be second a neck back of the winner in that big race.  Another like that, and he could be very, very tough… four wins and a pair of seconds from six ’23 starts makes it certain that he should be tough. 

   You Know Youre Right    Mo Mentum Farm   Gaffalione T   124   8/1

Pressed the pace in that KD Sprint but hit the brakes late to beat one.  He did similar in the Troy (GIII) at SAR, tiring late in that one as well.  Can he find some of that old magic and be part of this or is it another where he’s just used up in the pace and falters?

   Drinkin Creepin    Mb Stables    Velazquez J R   121   9/2

Four wins and three runner-up efforts from eight ’23 starts, the big barn has this one running big right now.  He just missed int he Simpson (GII) at KD after setting the pace but was only a neck off of the winner.  Another like that, or many of his other seasonal starts, and he could be right there. 

   Rantanen    Royalty Stables    Saez L   124   7/2

Another from that KD Sprint, and he had the lead in the late stages only to give up a bit and end up third, only a neck back.  His only seasonal win came vs. Alw foes, and it was quite some time ago, but he has been right there in his last few races, and I think you have to use him on the EX and Tri tickets. 

   Chai Silent Type    Arindel    Jaramillo E   121   6/1

He ran some big races at the spa, a second in the Quick Call (GIII) and winning an Alw race but could not get past foes in that Simpson (GII) at KD where he was only a length back, but was sixth, that afternoon.  No published works since then, but some horses just don’t like the field… can he find some old form?

   Cherokee Raj    Night Rider Stables    Beschizza A   124   8/1

He was third over this course back in the spring, just a half-length back in the Shaker (GII) but struggled a bit vs. stakes company before a nice string of Alw races where he had a 1/1/1 record from those three starts.  He could surprise, and should come with a price, so don’t leave him off the exotics. 

   Maze    Gdp Inc    Franco M   124   9/2

Another from that KD Sprint (GII) and he was only a half-length back in fourth that day.  Note that he was also the post time favorite for that race, so the public likes him, despite no stakes wins… all three victories have come at the Alw level, so can he move up here?

   American Grandeur    TwinTowersRacing    Hernandez R M   121   10/1

Spring was a good time for this one, showing two Alw wins and a nice second (DH) in the Japiur (GI), but the last three have resulted in beating one horse and three bad stakes tries.  Can he reach down and find some of the old magic?  I have to look at some others. 

COZMAN    5 / 8            Willie’s Green Card     2 / 11 / 5      


Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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