Mr. Ed’s Keeneland Best Bets

MR. ED’S ECLIPSE: It wasn’t pretty, folks. While the rest of the population had to wait until Monday to look skyward with ooohs and aaahs, Mr. Ed’s nearly total eclipse of his bankroll occurred Saturday at Keeneland. With the exception of a small Place payout ($29) and a Spot Play winner (Stronghold in Santa Anita Derby), the remainder of his $160 in posted wagers was blown away on bad beats, near-misses and also-rans. While his visit to Lexington featured good friends, fine food, high-fives and Buffalo Trace, Mr. Ed’s wallet was reduced to a few of his trademark $2 bills. In the words of my handicapping guru/mentor: A bad day at the track beats a good day anywhere else. So, stick with Mr. Ed as he jumps back into VSiN horseplaying by tackling a challenging 11-race card on Saturday with some Keeneland best bets. After all, the next eclipse won’t be until 2044. And now, with merely three weeks remaining until the Kentucky Derby, here are …

MR. ED’S ELITE ELEVEN: (1) Fierceness; (2) Sierra Leone; (3) Stronghold; (4) Catching Freedom; (5) Forever Young; (6) Endlessly; (7) Dornoch; (8) Just a Touch; (9) Just Steel; (10) Society Man; and (11) Resilience.

 

JOCKEYS & TRAINERS: Under-the-radar riders worth a look include Reylu Gutierrez, Marty Garcia, Jareth Loveberry, Adam Beschizza and Frankie Dettori (on his world farewell tour). Low-profile but capable barns include those of Jonathan Thomas, Rudy Brisset, Brittany Russell, Paulo Lobo, and Phil Bauer.

MR. ED’S TOP SELECTIONS AT KEENELAND (First post 1:00 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT)

Race 5 (3:08 p.m. ET/12:08 p.m. PT) — 3YO Maiden fillies at 1 1/16-mile on turf
Mr. Ed’s Longshot of the day is #6 WINE AND WAVES (12-1 morning line). Daughter of Vino Rosso stretches out after closing in the sprint at Fair Grounds in her debut. Trained by always-competitive Al Stall, youthful Reylu Gutierrez is a significant rider upgrade.
Keeneland Best Bet: $5 Win, Place & Show. ($15)

Races 6 & 7 (3:40 p.m. ET/12:40 p.m. PT) — $120K Allowance Claiming for fillies & mares, 4YOs & up, 1 1/16-mile
Here are three for the money: #2 JULIA SHINING (1-1 morning line) for Todd Pletcher barn; #6 FIRELINE (4-1) for conditioner Chad Brown, and #7 MUSICAL MISCHIEF (5-1) for trainer Michael McCarthy.
Mr. Ed’s BEST BET OF THE DAY: $5 Exacta box of 2,6,7 and $5 Daily Doubles of 2,6,7 with Race 7 #2 BLING (6-1) & #4 OEUVRE (8-1) ($60)

Race 8 (4:44 p.m. ET/1:44 p.m. PT) — $130K Optional Claiming for 4YOs & up at 1 1/16-mile
Mr. Ed likes #6 GILCREASE (9-2 morning line) for trainer Al Stall and journeyman rider Corey Lanerie. Barn stretches out the son of super-sire More Than Ready following okay turf sprint at Fair Grounds. Dirt sprint two back earned a superior speed figure.
Keeneland Best Bet: $10 Win & Place. ($20)

Race 9 (5:16 p.m. ET/2:16 p.m. PT) — G1 $600K Jenny Wiley Stakes for fillies & mares 4YOs & up at 1 1/16-mile on turf
Classy million-dollar-earner #6 GINA ROMANTICA (3-1 morning line) returns after break for top trainer Chad Brown. Gal is no stranger to the Winner’s Circle. Tyler Gaffalione retains the mount. Isn’t it romantic?
Keeneland Best Bet: $10 Win & Place and $5 Exacta Box of 3,5,6. ($50)

Races 10 & 11 (5:48 p.m. ET/2:48 p.m. PT) — G3 $400K Lexington Stakes for 3YOs at 1 1/16-mile
The final Kentucky Derby qualifying points race features several promising sophomores. Mr. Ed likes #8 ENCINO (5-1 morning line) moving from synthetic to dirt for sharp Brad Cox barn. A neck short of being undefeated, the colt was the subject of wiseguy chatter prior to being scratched out of Bluegrass last week. A major rider upgrade to veteran Florent Geroux. Sounds like a winning combination.
Keeneland Best Bet: $20 to Win and $10 Late Double with #5 ROYAL MAJESTY (9-2) in Race 11. ($30)

Race 11 (6:20 p.m. ET/3:20 p.m. PT) — $110K Conditional Allowance for 3YOs, 1 1/16-mile on turf
Mr. Ed likes #5 ROYAL MAJESTY (9-2 morning line) for the powerful Mott-Alvarado team in his third U.S. start. Distance suits style. Royally bred.
Keeneland Best Bet: $10 Win & Place. ($20)

TOTAL WAGERS: $195

SPOT PLAYS:
Oaklawn R8, G3 Count Fleet Sprint: #7 Ryvit (9-2)
Oaklawn R11, G1 Apple Blossom Stakes: #2 Taxed (5-1)

MASTERS UPDATE:
Last man standing: Max Homa

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