As a horseplayer, it is our responsibility to keep up on trends, biases, and anything that can effect the bottom line. There is some rain in the forecast for Keeneland this week, and here are a few bullet point reminders to keep in your arsenal.
Rainy day winners
The track will always be fast. Next to safety, this could be one of the best fan features. The weather is going to be a little cooler, and this may add up to a plus in your wallet. No matter the surface, all react differently to rain. Poly is no exception, and this capper’ has found out the hard way. When it rains a bit in Lexington the track plays a little tighter. This translates to an oval that may offer better footing. Sometimes the track can get a bit cuppy, and it may look as if runners are spinning their wheels. The rain packs it tighter, and whatever the bias has been, you can get a little different glimpse. Add in cooler weather, and you will have a double dose of help for closers and far back runners.
Green is gold
Keeneland is one of the best grass courses in the country. It drains well, and the sod plays fair to Euro shippers as well as first timers. You need to dig in and play runners who have breeding for the green, and if possible to know what their parenst did on the greensward. Expect closers… Plain and simple, with the exception of soggy green. This plays much kinder to up close stalkers, and some speed in longer races. Play shippers from: Gulfstream, Arlington, Woodbine, Fair Grounds, and some Churchill runners. Riders who excel over the turf oval: Johnny Velasquez, Julien Leparoux, Edgar Prado, Alan Garcia, Ramon Dominguez, Corey Lanerie, and Jose Lezcano whenever he has a mount.
History does repeat
Funny thing about Keeneland. If you have preformed well over the oval in the past you usually rebound to come on back to the winner’s circle. Look for runners who have been training over the course, trainers with a distinct pattern of targeting the meet, and riders who love to make the stop over before going Breeders’ Cup bound. They are there, and you can find rider/trainer stats in your E-Z Win Forms. This can be as good as gold when looking for value.
So, don’t wait 10 days into the 15 day meet before you start picking up hints. Check your E-Z Win Forms for past trips over the surface, trainer stats, solid synthetic works, and how the rider and trainer do as a team. There are a bevy of guaranteed pick-four pools, and we will always have some selection ideas to make your ticket a winner. But don’t read too fast over your E-Z Win sheets, as the second and third tiers can unravel some blockbuster payouts. This is where the “big winners” can be hiding. So, get your info as soon as possible, and get in the game. It is never too late to make that big run into the Breeders’ Cup.