Frank Carulli: Keeneland Early Pick 5 Analysis | Friday, November 4, 2022

It’s the calm before the storm, the appetizer before the main course. Keeneland will offer a 50-cent Pick 5 wager on the Friday, Nov. 4 card, to launch Breeders’ Cup weekend. It starts early, with an 11:55 a.m. EST first-race post, and features the $350,000 Grade II Aftercare Alliance Stakes, the race before the Breeders’ Cup races begin. Here’s a look at the action:

KEE 1ST race (11:55 a.m. EST) -- B DAWK was difficult to load, trailed into the turn and swept 5-wide into contention in the 7F Perryville Stakes at Keeneland last out. But he was carried out wider, raced erratically in the stretch and was no match for winning odds-on favorite Gunite (6-12, $965k), a Grade II winner. Also liked his 7F allowance win when he emerged from a 4-wide scramble to lead at the top of the lane, repelled an immediate challenge and hit another gear in mid-stretch to win. OPEN ROAD made a last-to-2nd move against B DAWK, then returned two months later for his first route try at 1-1/8 miles. He pressed the pace alongside proven allowance router Strong Quality and survived a stretch-long duel to win. DOUBLE THUNDER, second in the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity last fall at Keeneland the last time he didn’t wear blinkers, was claimed for $50,000 in his last start and makes the ticket at monster odds.  

KEE 2nd race (12:30 p.m. EST) -- AFFIRMATIVE LADY, far back and under a ride into the turn, leveled off in the final sixteenth, closed with a rush for third and galloped out strongly in her debut. She breezed 4F in :49.4 over the track and gets an extra furlong today for a 24-percent, second-out barn. MAGICAL SONG debuts off a series of steady 5F workouts for Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox. She is the first foal to race out of champion Songbird (13-15, $4.6 million), who won nine Grade I races in her illustrious career.  

KEE 3rd race (1:05 p.m. EST) -- CALL ME FAST appears rounding to another good race after a near miss two starts back with second-time blinkers and an 8-1/4-length romp at 10-1 odds last out. She blew past the even-money favorite and is a must use in the Pick 5 at a tempting price. MARSALIS came back running six months after her maiden victory, dueling through fast fractions and holding second at 6F. Run Classic, who rallied to win the race off a 2-1/2-year layoff, came back to win an allowance by 8-1/4 lengths with a 105 Beyer Speed Figure; Embrace, who finished fifth, came back to win a 7F allowance at Keeneland.

KEE 4th race (1:40 p.m. EST) – Of the dozen 2-year-olds entered in this 7F allowance, nine won at first asking and two won in their second start, but only one has conquered this distance. No matter, ARABIAN LION looms as the odds-on favorite and, perhaps, a popular solo play in the Pick 5 after a smashing 1:09.78 win in his debut at Santa Anita that earned a 92 Beyer speed figure. But don’t sleep on PROTEGE or GIANT MISCHIEF after their debut victories. PROTEGE, who must overcome post 12, kicked away from two, next-out MSW winners in the final furlong in 1:09.93, only 3/5 of a second slower than a same-day allowance won by Kasod (4-16, $474k). GIANT MISCHIEF steadied in backstretch traffic in a suspect field at Horseshoe Indianapolis, but he moved up on the turn at 5-1/2F and closed like a wild horse when angled to the outside.

KEE 5th race (2:15 p.m. EST) -- Going four deep in the 1-5/8-mile Aftercare Alliance Stakes, the only graded stakes in the sequence. HEYWOODS BEACH saved ground behind the dueling leaders, slipped through on the rail and dug in for his second, Grade III win at 1-1/2 miles in as many starts on the main track this year. He held off our top choice, WIN THE DAY, who advanced steadily from last, angled 4-wide for the stretch drive and missed by a neck. BAL HARBOUR, a multiple graded stakes-placed router, was claimed for $50,000 when entered for a tag for the first time in 32 starts. He went wire-to-wire and won by 8-3/4 lengths on a sloppy track to earn a 100 Beyer, third best of his career. Morning-line favorite RATTLE N ROLL, who won the Grade I Breeders Futurity at Keeneland a year ago, returns in top form. He rallied to win a pair of minor stakes and the Grade III Oklahoma Derby in his last four starts to put him on the brink of millionaire status. Not sold on the field he beat, however, and not thrilled about the 5-2 morning-line price, so look elsewhere. CUPID’S CLAWS hasn’t won in two years, but he has two seconds a third in four main-track races at 1-1/8 miles and beyond in that span, earning the final spot on the ticket at 20-1 odds.

Suggested 50-cent Ticket

KEE 1st Race: 1, 6, 8
KEE 2nd Race: 2, 10
KEE 3rd Race: 1, 11
KEE 4th Race: 2, 9, 12
KEE 5th Race: 3, 4, 6, 9

COST: $72