Jeremy Plonk: Keeneland All-Stakes Pick 5 | Saturday, April 8, 2023

It’s an all-stakes pick 5 on Saturday at Keeneland for Blue Grass Day. But the presence of Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Goodnight Olive in the Madison Stakes (Race 7) is causing me an upset stomach. She’s the likely winner against only 4 rivals to notch her seventh straight win. Beating her blows up the ticket, and there are good options among the others in the Madison; but I’m not confident in finding a good reason that she’ll lose other than the hope for a larger return.

But this is why they call it gambling, right?

Keeneland | Race 5 | Grade 3 Commonwealth
A surprising lack of early speed in this lineup puts the onus on the riders. I expect Tyler Gaffalione to be aggressive with #2 Nakatomi and try to make the front. He has more front-running 7F wins on the Keeneland main track than any other jockey and had this one near the pace in November when last seen locally. Catch him to win. #3 Get Her Number will be a big threat late under a good pairing with closing jockey Joel Rosario. Fellow west coasters won this race in 2015 and again in 2021.

Keeneland | Race 6 | Grade 2 Appalachian
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf second and third-place finishers #7 Pleasant Passage and #3 Cairo Consort renew acquaintances back over the same turf. Cairo Consort has run hard over the winter with 3 Gulfstream starts, while Pleasant Passage will be just starting her campaign. This race historically has been controlled by fillies with some early speed and that brings longshot #9 Well Into interestingly into the discussion.

Keeneland | Race 7 | Grade 1 Madison
All eyes will be Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner #2 Goodnight Olive as she seeks a seventh straight victory. She’ll be a short price in a short field for Chad Brown and Irad Ortiz Jr. When she came off the bench last year, she got a few allowance tune-ups. This is a tough field and I’m willing to get cute because if she doesn’t win, the payoff blows up here with so many singling. I don’t see #1 Cocktail Moments winning this, but the others are in play. #4 Yuugiri is running very well right now, #5 Maryquitecontrary has a devastating late kick and #3 Society looked like a rising start last summer before a disappointment in the BC Distaff. If Goodnight Olive wins, tip the cap and move on.

Keeneland | Race 8 | Grade 2 Shakertown
Love the post draws for #3 Artemus Citylimits and #5 Mister Mmmmm, and there’s obvious respect for Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Caravel in her return. Expect the 3 and 8 to lock up from the outset with Corey Lanerie saving ground with one of his patented rail rallies with the 5. The one not included to fear most is #12 Arrest Me Red for the track’s most potent turf sprint connections, jockey Joel Rosario and trainer Wesley Ward.

Keeneland | Race 9 | Grade 1 Blue Grass
The big Kentucky Derby prep really boils down to an either-or situation in my estimation. Beautifully drawn speedster #3 Veryifying takes these wire to wire for trainer Brad Cox, or loping #1 Tapit Trice comes whistling by everyone late like he did at Tampa Bay Downs. Anything else would be a total surprise to these eyes.

The Ticket:

2,3 with 7,9,3 with 4,5,3 with 3,8,5 with 3,1  = $54 for $.50 play