Pony Picks 10/14: Keeneland and Monmouth

Odds.com’s Horse Racing Picks for Oct. 14th: A new week is here with Keeneland and Monmouth leading the way. Monmouth does have a stakes feature. Let’s look at some races:

Keeneland 4th: Storm At Sea can improve 2:45 pm Et

The Keeneland 4th is an allowance for fillies and mares three-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles on dirt.  I don’t trust Glamour Girl, who just broke her maiden last time, to repeat. I am also against Ria Munk has performed well recently on turf and prefer that turf form to her previous dirt form. 

Eres Tu is talented enough to win this race after being put in some difficult races last year at Fair Grounds. The issue with her is this will be the first time in 19 months that she will run thus she may need a race.

Keeneland Cancels 2020 Spring Meet | America's Best RacingMorning line favorite Market Rumor is a logical horse to consider. She broke her maiden three starts ago in her lone start at Keeneland but note that race came back to be entirely unproductive. She has tried three-year-old restricted stakes in her last couple of races and was a game second to the undefeated Grand cru Classe last time. My issue with her is in her last few starts she has shown limited to no improvement and while she doesn’t have to improve to be competitive in this race, I don’t see her being the standout her 7/5 morning-line suggests.

The horse I prefer is Strom At Sea (12-1 ML) who broke her maiden in her second career start at Ellis Park off a 10-month layoff, giving an effort that would be competitive in this spot. Last time, in her first try against winners she did no running. Note the winner won by nine lengths and Storm At Sea essentially jogged home the final furlong thus the margin of defeat last time doesn’t concern me. Clearly, nothing went wrong physically as she isn’t missing any time from her last start to this one; expecting a bounce-back performance. 

Keeneland 6th: With a clean trip, Motown Girl can win 3:51 pm Et

The Keeneland 6th is a maiden allowance for fillies and mares three-year-olds and up going 6 ½ furlongs on dirt. I am against morning-line favorite Dovima who ran well in a pair of turf events when missing narrowly by a nose and neck. Last time on dirt, she rallied from off the pace but in deep stretch, I thought she flattened and had no finish. Some will gravitate to Ballot Initiative but post 12 for a first-time starter is hardly ideal and might get over-bet for prominent trainer Chad Brown.

Movie Moxie and Motown Girl come out of the same race and I prefer Motown Girl. Movie Moxy has been favored in all of her starts and disappointed each time. She is supposed to hang on last time when she makes the lead and with all the money she’s burned, she is simply hard to trust.

I prefer Motown Girl (8-1 ML). In her debut, she broke terribly and spotted the field at minimum 10 lengths. Ignore the turf race off a 10-month layoff. Last time, she broke a tad slow but better than her debut and was being sent forwardly toward the lead until she was impeded with and had to check. She still performed well to be 3rd and assuming she breaks decently and gets a clean trip, she can win this race.

Monmouth 8th: As Seen On Tv returns to sprinting 4:10 pm Et

The Monmouth 8th is the Jersey Shore for three-year-olds going six furlongs on dirt. I am against morning-line favorite Premier Star who showed some rating ability in his debut but has done his best work on the front end. Don’t think he gets the lead with Meru and a couple of others in this spot.

Meru returns to the Monmouth dirt for the first time since his second career start. That start was also a stake and represents his last win. With the rail draw, feel his hand is forced and has to go the lead. He has enough early speed to get to the front but it’ll almost certainly be contested. 

One alternative is Gandy Dancing who will have a say if the pace gets heated. He won a state restricted allowance at Saratoga last time but note the quality in that field wasn’t very good. Yes, the second-place finisher came back to win but no one else aside from the fourth-place finisher has been competitive in subsequent starts. Lightly raced colt still has room to improve but the Chad Brown trainee will certainly take money because of his connections. 

The horse I prefer is As Seen On Tv (4-1 ML) who has performed poorly in his past three starts but note the first two were the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby against Tiz the Law as the connections got Kentucky Derby fever after a promising start to his career. Last time after more than four months off, he tried the Pegasus at Monmouth and established that he was not a route horse. His first three starts sprinting saw him get both his wins including a restricted stake at Gulfstream Park West while finishing second in his other stake attempt at Monmouth. He has yet to run a bad race sprinting and getting back to sprinting should help him wake up.