Keeneland Prediction Plus Woodbine and Del Mar Best Bet July 12, 2020

Sunday brings a close to the five day Keeneland meet with a pair of graded stakes on turf. Belmont and Del Mar also have turf stake features. Today, we will take a look at my Keeneland prediction and Woodbine and Del Mar picks but let’s review yesterday’s races first.

Art Collector was stellar in the Blue Grass running down Swiss Skydiver as the two of them were well clear of the third-place finisher. Dunbar Road and Monomoy Girl both delivered as significant favourites as the older filly and mare division continues to look very strong. When Guarana came back to win the Madison, it gave trainer Chad Brown his 100th grade one win. He ended the day with 101-grade one’s after Rushing Fall won the Coolmore Jenny Wiley.

Woodbine 5th Prediction: Itskathiesluckyday is capable 3:06 pm Et

The Woodbine 5th is a maiden allowance for fillies and mares three years old and up going 1 1/16 miles on synthetic. I’m against morning-line favourite Sport’n Forty who probably wants more ground and has never tried synthetic. Candy’s Dream will take some money and don’t want her either as she has settled for minor awards on turf recently and that appears to be her best surface.

Of the two horses trained by Mark Casse, I prefer Heavenly Curlin who found one of the more difficult maiden races at Gulfstream to begin her career and then was in a race dominated on the front end on dirt. If she takes to synthetic, she can win in this spot.

Belmont Horse Racing Picks

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Horses from the seven-furlong maiden allowance on June 14 figure to take money. I have no interest in Second Grace who had a recency edge that day from running at Gulfstream and had every chance to win that race and didn’t. Perhaps Excelling can win as she ran well in her debut but she was able to rally to and establish a clear lead in the stretch and don’t like that she got caught.

The horse bet I want is Itskathiesluckyday (20-1 ML) who also comes out of the June 14 maiden allowance. She ran her best race in her second career start going today’s distance and her three-year-old debut clearly seemed like a prep for longer races. She had an outer post that day and was wide throughout. In her lone route race, she was three-wide on both turns therefore along with stretching out; she should appreciate a ground-saving post three.

Keeneland 9th Prediction: Arklow can turn tables 5:30 pm Et

The Keeneland 9th is the grade two TVG Elkhorn for four-year-olds and up going 1 ½ mile on turf. Your morning line favourite is Zulu Alpha who was also the beaten favourite in this race last year and his last start. He got really good for a pair of starts at Gulfstream including when he upset the Pegasus World Cup Turf invitational. Take away those efforts at Gulfstream and he doesn’t look like a standout. This is his first race back off a three-month freshening as his connections map out a plan for the Breeders’ Cup so I don’t expect him to be fully cranked up for this event.

The horse prediction I prefer is Arklow (3-1 ML) who has traded punches with Zulu Alpha many times before. Similarly to Zulu Alpha, he is proven at Keeneland and today’s distance but I think the recency edge Arklow has, having run in the Louisville a month ago gives him a slight edge as the second choice. His jockey Florent Geroux and trainer Brad Cox have teamed up to win three graded stakes already this week and Brad Cox has stellar numbers second time off a layoff.

Del Mar 9th Best Bet: Blameitonthelaw can rally 9 pm Et

Churchill Downs Horse Racing

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The Del Mar 9th is an allowance optional claiming event for three-year-olds and up going six furlongs on dirt and there appears to be a lot of early speed. Perhaps morning-line favourite I Am the Danger can win off a 17-month layoff if he still has his strong early speed. That said I can’t trust him off the layoff especially with other speed in this spot and neither of his races at Del Mar was appealing.

Kneedeepinsnow was allowed to get comfortable on the lead last time and I don’t want him today as he looks like the fourth fastest horse early and I don’t trust his rating on the inside. Principe Carlo and Tiger Dad competed against each other the last time they ran. They were 1-2 the whole way showcasing plenty of early speed which they figure to contribute in this spot as well.

The horse pick I want is Blameitonthelaw (6-1 ML) who has gotten two of his four wins at Del Mar. Yes, he did not run his best last time but there was no flow in that race as the horses that were in the top three early ended up finishing 1-2-3. He should get a more honest pace scenario today which should help him rally for the win.