First Lady Stakes

We have top graded stakes action coming from Keeneland on Saturday that feature some potential stars of the future as well as some already proven graded stakes horses such as In Italian in the 2023 Grade 1 First Lady Stakes and Live In The Dream in the 2023 Grade 2 Woodford Stakes.

Breeders Cup Odds

First Lady Stakes

Grade 1 – Purse $750,000 – 1 mile – Turf – 3-Year-Olds and Up – Fillies & Mares

Can In Italian gain revenge on Whitebeam for her narrow defeat last time?

The two horses on everybody’s lips today are the multiple graded stakes winner In Italian who is the 4/5 chalk and her conqueror last time in the 2023 Grade 1 Diana Stakes at Saratoga, the Chad Brown-trained Whitebeam.

In Italian went into that race having won four of her five previous starts and she’ll be trying once again to go gate to wire here. She’ll be cutting back by an eighth of a mile here and she was still in front at that distance last time.

Whitebeam 3/1 was making just her third start for Brown and there was no fluke about that victory. She was tough in the stretch and at the bigger odds, will represent value to many handicappers.

She was third on her stateside debut when taking in a minor stakes race over a mile and only just failed by a neck.

However, she made amends next time when taking the 2023 Grade 3 Galorett Stakes at Pimlico when going a half furlong further, and of course, that win last time came with a further stretchout.

It is going to be close between the two but the cutback for Brown’s runner is a concern and she’ll have to take another step forward here.

The interesting runner-up against the top two on the board is Evvie Jets 10/1 who was a graded stakes winner last time when winning the 2023 Grade 2 Ballston Spa Stakes back in August, and it’s interesting that she was the horse that beat Whitebeam on that stateside debut.

Evvie Jets has won three of her last five and faces the reopposing Jumbly 6/1, and the British raider was only beaten a half a length that day after having to go five wide into the stretch and she closed all the way to the wire.

She was well beaten against Grade 1 foes last time but came up against probably the best mile filly in Europe, in the shape of Tahiyra so was not disgraced. This is an easier assignment.

If we are looking for one at big odds, then Gam’s Mission 15/1 is interesting cutting back in distance. She seemed to run out of petrol in that above race won by Evvie Jets and was only beaten three-quarters of a length and could be the surprise package.

First Lady Stakes Odds & Racing Prediction

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
Gina RomanticaTyler Gaffalione+1000
Whitebeam (GB)Flavien Prat+300
In Italian (GB)Joel Rosario-125
Jumbly (GB)John R. Velazquez+600
Gam’s MissionAdam Beschizza+1500
ThisnameisokayJoseph Rocco, Jr.+3000
New Year’s EveLuis Saez+1500
Evvie JetsJose L. Ortiz+1000

The cutback in distance for Whitebeam is a negative as she needed every yard to get to IN ITALIAN last time and it is the chalk that gets a narrow vote.

The improving Evvie Jets and British raider Jumbly will throw down a strong challenge and can be battling for a slice underneath, along with the unexposed longshot Gam’s Mission.

Woodford Stakes

Grade 2 – Purse $350,000 – 5 ½ furlongs – Turf – 3-Year-Olds and Up

Can the stateside shipper Live In The Dream make his US debut a winning one?

The race that Live In The Dream 3/1 won last time had to be seen to be believed, as the 40/1 outsider went gate to wire in a very quick time to win the 2023 Grade 1 Nunthorpe Stakes,  where he beat Highfield Princess amongst others.

That form has been given a solid boost by the win of Highfield Princess in the Grade 1 Prix De L’Abbaye just last weekend in France, and Live In The Dream will be looking to secure a spot in the 2023 Breeders Cup at Santa Anita Park.

The home team has a strong chance though, and Beer Can Man 4/1 looks to be the best of those horses.

He was a strong closing third in the 2023 Grade 3 Green Flash Handicap last time over five furlongs, and before that had again closed well in the Turf Sprint Stakes at Pimlico in May.

All recent runs have come over five furlongs and he gets an extra half a furlong today which offers plenty of upside. He has hit the board in all five graded stakes tries and will be a tough rival for these foes.

Our Shot 9/2 is another local runner that must go well and he likes to blast from the gates and will surely aim to go gate to wire here.

He has been second in a couple of recent tries in minor stakes company and Saturday will be his first shot at graded stakes foes. He’ll need to show improvement to win but could hang around long enough to get a slice of the valuable purse on offer.

Looking at a possible upset and that could well come from Eye Witness 20/1.

This colt has won three of his five races and hit the board in the other two. He tried this distance for the first time last time when a late closer and being posted in gate four, he should get a nice race position behind a strong race pace. He’ll be closing strongly and could cause a bit of an upset here.

Woodford Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
Bad Beat BrianChristopher A. Emigh+600
Live In The Dream (IRE)Sean Kirrane+300
Let My People GoJohn R. Velazquez+1000
Eye WitnessJose L. Ortiz+2000
ArzakJoel Rosario+1500
Olympic RunnerBrian Joseph Hernandez, Jr+1000
CoppolaMartin Garcia+1200
Our ShotTyler Gaffalione+450
KaufymakerLuis Saez+1200
FoxtrotannaFerrin Peterson+5000
Beer Can ManFlavien Prat+400
KavodFrancisco Arrieta+2000

Live In The Dream could well make his first visit stateside a winning one as his form is top-class, but a one-turn sprint will be something new and any miss at the gates will make things very tough.

The speculative vote goes to EYE WITNESS who is still unexposed and he can track the early speed from Our Shot and Live In The Dream.

Beer Can Man has to enter calculations and will surely be closing late as they hit the wire and he can grab a slice underneath.

Check out the 2023 Woodford Stakes & First Lady Stakes Recap

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