On Saturday, the Keeneland Racecourse offers a rich card full of high-class action, while this article focuses on a couple of Graded turf races. Sprinters will face off in the G2 Woodford Stakes, where Golden Pal will attempt to become a back-to-back winner, upon which a field of outstanding fillies and mares will line up in the G1 First Lady Stakes.
The purse of $350,000 is up for grabs in this G2 race over five and a half furlongs. On the turf surface, nine three-year-olds and older horses will clash, while Golden Pal is the brightest star here. The four-year-old colt has seven victories under his belt, including the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint from 2021, before which he stretched his leg in the Woodford Stakes.
Since then, he failed to deliver basically anything in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes in Ascot, but the Wesley Ward trained bay scored both of his 2022 races in the US. In April, he won the G2 Shakertown Stakes, and in August, he prevailed in the G3 Troy Stakes. Golden Pal will carry the biggest weight in the field; still, his class should be high enough to become a back-to-back winner of this event.
After last year’s victory in the Shakertown Stakes, Gear Jockey looked interesting for the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint; however, he couldn’t grab a better than sixth place and hasn’t recorded a victory since. The five-year-old is a decent sprinter; still, he needs to step up his game again to be dangerous for Golden Pal, as at the G2 stage, he earned some money in 2022, but the favourite was simply too good for him.
Artemus Citylimits is trained by Michael Maker and spent most of his career in Claiming and Allowance races. Back in 2020, the five-year-old finished third at the black-type stage but didn’t attempt to repeat such performance at that level for years. In the ongoing season, Artemus Citylimits bagged two Allowance wins in a row, so his team finally sent him among better horses in the G2 FanDuel Turf Sprint Stakes.
In September, the son of Temple City ran a great race and snatched up second place behind Bran, suggesting he could actually be good enough to play major roles at the Graded scene. His performance was a promising one by no means. Ex-British Cadamosto deserves mention here, too, as the three-year-old colt will carry a smaller weight than the horses above.
In June, the bay finished fourth in the G1 Commonwealth Cup, and even though he failed to show much among older sprinters, he still finished fourth in a G2. Last time out, he placed in a Listed at Saratoga, but he definitely should manage more than that.
Regarding the rest of the field, most participants can run well here, for example, a couple of Listed winners, Oceanic and All In Sync.
|HORSE||JOCKEY||HORSE RACING ODDS BY JAZZSPORTS|
|County Final||Ricardo Santana, Jr.||+3000|
|Bad Beat Brian||Christopher A. Emigh||+1500|
|All in Sync||Florent Geroux||+2000|
|Golden Pal||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||-125|
|Gear Jockey||Luis Saez||+800|
|Oceanic||Julien R. Leparoux||+600|
|Artemus Citylimits||Tyler Gaffalione||+450|
|Cadamosto (IRE)||Flavien Prat||+1000|
Woodford Stakes Betting Pick
Must be Golden Pal, who could be vulnerable under that weight, but he’s the most accomplished horse in the field.
First Lady Stakes
The second Graded turf race of the day is open to three-year-old and older fillies and mares who will cover the distance of a mile. The purse of $750,000 attracted six contestants, among which Regal Glory could return to the winning ways. The six-year-old mare trained by Chad Brown has bagged seven Graded victories so far, while in the last year’s First Lady Stakes, she finished second.
Subsequently, Regal Glory scored the G1 Matriarch Stakes, triumphed in the G3 Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf Invitational Stakes, and concluded the illustrious hattrick by winning the G1 Just A Game Stakes in June.
Back then, she succeeded despite carrying the biggest weight, and next time out, she ran an alright race in the G1 Fourstardave Handicap against horses and geldings. If she delivers her usual performance and demonstrates her high class, she should at least fight for the win here as none of her rivals has bettered her recently; moreover, she’ll carry the same weight as the rest of the field.
Chad Brown also relies on four-year-old Technical Analysis, who recorded a couple of Graded wins in 2021 and signed off the season with a second place at the G1 stage. In the ongoing season, she once again came short in the G1 company as she took second place in the Diana Stakes over a mile and a furlong; however, Technical Analysis bagged the G2 Ballston Spa Stakes last time out.
With this success, she affirmed to be in quite a solid form; thus, she needs to be considered. Still, another Chad Brown trainee may look a bit more appealing here as In Italian was the filly scoring the G1 Diana Stakes in July. It was the first big victory for the four-year-old as prior to that effort, she had to settle for second in a G2 and in June, she finished third in the G1 Just A Game Stakes. Therefore, both of these contestants are respected; however, Regal Glory should still be better than them, but we’ll see how the favourite fares on Sunday.
The Michael Stidham bound Princess Grace has collected a pair of G2 wins and is also a great performer for the connection. However, she succumbed to Regal Glory in the Matriarch Stakes in 2021. This season, she twice failed even to score a G3, even though her effort was a good one, which also applies to her running in the G1 Beverly D. Stakes.
To complete the list of the participants, we mention Market Rumor and Vigilantes Way who shouldn’t be as good as the quartet above.
|HORSE||JOCKEY||HORSE RACING ODDS BY JAZZSPORTS|
|Vigilantes Way||Paco Lopez||+1200|
|Princess Grace||Florent Geroux||+600|
|Technical Analysis (IRE)||Flavien Prat||+250|
|In Italian (GB)||Joel Rosario||+300|
|Regal Glory||Jose L. Ortiz||+120|
|Market Rumor||Chris Landeros||+2000|
First Lady Stakes Betting Prediction
Regal Glory, whose performances are consistent and quite classy, which could also be said about other contestants, indeed, but Regal Glory simply looks the best here.
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