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Wednesday's race-by-race analysis
Race 1: Bernie the Maestro (3) looks like a cinch on his best day but the figure of that last race was the lowest he's produced for this trainer and it could mean he's gone off form. I'll take a shot to beat him with Union Bowman (4), who was in top form before a layoff but has run well off a break in the past. If I'm right about "Bernie," then he could be completely off the board, so take a look at a couple of bigger prices in Adios Nardo (1) and They Call Him El (2). EXACTA BOXES: 4-3, 4-1, 4-2
Race 2: it's not a strong group here so take a shot with American Doe (5) off a good first effort over this track that could signal a move forward this time. I'll key him with three horses in exactas. EXACTA BOXES: 5-1, 5-4, 5-8
Race 3: Little Norweigan (7) drops in class and draws Leparoux in the saddle--not a bad combo. Chinchero (10) is an interesting longshot off the class drop for a good trainer. EXACTA BOX: 7-10-3
Race 4: Balthazar (7) looks like the one, coming out of a couple of tough allowance races at Gulfstream. That's been a formula for success in these kinds of spots this spring at Keeneland. EXACTA BOXES: 7-4, 7-5
Race 5: this race has the feel of a double-digit payoff and I think any one of four horses could provide it. For the win, I'll take Tangled Sheets (8) off two wins on this track but both parts of the entry (1, 1A) and Maan (5) are viable contenders so a 3-way box is the way to go. EXACTA BOX: 8-1-3
Race 6: Amen Kitten (6) drops in class and runs well on this turf course and is the pick to get the money here. Sonofasamurai (11) has a tough post but some back class if ready off the layoff. And Draw Two (7) should not be overlooked. I'd take all three in a pick 3 or pick 4. EXACTA BOX: 6-11-7
Race 7: Starship Gambler (2) comes off a poor effort but the workouts suggest a wakeup for the new trainer, the red-hot Mike Maker. Tap All Night (6) is worth a look,too, for the win. EXACTA BOX: 2-6-3
Race 8: a wide open race in the feature and I'm going for a price. Daylight Ride (9) ran well here last fall and trainer Sheppard has had several "live" ones this spring--and Rosie is often his go-to rider here. Run a Risk (10) and Trophy Wife (1) are both from barns with horses running well this spring. EXACTA BOX: 9-10-1
Race 9: Southern Joy (1) ran big here opening weekend and is well-drawn for a repeat. Five Afleet (5) is a strong contender, too, but I don't like the deep closing style in this spot. Ha Long Bay (3) and Dynamic Royal (4) are price horses worth a look underneath the top two in gimmicks. EXACTAS KEYING 1 and 5 OVER 1,5,3,4
BEST EXACTA RACE: 5th
50-cent Pick 4 for $50 or less: (starts in 6th) 6-7-11 with ALL with 9-10-1 with 1 = $40.50 (would add #5 in the last if your budget permits)