Expert handicapper Jeremy Plonk of @Horseplayernow looks at a few of the Keeneland keys for opening weekend of the Spring Meet
1. Favorites are 16-for-29 (55% wins) in 2-year-old dashes during the 3 Spring Meets since returning to dirt. Only 1 of those 29 winners was above 6-1 odds. Note: 24 of 29 winners had posted a local Keeneland workout prior to the debut.
2. Trainer Mark Casse has more opening weekend victories over the past 3 Spring Meets than any other trainer with 7. He posted 2 during the 2015 and 2016 kickoffs, and then had 3 during opening weekend 2017. Only 2 were favorites and they averaged nearly 9-1 odds.
3. Jockey Javier Castellano won 5 opening weekend races during the 2017 Spring Meet to go along with 3 on opening weekend in 2016. His 8 opening weekend wins the past 2 Spring Meets led all riders, and came for 6 different trainers. Luis Saez ranked next with 7 victories.
4. Into Mischief sired 7 winners overall on the Keeneland dirt in 2017, the most of any stallion. Five of those 7 winners came in 7-furlong sprints.
5. Horses who last raced at Gulfstream Park have won 167 of the 371 turf races (45%) held at Keeneland during Spring Meets since 2007. Fair Grounds is a distant second with 29, followed by Tampa Bay Downs with 27.