Gabby Gaudet recently assumed a year-round role with TVG, covering racing at premier meets around the country. She served as Racing Analyst and Reporter for the Maryland Jockey Club while in her senior year at Towson University and later worked for the New York Racing Association and covered racing in Hong Kong, New Zealand, Canada and at Royal Ascot. Gabby’s parents, Linda and the late Eddie Gaudet, were longtime trainers in the Mid-Atlantic area, where her sister, Lacey Gaudet, trains. Gabby is married to trainer Norm Casse.
Happy Toyota Blue Grass day!
8 - 7 - 5
Looking At Liberty appeared to have clipped heels and/or lost his action last out, recovered and still nearly won. The added distance to two-turns will help and hopefully he steers clear of trouble today. I’ll throw in May Mau at a price, who keeps blinkers on and goes back to dirt. Dynacharge started to figure it out late last out. He may also be able to sit closer to the pace at this distance and what appears to be a far more moderate pace than what he dealt with last out.
9 - 10 - 6
We saw the 6-furlong 2-year-old race on opening day favor horses that had experience. That will once again be my angle today with Therideofalifetime. He looked like he was traveling very well late and wasn’t asked for too much from Mitchell Murrill who was aboard that day. Looks like he has some raw talent. Directional looks ready to roll for Asmussen and the pedigree is there, Liam’s Map out of a mare that is related to Corfu who won the Saratoga Special as a juvenile. Will use Swill as well who debuts for Brad Cox, by Munnings out of a female family that is related to Grade 1/Group 1 winners Mast Track and Jemayel.
9 - 6 - 11
Crown Jewel was second best to Club Car last out. Club Car came back to finish second in an allowance on Thursday’s card, and looks like a stakes-quality filly. In my opinion, Crown Jewel exits the strongest race. Mundayne Call may have the tactical edge here with enough speed to control the race up front. I’m not sure what happened to Slam Dunk last out but she’s certainly capable of better. Will give another shot.
6 - 4 - 3
Walk In Marrakesh last ran in the Tepin stakes, the same race as 6-5 favorite Alms. Overall, I think Walk In Marrakesh ran the better race, with more significant trouble down long the hedge. I didn’t see too much of an excuse for Alms, besides a slight bobble around the bend. Evil Lyn hasn’t been tested at this level on the turf yet but this is a strong angle for Maker and she’ll likely be the one to catch on the frontend.
8 - 5 - 7
This year’s edition of the Madison is a very impressive lineup and I’ll admit, I went back-and-forth a lot in this race. There are legitimate reasons to like several in here. Ultimately, I landed on Bell’s the One. She’s a filly that has shown promise from the beginning but I really believe this will be her best year yet. She is “catching up” with some of her older foes in this division. Her win in the Winning Colors was breathtaking, not only because she closed from last but also because the pace held together. She just simply ran down the rest of the field.
What to do with Guarana? She faced a pretty easy field last out, on a wet surface which she’s been known to handle well. But she demolished said easy field and you have to respect what she was able to do against the likes of Serengeti Empress, Point of Honor and others last year. I’m excited to see what’s in store for her this year.
Mia Mischief has hit the board in 18 out of 22 career starts and 17 of those have been in stakes races. She did appear to be a little flat in deep stretch last out in the Winning Colors, but maybe the Carousel took a little more out of her than we thought? She’s dangerous if she rebounds.
The pick 5 also starts in this race. I will definitely be using Amy’s Challenge on my ticket, and possibly even Sally’s Curlin. My approach will be to have coverage here and find a single later.
10 - 8 - 2 - 3
This Shakertown is TOUGH and because of that I’ll try to find a price. I’ll throw out the last race for Totally Boss, considering the trip he got. Things also didn’t go very smoothly for his in the Breeders’ Cup. He’s definitely a hard-luck horse but if he is gifted a good trip today, he’s good enough to run down anyone in this field.
Bound for Nowhere and Wildman Jack must be respected for obvious reasons and will be tough in here. My wild long shot will be Real News who appeared to lose his action or clip heels on the turf last out. Outside of that race, he’s been solid in his turf sprint efforts.
6 - 2 - 3
I love that Speech’s connections decided to take a shot and run her in the Grade 1 Ashland as opposed to the Grade 3 Beaumont. She is the only horse that is fast enough to keep Venetian Harbor honest on the frontend. She’s also the only horse who has ever come close to beating Gamine, which speaks volumes about her class.
Venetian Harbor is undoubtedly the horse to beat. Maybe she is too fast for everyone in this field? Maybe she won’t get pressure from any other horse in here? There’s really nothing negative to say about her or her chances. If no one is able to improve, she’s probably too fast for this field.
Bonny South beat Shedaresthedevil in that allowance race at Oaklwan…Shedaresthedevil came back to recently win the Indiana Oaks impressive too for Brad Cox. I like this filly and she seems to be improving, but she has gotten ideal setups in her last two and I’m not sure the Ashland today is going to play out that way.
2 - 4 - 6
There are some great storylines throughout the day on Saturday and the Rushing Fall storyline is right near the top. If she wins the Jenny Wiley, she will join Beholder and Lady Eli as the only mares to have won a Grade 1 at age two, three, four and five. Pretty cool. She also has an impeccable record here at Keeneland. The only time she’s lost a race at Keeneland, was the last time she was here in the Fall. She had a bad post, a quick run into the first turn, and wide trip, and still ran well all considering. I respect her today and it truly the horse to beat.
I just really want to take a shot with Juliet Foxtrot. She was the beaten favorite last out in the Mint Julep but I think she needed that race and it also didn’t help that she was involved in a very fast pace that setup perfectly for the winner. Saez hops aboard as Geroux will be at Belmont for Monomoy Girl.
Is Jolie Olympica a better sprinter or is she just as good going long? There’s no question about her talent, but she may wind up being most effective at distances up to a mile. That said, Richard Mandella wouldn’t ship her here if he didn’t think she could do it. She’s a serious threat.
9 - 7 - 10
The other storyline….the MAIN storyline. The filly against the boys. Only the second filly ever to run in the Bluegrass since the race was created in 1937. The leader in Kentucky Oaks points, on a quest for Kentucky Derby points. Personally, I love it and it’s the perfect time to try. What’s there to lose? If she doesn’t run well, she still has more than enough points to run in the Oaks. If she wins, she’ll have enough points to run in the Derby. And she has a legitimate chance of winning the Bluegrass. The question is, what will the pace scenario look like? Will Shivaree be alone on the lead? Will he get pressed by Swiss Skydiver, Basin, Rushie, all of the above, none of the above? It’s a little tough to predict and that’s the key to predicting Swiss Skydiver’s success.
I personally think it might be a quick pace, so I look to Attachment Rate to sit the right trip, mid-pack. He was forced wide into the first turn and close to a fast pace against the likes of Maxfield in the Watt Winn. He also ran really well against Dr. Post, your eventual runner-up in the Belmont. One more step forward could put him in a good spot.
Rushie is probably the horse to beat off of his numbers alone. He’s improving in each start and may just be too good for this field. Will be curious to see Javier's strategy from post 10.
6 - 3 - 2
Kuora looks like a pretty attractive import from Peru. She’s undefeated, has been training well locally for a barn that does well with South American imports, and Mike Smith hangs around to ride the last race. That’s enough for me! Of the horses with recent races, I prefer Romantic Pursuit and Summer in Saratoga (who closed into a slow pace to win at distance that was probably too short for her last out).