|NAP||Silver Strand (4.44 ET Keeneland – Race 8)|
|Next Best||Good Spirits (5.16 ET Keeneland – Race 9)|
|Other||Curly Ruth (4.12 ET Keeneland – Race 7)|
Silver the best bet
Race 8 on Keeneland’s Thursday card is an $86,000 Allowance contest and Silver Strand can remain unbeaten for William Mott.
Much of the attention will be on the Paulo Lobo-trained Center Aisle, who reached the show in a pair of Grade 3 races last year. She’s been absent since November, however, and that lack of a run swings the advantage to Silver Strand.
A daughter of Frosted, she cost an enormous $575,000 as a yearling and created a smart impression when winning on debut at Saratoga in August. She ran away with the prize, beating a pair of subsequent winners in comfortable fashion.
Given the fact the second and third from that race won their next starts, the form looks extremely strong. She’s entitled to improve for the experience and subsequent workouts have suggested she’s done just that.
Silver Strand now takes on winners for the first time, but she’s completely unexposed and looks potentially very smart. If she does progress from that debut effort, she’s going to be very tough to stop.
Good Spirits in the feature
Race 9 is the feature Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes and In Good Spirits can take back-to-back stakes victories for Albert Stall Jr.
A daughter of Ghostzapper, she has won four of her 13 starts thus far. 2021 has been a successful year for this filly, who scored at Fair Grounds in January before a lesser run at Keeneland three months later.
That is her only blip of the campaign, however, as she went close in the Grade 3 Caress at Saratoga on her next start before comfortably kicking clear to win the Grade 3 Min Ladies Sprint at Kentucky Downs last month.
That was a very smart performance and she should have no problem dropping back in trip, as she’s not short of speed and won over this distance at Fair Grounds in January.
A draw in gate five is a big positive with a maximum field declared and she retains her partnership with John Velazquez. This should be run at a very strong clip and when her extra stamina comes into play late, she can surge past these rivals for a fifth career success.
Ruth to show
Race 7 is a $90,000 Allowance race and the in-form Curly Ruth looks overpriced for the Eddie Kenneally stable.
She started this sequence of strong form when second at Churchill Downs three starts ago, before filling out the same position at Ellis Park on her next outing.
She wasn’t fancied in the market for her most recent run at Kentucky Downs, but she deservedly got her head in front, winning a $156,000 allowance optional claimer in game fashion.
That was a very tough performance that saw her up with the pace throughout, so drawing gate two should allow her to repeat the feat from a good position. In fact, she’s best drawn of the protagonists.
Adam Beschizza gets on well with this filly and a repeat of her recent form would give her an excellent chance in this field.
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