Keeneland Picks for Thursday, April 24

Race 1: Maiden Special Weight (4.5f, AW): #3 Beauty Sisters (M/L 2/1)
We don't start with the greatest of odds here being that she'll absolutely be bet down even further from her 2/1 morning line, but this $300,000 yearling purchase is about as well bred as they come, being by War Front and out of Nafisah, who has four winners from five starters. She sports quick works entering here and it's impossible to ignore Ward's stats with juveniles. Either single her in your early pick three or skip playing this race altogether.

Race 2: Claiming $25,000 (9f, AW): #3 Bowman's Causeway (M/L 4/1)
Progeny of Giant's Causeway historically have been successful on the Keeneland poly track and this guy proved to be no different two weeks ago when he closed late to finish third over course and distance -- just one and three quarter lengths behind the winner -- despite having covered the most ground of any runner in the field according to Trakus. He drops in class here and figures to be able to take advantage of what appears to likely be a quick early pace.

Race 3: Claiming $40,000 (6f, AW): #3 Juanita Senorita (M/L 5/1)
Daughter of Corinthian drops in class for Joseph Deegan who has favorable stats when making a sprint-route-sprint move, but what stands out to me is that in her only run at Keeneland -- which just so happened to be over today's course and distance -- she only missed by a nose and ran by far her fastest speed figure. She'll be making her third start of this form cycle and this meet's leading jockey Julien Leparoux gets the mount.

Race 4: Maiden Special Weight (9f, Turf): #14 Majestic Sunset (AE) (M/L 3/1)
Son of Artie Schiller has come close against good company, including Can'thelpbelieving, who runs later on the card; Asserting Bear; and Matador. Most recently finished second going a mile on good ground locally, was closing late, and just missed by half a length. Alan Garcia, who rode him last time out, retains the mount.
**If Majestic Sunset doesn't get into the race, I also like #1 Wildlife Artist & #11 Stroll To Victory  

Race 5: Allowance (about 7f, AW): #6 Schmooze (M/L 8/1)
Finished second last time out after gaining late in a 6f OC20K/n1x -- steps up in class here, but he should appreciate the extra furlong and if he runs back to his speed last out in what will be his second start of this form cycle, he should get the job done.

Race 6: Allowance (9f, Turf): #1 Can'thelpbelieving (M/L 5/2)
Broke his maiden in January before finishing fifth in the very salty G3 Palm Beach, just two and a half lengths behind second place finisher Mr. Speaker, who won the G3 Coolmore Lexington with ease last week. This is a step down in class.

Race 7: Allowance Optional Claiming (8.5f, AW): #11 Code West (M/L 5/1)
Son of Lemon Drop Kid makes his 2014 debut by returning to the all weather, on which he made his debut. When we last saw him, he finished fifth in the G2 Jim Dandy behind the likes of Palace Malice, Will Take Charge, and Moreno, so this is a definite drop in class. This will be his first start for Wayne Catalano and Julien Leparoux gets the mount.

Race 8: G3 Bewitch (12f, turf): #2 Left A Message (M/L 6/1)
Romantica is the deserving favorite off of her effort in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, but this will be her first start since then and I'm thinking she's beatable first time off the bench. The Proctor trained Left A Message most recently finished fourth in the G3 Very One, just one and three quarter lengths behind winner Inimitable Romanee, despite being steadied in the first turn.

Race 9: $10,000 Claiming (7f, AW): #11 Professor Trek (M/L 10/1)
Like most $10,000 claimers, this race is a mess, so might as well go for a price to finish off the day. Professor Trek comes in here after having won going wire-to-wire at Turfway Park. Yes, he steps up in class here, but his speed figures are improving, and given his running style, the cutback to seven furlongs could be helpful. He'll be on the lead here, it's just a matter of how long he can hold on.

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