Mr. Ed's Best Bets, Saturday, October 21
TRACKING MR. ED: The good (I banked a profit of $58.80 on chalky plays of $100 after several scratches, picking a Daily Double and two other winners). The Bad (a very poor card before scratches). The ugly (condition of the saturated main track and elimination of turf racing). Today’s forecast: blue skies and high in the mid-60s. Here’s hoping for a return to the grass.
TODAYS SELECTIONS: As disappointing as yesterday’s Keeneland program was, today’s is one of the most challenging of the meet, highlighted by Race 6 (3:40 p.m. ET/12:40 p.m. PT) The Perryville, a seven-furlong sprint for three-year-olds. The stakes has attracted a deep field of sophomores, headed by Mr. Ed’s Kentucky Derby choice, the ill-fated #1 VERIFYING (1-1 morning line). Mr. Ed is willing to forgive yet never forget. Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Flavien Prat, he’s Mr. Ed’s BEST BET of the day. Wager: $40 to Win. ($40). Here are my other choices:
Race 1 (1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT)
Mr. Ed can still recall a blustery, #4 COLD AS HELL (5-2 morning line) Spring day in Chicago when I visited #6 COMISKEY PARK (9-2). Sometimes, a hunch bet is just too hard to pass up. Wager: $5 Exacta Box of 4,6. ($10).
Race 3 (2:04 p.m. ET/11:04 a.m. PT)
Give me a shot of #7 BOURBON FEVER (6-1 morning line), preferably neat. Trained by hot young conditioner Norm Casse and ridden by equally hot veteran jockey Ricardo Santana, the sophomore son of Dialed In is poised to break his maiden in this competitive $20K claimer. Wager: $10 Win and Place. ($20).
Race 4 (2:36 p.m. ET/11:36 a.m. PT)
Mr. Ed likes three for the money. #2 OEUVRE (4-1 morning line); #3 SWEET DANI GIRL (9-2), and #4 ADAAY IN ASIA (3-1). Wager: $5 Exacta Box. ($30)
Race 5 (3:08 p.m. ET/12:08 p.m. PT)
Mr. Ed likes first-time-starter #8 DENIM AND PEARLS (6-1 morning line). Go-to trainer Brad Cox sends out the high-priced daughter of Into Mischief. Many factors point to victory: Solid rider Florent Geroux; excellent works, and Cox’s stellar 26% win rate with first-timers. Wager: $10 Win and Place. ($20)
Race 7 (4:12 p.m. ET/1:12 p.m. PT)
The sophomore #6 BEN FRANKLIN (9-2 morning line) is poised to score in his second lifetime start for Kentucky trainer Kenny McPeek. He showed enough late foot in his debut to convince Mr. Ed that the stretch out to two turns suits his running style. Julien Leparoux rides. Surly to bed, early to ride. Wager: $10 Win and Place. ($20)
Race 8 (4:44 p.m. ET/1:44 p.m. PT)
Mr. Ed likes mid-priced #3 NOT SO CLOSE (6-1 morning line). Ricardo Santana returns to ride Empire Maker’s offspring following a victory at Saratoga. Trainer Norm Casse has colt’s speed figures climbing. The rest won’t hurt. Looks as if he’s found a home on the turf. Wager: $10 Win and Place. ($20)
Race 10 (5:48 p.m. ET/2:48 p.m. PT)
To finish out a successful day, Mr. Ed will take a strategic stab with #10 GREGORY’S PRIDE (10-1 morning line). Trained by above-average conditioner Phil D’Amato, this sneaky good gelding comes off the bench in a turf sprint. He has a win over the Keeneland weeds and sports a string of consistent works. Top-flight jock Flavien Prat looks to repeat his Spring win. Make me proud of this pick. Wager: $5 Win, Place and Show. ($15)
TOTAL WAGERS: $175
NEWS FROM TRACKSIDE: Earlier this week, Keeneland made an historic announcement. Construction for a new Paddock Building will begin in January 2024. Located alongside the Keeneland Paddock and Walking Ring, the new Paddock Building will expand viewing and dining experiences available to the public during Keeneland’s two signature race meets, enhance hospitality during Keeneland’s Thoroughbred auctions and provide exceptional new venues for special events year-round. Price Tag: $93 million.
WHAT WILL MR. ED (3-2)* DO ON SUNDAY?
Bet the Chiefs (-5.5) to tomahawk the Chargers