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Frank Carulli: Keeneland Late Pick 4 Analysis | Friday, October 20, 2023

by Frank Carulli

October 19, 2023

They’re not listed as stakes races, but they probably could be. Keeneland’s Late Pick 4 this Friday features three six-figure allowance races with 10 or more entries in each. The stakes are sure to be high in the pool for the 50-cent wager. Here’s a closer look:

KEE 7th race (4:12 P.M. EST) -- LAURA’S CHARM dueled on the inside in an unfamiliar ‘lead’ role and was reeled in by the trip-sitting winner and two deep closers. She rallied to miss in a photo finish in a double key race three back, then ran third to Lady Goldstart (4-8, $155k turf). SHOOTOUTTHELIGHTS set a fast pace on a ‘good’ Saratoga lawn despite a bumping match at the start and held off next-out allowance runaway Dontlookbackatall despite drifting in the stretch.

KEE 8th race (4:44 P.M. EST) -- RAGING SEA, multiple Grade 1-placed as a 2-year-old, appears sitting on a big effort in her third start this year. She made an eye-catching move on the final turn, engaged in two separate duels to the finish and settled for second. FOREVER AFTER ALL, the lone winner in the field at 1-1/8 miles, did it in wire-to-wire fashion, drawing away from favored Little Prankster, who came back to win three consecutive allowance sprints. POBLANO drew off under ‘moderate urging’ in her maiden win at one mile but didn’t duplicate that effort as the favorite in a follow-up stakes try. She breezed 5F In 1:01-1/5 at Keeneland last Friday to get ready.

KEE 9th race (5:16 P.M. EST) -- EASTER has been plagued by slow starts – and that could be magnified on the cutback to one mile in a 12-horse field. But he merits morning-line favoritism, nonetheless, with two wins, two seconds and two thirds in allowance company since arriving from France. MAIN EVENT, 3-1/2 lengths behind EASTER in a longer route, is the lone graded stakes winner in the field, but he probably will need to find a passing gear for new pilot Luis Saez to win in this spot. STRONG QUALITY carried his speed to back-to-back turf allowance wins and Gulfstream Park and Keeneland early in his 3-year-old season, set the pace in a pair of Grade 1 stakes before tiring, then set a brisk pace at Kentucky Downs before the deep closing longshots passed by last out. KINGMAX is 2-for-2 on the grass in the U.S. and should get a good set-up at a favorable distance; however, both races came back weak, as evidenced by a 7/0-0-0 next-out record of the closest finishers behind him.

KEE 10th race (5:16 P.M. EST) -- The 11 entrants in this $20,000/nw2 long sprint posted maiden wins at eight different tracks. CAPTIVATED DRAMA has a good first gear and worked 4F in :47-3/5 since the claim by Diodoro, but he draws outside of a couple speedy rivals in his bid to turn the tables on morning-line favorite DUAL MONARCHY, who projects a better trip, albeit as an underlay in the wagering. LIBERTANGO had a good tune-up for this on the turf, leading late between calls in a photo-finish setback off a two-month freshening. CRAVENSWORTH has shown marked improvement, gets in light-weighted from the rail and joins late-running longshot PISTOL OR SHOTGUN on the Pick 4 ticket.

Suggested 50-Cent Ticket
KEE 7th Race: 7, 10
KEE 8th Race: 2, 3, 8
KEE 9th Race: 4, 7, 8, 10
KEE 10th Race: 1, 4, 5, 7, 11
Cost: $60