Friday has a big card with 13 racecourses available for wagering at BetOnline. There are five stakes races scheduled for today, with two stakes races at Keeneland worth $150,000 and another at Aqueduct Racetrack worth the same. All three races are Grade 3 events. It’s a warm up for Saturday, which features some big racing. The $800,000 Blue Grass Stakes (Gr. 2) is the biggest race on the schedule. It includes 170 points for the Kentucky Derby. Along with the Blue Grass, there is the $750,000 Wood Memorial (Gr. 2) and Santa Anita Derby $750,000 (Gr. 2) on Saturday.
All three events come with 170 points with 100 going to the winning team. If you want to watch one race, I recommend checking out how Essential Quality does in the Blue Grass at Keeneland. We will go straight to Keeneland on Friday, and then we’ll be back for Blue Grass Day on Saturday in Lexington. Keeneland has a nice ten-race card with $923,000 in prize money available. Head below for our free Keeneland picks for April 2, 2021.
Post Time: 1:05 p.m. EST
Distance:4 ½ Furlongs
Race 1 is a $60,000 event covering 4 ½ furlongs on the dirt. This is a race for the rookies, with every runner in this event making their debut. That’s eight first-time runners in Race 1 at Keeneland. Bohemian Frost and Dreamy Fly are held in high regard going into their debuts.
Bohemian Frost was a $42,000 purchase in September. John Ennis is taking on the training duties of Bohemian Frost, and has him running in fine form in workouts. Bohemian Frost was timed at 35.40 and 34.20 seconds at 3 furlongs, along with a time of 46.40 seconds at 4 furlongs.
Dream Fly is expected to have a big career behind Wesley A. Ward. Wesley is the owner and trainer of Dream Fly. If he didn’t feel confident in Dreamy Fly, then this wouldn’t be his horse. He is a master at Keeneland, and has been able to locate dominant two-year-old runners throughout his career.
She is the two-year-old daughter of American Pharoah and expected to have a promising career. Top jockey at Keeneland, Joel Rosario, will be aboard Dream Fly in her debut. If she can break well out of the gate, this should pull away from this field. A stakes race is likely in her future.
Post Time: 2:12 p.m. EST
Distance:4 ½ Furlongs
Race 3 is a 4 ½ furlong event on the dirt for a $60,000 purse. This is another event for the rookies. All eight horses are listed as running their first races on Friday. There is no surprise that the two top contenders are Brad Cox and Wesley Ward horses. Surprise surprise that Wesley Ward has another strong contender at Keeneland.
Brad Cox’s Midnight Pass was a $37,000 purchase in October by Marc Detampel. Midnight Pass has been in nice form in workouts, with times of 36, 36.20, 36 at 3 furlongs and 4 furlongs at 47.20 seconds. She will likely be tested by another Wesley horse projected to have a big career.
Wesley is sending Joel Rosario aboard Magniloquent, another one of his top newcomers in his barn at Keeneland. The idea is to have a runner or two ready to send to the Royal Ascot in June. If Magniloquent wants to go overseas for those high class events, a strong run in a $60,000 event is going to be required. Her work in the morning has been impressive as well. I would side with another Wesley rookie on Friday afternoon in Lexington.
Race 7 – Palisades Turf Sprint
Post Time: 4:24 p.m. EST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
One of the big $100,000+ events at Keeneland is the Palisades Turf Sprint for a $100,000 purse. Ten horses are expected to participate in this race. Bodenheimer and Fauci are circled on my shortlist in Race 7. Bodenheimer is a three-time winner in five outings.
He has gone 1st, 1st, 5th, 1st, 8th. Bodenheimer was most recently a winner of the $150,000 Indian Summer Stakes on October 4. He beat Cowan in a small upset by 1 length to make it three wins in four attempts. Bodenheimer was coming off a 5th place performance on September 12 in the $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes to disrupt a hat-trick bid.
Bodenheimer made his graded debut on November 6 and finished 8th in the $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (Gr. 2). That was far too tough, so Bodenheimer is down in class to a $100,000 event. Bodenheimer must be respected on these terms.
Fauci has been a consistent runner, finishing 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 2nd in his career. In his most recent assignments, Fauci was 2nd in the $85,000 Skidmore Stakes in August, and then came back a month later to place 2nd behind Outadore by 1 ¾ lengths in the $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint. Bodenheimer was 5th in that event. After a layoff, expect Fauci to return in strong form.