The horse racing scene at BetOnline on Wednesday improves from yesterday with three additional racecourses on the schedule. A total of seven tracks are running on Wednesday, with Keeneland the biggest of the group by far. Keeneland has the spotlight in a sense Wednesday. The only competitor for Keeneland in terms of quality runners has to be Tampa Bay Downs, which isn’t saying much. There aren’t any big time stakes racing on Wednesday, in fact, you’re going to have to wait until May 1 for that. That’s Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs.
I would say it’s a long time coming, but it feels like we just had the Kentucky Derby. If it feels like that it’s because it is true. The 146th Kentucky Derby was in October without any fans. We have an early Kentucky Derby preview from about a month ago up on the blog. Concert Tour hasn’t looked so hot since then, but Essential Quality continues to gather attention. We are going to be at Keeneland on Wednesday to attack the eight-race card. There is a total of $429,000 in prize money available in Lexington. Head below for our free Keeneland picks for April 21, 2021.
Post Time: 1:05 p.m. EST
Distance:1 ½ Miles
Race 1 is a $81,000 event on the turf at Keeneland covering 1 ½ miles. High Tide and Yamato should have a strong presence in this one. High Tide is a one-time winner in seven attempts, with a win on February 19. That was a 1 length win over Light Cruiser in a $32,000 event. Good win for High Tide, but he was unable to match that performance on March 11 in his most recent assignment.
High Tide finished 4th for a $42,000 purse, and will be up to a $81,000 event on Wednesday. I’m not so impressed by most of the horses in this race, and 1 ½ miles should better suit High Tide despite this jump in class. He should be close in the stretch to give Yamato a strong challenger.
Yamato is 2 for 8 in his career, and has finished 1st, 2nd, 7th in his previous three entries. He beat Morning Stride by 3 lengths in an easy win for a $28,000 prize on December 17. Then came back to place 2nd behind Mid Day Image by 2 lengths in a $31,000 assignment on January 22. She wasn’t so hot in her most recent appearance, though, finishing 7th in a $35,000 event.
That was a discouraging performance, but if she can shake that effort off and get back to where she was before that race, Yamato will be tough to beat. This might be for a $81,000 purse, but the field isn’t good at all and Yamato should benefit.
Post Time: 2:45 p.m. EST
Race 4 runs for 7 furlongs on the dirt. Six horses are expected to run, with Hard Sting and Front Man circled on my shortlist. Hard Sting is a one-time winner in 13 attempts. He won a $21,708 event on October 17 over Bourbon Agogo by 11 lengths.
That was much too easy, but Hard Sting has been held winless in five straight performances since then. In any case, Hard Sting did finish in the top-3 in three of those outings, including the most recent on April 7. Hard Sting showed 3rd for a $23,000 purse, finishing 4 ½ lengths behind the winner.
Front Man is coming off an electric workout on March 19 with a time of 59.60 seconds at 5 furlongs. In his previous three attempts, Front Man has finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th in his career. He placed 2nd behind Awesome Work N Roll on January 21 in a $17,000 assignment, though he’s been going in the wrong direction. In his most recent outing, Front Man finished 4th in a $17,000 event on March 19.
That said, Front Man was only two heads behind for 2nd. This was a tight race between four horses at the wire. It could have easily gone to Front Man. He’s shown improvement since that appearance last month. His workout was terrific, and if he shows up like that Wednesday in that form, expect a winning run front Front Man.
Post Time: 3:51 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
In the sixth race of the day at Keeneland on Wednesday, we have 1 1/16 miles of racing for a $23,000 purse. Good Juju and Excursion must be taken seriously in this event. Good Juju is winless in eight attempts, but has placed 2nd in back-to-back outings going into Wednesday. He placed 2nd behind 3 lengths behind Perfect Sense for a $28,500 purse.
In his next performance, Good Juju placed 2nd behind Decision Maker by 5 ½ lengths for a $16,000 event. That was a big disappointment given the drop to $16,000. The idea was to slide down under $20,000 to get into the winner’s circle. If Good Juju can bounce back and run how he did in November, then he’s going to be close. Excursion was a $325,000 purchase in 2019. So far he hasn’t lived up to the lofty price tag.
Excursion has finished 4th, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 6th in his career. He finished top-3 in three straight before that ended on March 27 in a $32,000 event. Excursion finished 6th after flattening out and falling back. He’s down to a $23,000 race, which is the easiest of his career so far. His work in the morning has been solid, with a time of 49.60 seconds at 4 furlongs on April 13. Despite not wanting to be running in this low of a class, Excursion’s time is going to come soon to get to the winner’s circle.