Keeneland will be the spotlight of the horse racing world in North America over the next two days. Saturday is the biggest race day on the calendar at Keeneland Race Course. The running of the Toyota Blue Grass (Gr. 2) for $600,000 will be on the agenda tomorrow. Along with the Blue Grass, the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (Gr. 1) for $400,000 will be in the cards. There are a couple of big stakes races at Keeneland on Friday as an appetizer before the main course on. The Maker’s Mark Mile (Gr. 1) and the Beaumont Stakes (Gr. 3) will total $400,000 in available money. The Maker’s Mark Mile will offer the biggest prize of the day with a purse of $300,000. We will have you covered for both races along with a bonus selection at Keeneland on Friday. Head below for our free Keeneland Race Course picks for July 10, 2020.
Post Time: 2:12 p.m. EST
Distance: 6 ½ Furlongs
Race 3 isn’t a stakes race, but it still comes with a nicely sized purse of $77,000. Eight horses are registered to participate, with two horses on opposite sides of the gate on my shortlist. Breaking News and Gozilla are expected to run strong runs in Race 3. Breaking News gets the outside from the No. 8 post position.
He has been running well recently and gets a slightly easier assignment than his last trip out. This is about around the class he usually runs in, so it isn’t a huge drop. Breaking News finished 3rd in an event for a $81,000 purse on May 23 at Churchill Downs. Given than Breaking News closed as a fairly big underdog, I’d say showing in that race was a success for his connections.
Breaking News has finished 3rd, 4th, 4th, 6th, 3rd in his previous four entries. He has a win in 1 of 12 races, with the win recorded on April 13, 2019 at Oaklawn Park for a $100,000 purse. Breaking News was the favorite in that event and took care of the assignment. He had a lot of consistency going for him back then. Breaking News finished 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, 1st to open his career.
However, Breaking News hasn’t placed in a race since finishing 2nd on May 27, 2019 at Churchill Downs. Since that event, Breaking News has finished 8th, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 6th, 3rd. Breaking News has been off for the last couple of months. He’s back and looks better than ever according to his work in the morning. Breaking News recently posted a red-hot time of 46.80 seconds over 4 furlongs. That’s quick and suggests that Breaking News should be a player on Friday.
Gozilla gets a big drop in class after running in the Runhappy Hopeful Stakes (Gr. 1) and Champagne Stakes (Gr. 1) in 2019. He didn’t run badly in those events either, with finishes of 3rd and 4th. He was competing against Tiz the Law in the Champagne Stakes, so there wasn’t much of a chance. In his debut on August 10, 2019, Gozilla won over Ox Bridge by 4 ½ lengths for a $90,000 purse. This is the easiest race of Gozilla’s young career. Expect him to be the class of the field on Friday.
Race 7 – Beaumont Stakes
Post Time: 4:24 p.m. EST
The first of two stakes races at Keeneland is the Beaumont Stakes for $100,000 in Race 7. The Beaumont Stakes will be 7 furlongs of racing on the dirt. Four Graces, Wicked Whisper, and Speech are both on my shortlist, with Four Graces looking to add another win to his mantle after winning 3 of the first 4 races in her career.
She is coming off a win in the Dogwood Stakes (Gr. 3) on June 6 at Churchill Downs on June 6 for his second straight win. Four Graces won over Miss T Too by 1 ¾ lengths for the top prize out of a $81,000 purse in May. Her good form carried over to the next month, as Four Graces finished 2 ½ lengths clear of Edgeway in the Dogwood Stakes.
Speech is going to more than a willing runner in the Beaumont Stakes on Friday. She may not be coming off a win, but is coming off a heck of an event in the Santa Anita Oaks (Gr. 2) on June 6. In her most difficult test to date, Speech showed that she belonged with the big girls in that race.
She finished 4 lengths short of heavy favorite Swiss Skydiver. Speech has finished in the top-3 in all six races in her career, with a win on December 14, 2019 at Los Alamitos for the only win of her career. Speech has gone 2nd in four straight outings. Speech is cross-listed on Friday, so a scratch is possible. Wicked Whisper will be racing for the first time since running in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (Gr. 1) on November 1, 2019.
That was a $2 million dollar event which saw British Idiom win by a neck over Donna Veloce. Prior to that race, Wicked Whisper won the $400,000 Frizette Stakes (Gr. 1) on October 6, 2019 at Belmont Park over Frank’s Rockette by 2 ¾ lengths. Wicked Whisper also won her debut on August 25, 2019 to go 6 ¼ lengths clear of Highly Glory. Purchased at auction for $500,000 in 2018, Wicked Whisper was bought to win plenty of big races. The Beaumont Stakes is down in class for her abilities. I’m willing to back Wicked Whisper in her first event of 2020.
Race 8 – Maker’s Mark Mile
Post Time: 4:57 p.m. EST
The main event of the day on Friday is the Maker’s Mark Mile for a $300,000 purse. It will feature a mile of racing on the turf with ten horses scheduled to get the nod. This is essentially a rematch of the Shoemaker Mile, with War of Will, Without Parole, Next Shares, and Raging Bull all meeting again and on my shortlist.
Parlor is on my upset selection for the Maker’s Mark Mile. He has been running well recently with four straight performances in the top-3, including 3rd in his most recent race in the Wise Dan Stakes (Gr. 2) on June 20. Parlor has raced in eight graded events but never a Grade 1 race. That is concerning versus this elite field, but should likely be lower than +1000 on the morning-line.
Preakness winner, War of Will, made his debut on turf in the Shoemaker Mile on May 25 and was 6th in that one. He was quick, but just didn’t have it like he did last year in the Preakness. War of Will was dropped to 6th after finishing 5th because of interference. Without Parole, Next Shares, and Raging Bull all finished ahead of War of Will in that race, which saw Raging Bull pull away late.
Since winning the Preakness, War of Will has finished 9th, 5th, 3rd, 9th, 6th. With a turf race under his belt, perhaps that’s the race he needed to prepare him for the Maker’s Mark Mile today. He has the potential to win here, but is going to have it tough against Without Parole and Raging Bull. Without Parole is 4 for 12 in his career, with finishes of 3rd in the Breeders’ Mile Cup Mile (Gr. 1), 11th in the Pegasus, and 3rd in the Shoemaker Mile in his most recent run on May 25.
Raging Bull has quite the resume to his name going into Friday. The French bred Raging Bull is a winner in 6 of 13 races in his career, which includes four graded wins, two of which were Grade 1 events in the Hollywood Derby on December 1, 2018 and Shoemaker Mile on May 25 in his most recent performance. Raging Bull cleared the field by 2 ¼ lengths to take the most money out of the $300,000 purse.
He has been close in other Grade 1 races as well, with finishes of 3rd in the Manhattan Stakes and 2nd in the Fourstardave Handicap. Overall, Raging Bull has finished in the top-3 in 10 out of 13 career races. Chad Brown is spoiled yet again as he was in the Shoemaker Mile with Without Parole and Raging Bull. Brown likely has another winning horse in the Maker’s Mark Mile today at Keeneland. In nearly an identical race as the Shoemaker, I’m on Raging Bull to repeat for back-to-back wins in the Shoemaker Mile and Maker’s Mark Mile.