Blue Grass Stakes Picks -Keeneland Saturday, April 13, 2013

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THE RACE $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes Picks (G1) Keeneland Race 8 (Saturday, April 13, 2013: post time: 5:40 p.m./ET; 2:40 p.m./PT) 1 mile and one-eighth on the polytrack (three-year-olds)

Blue Grass Stakes PicksLast chance for these 14 three-year-olds to earn points to be able to enter the starting gate down the road in Louisville the first Saturday in May, so you know all the connections will be giving their best effort today. Here’s how the field shapes up:

#1 DYNAMIC SKY got dusted by Verrazano in the Tampa Bay Derby, but he was hung five wide and retains the riding services of the $10 million dollar man (Joel Rosario). The game plan is for him to drop back and make a late run.

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#2 MY NAME IS MICHAEL adds blinkers for his Hall of Fame trainer, but loses the aforementioned Mr. Rosario. Mixed signals.

#3 UNDRAFTED is named after his owner, Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker, who was an undrafted free agent after the 2004 NFL draft. He’s hoping his gelding can develop as successful a career as him.

#4 JAVA’S WAR gets a rider upgrade for his second start in 2013 and has every right to improve.

#5 PALACE MALICE had a tough trip in the Louisiana Derby and needs a solid performance today to earn Derby points in order to be promoted to Todd’s “A” squad.

#6 CHANNEL ISLE is trained by the legendary D. Wayne Lukas but looks better suited for turf.

#7 UNCAPTURED is the 7/2 morning line favorite primarily due to his fondness for polytack (four wins from six starts).

#8 CHARMING KITTEN is another Todd Pletcher trained runner who has had a nice turf campaign up to this point.

#9 TESSERON is a lightly raced interesting longshot who broke this maiden going long on polytrack in his career debut.

#10 FOOTBRIDGE just broke his maiden at Santa Anita, but loses his regular jockey (Garrett Gomez) to PALACE MALICE.

#11 BALANCE THE BOOKS was a Grade 2 winner last year, now making his second start of the year.

#12 WEST HILLS GIANT improved significantly last time out with the addition of blinkers, but may have distance limitations.

#13 RYDILUC is on a three race win streak, albeit on turf. I’ll make him prove to me first he can handle polytrack as effectively.

#14 FEAR THE KITTEN drew a very tough post for his closing style.

#15 DIVINE AMBITION is on the also eligible list and needs a scratch to draw into the field.

SELECTIONS
1. #4 JAVA’S WAR – I like this trainer this time of year.

2. #1 DYNAMIC SKY – Expect his best performance.

3. #2 MY NAME IS MICHAEL – Only his third start in Mott barn.

LONG SHOT VALUE PLAY: #9 TESSERON – Son of Tapit could surprise.

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WAGERING STRATEGY
Only four of the 14 runners are single digits on the morning line, which immediately tells you it’s a great betting race. If #4 JAVA’S WAR improves in his second start off the layoff (which he’s done twice previously in his career), this is his race to lose. I’ll key him in exactas with #1 DYNAMIC SKY, #2 MY NAME IS MICHAEL and #9 TESSERON. I’ll also play each of these three underneath runners to win as well.

BANKROLL PLAY
$20 Win: #1 JAVA’S WAR
$5 Win: #1 DYNAMIC SKY, #2 MY NAME IS MICHAEL, #9 TESSERON ($15).
$5 Exactas: #4 JAVA’S WAR over #1 DYNAMIC SKY, #2 MY NAME IS MICHAEL, #9 TESSERON ($15).

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