Return of the Lady
By: Laurie Ross, IMTBreds
The Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland features the return of the exceptional LADY ELI. The five year old mare was made the even-money favorite for the 1 1/16 mile turf race. The Jenny Wiley Stakes has a roll call of illustrious turf mares; Tepin, Forever Together, My Typhoon, and two-time Jenny Wiley winner Intercontinental.
Who can upset if Lady Eli isn’t 100% for her return?
CATCH A GLIMPSE prepped in the one mile Sand Springs Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The Mark Casse trainee was so dominant as a two year old, she earned three Sovereign Awards in 2015 as Champion 2 Year Old Filly, Champion Grass Mare and Horse of the Year. Catch a Glimpse captured last year’s edition of the Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland.
TIME AND MOTION returns to the races after her winter layoff. She mixed it up with Catch a Glimpse last year and beat her twice. James Toner’s charge is a winner at 1 1/16 miles, but prefers going longer.
ILLUMINANT was third in last year’s edition of the Jenny Wiley before capturing the Gamely (G1) at Santa Anita. The filly sat the rest of the year on the sidelines. She returned with a victory in the Wishing Well Stakes and should move forward off that start.
DICKINSON puts her two-race win streak on the line. She graduated from optional claimers last year to Grade 2 stakes winner this year. She cuts back from 1 1/8 miles, but won last year at a mile, so distance isn’t an issue.
QUIDURA (GB) captured both starts last year in the States, including the Valley View (G3) at Keeneland over soft turf. She tuned up with a bullet 4F turf breeze and should get a clear, outside trip.
KITTEN'S ROAR enters for the owner/trainer team of Ramsey and Maker. It’s no secret that the Ramsey’s love to win at Keeneland and have been leading owners of past meets. Kitten’s Roar has placed first or second in her last six starts, but only one was a graded placing. She’s stepping up into elite company and will get a serious class test. Her speed figures say she fits.
GOODYEARFORROSES (IRE) might be 20-1, but the mare brings a three race win streak to Keeneland. She dominated at Santa Anita for new trainer Richard Baltas and Goodyearforroses owns the highest late pace speed figure in the field. She’s never encountered the likes of Lady Eli or Catch A Glimpse, but Goodyearforroses is worth a look as a live longshot.
Lady Eli has been working strongly and appears ready to pick up her winning ways. Only two chinks in her armor, a return off a long layoff against a well-matched field and post #1. If Lady Eli settles in her customary position behind the pace, she could lack running room in the stretch.
Unfortunately, a morning line of even money offers zero value at the betting window. Catch a Glimpse should be the next obvious choice, but she hasn’t been breezing well in the mornings at Keeneland. Dickinson was the big mare in a small pasture in Florida. She’s earned the chance to prove that she belongs here. Paco Lopez is a top turf rider and the mare has been breezing strongly at Palm Meadows.
#1 LADY ELI (1-1)
#4 DICKINSON (8-1)
#6 TIME AND MOTION (4-1)
#2 GOODYEARFORROSES (20-1) – longshot pick
This is a well-matched field. You could go one of two ways, multiple box bets to cover the field hoping to catch a good return on exotics, or expect that Lady Eli will win and key her over the rest in a trifecta or superfecta hoping for longshots to hit the board. An exacta won’t be worth the price of a program.
$0.20 Key: 1 / all/all/all = $42
$1 Super Box: 1, 4, 6, 2 = $12
$1 Super Box: 1, 4, 6, 3 = $12
$1 Super Box: 1, 4, 6, 7 = $12
$1 Super Box: 1, 3, 4, 8 = $12
Total: $94.00 $6 left for a bottle of water, or two…