One of the major Kentucky Derby prep races is the 94th running of the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday, April 7. Good Magic is listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite for trainer Chad Brown. Good Magic was the 2-year old male champion and won the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last year. A total of 15 horses, including one also-eligible are entered in Saturday’s Blue Grass Stakes that can be seen on NBCSN. Let’s look at the race and Blue Grass Stakes picks.
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The 2018 Blue Grass Stakes is scheduled for a post time of 6:23 p.m. Eastern at Keeneland on Saturday, April 7 and can be seen on NBCSN.
2018 Blue Grass Stakes
PP Horse Jockey Odds
1 Zing Zang Bridgmohan 30-1
2 Sporting Chance Saez 10-1
3 California Night Gaffalione 30-1
4 Kanthaka Leparoux 10-1
5 Quip Geroux 6-1
6 Marconi Moore 15-1
7 Blended Citizen Frey 15-1
8 Gotta Go Landeros 30-1
9 Tiz Mischief Lanerie 30-1
10 Free Drop Billy Ortiz Jr. 5-1
11 Good Magic Ortiz 2-1
12 Flameaway Lezcano 6-1
13 Machismo Radosevich 20-1
14 Arawak De La Cruz 30-1
Also-Eligible: Determinant (Gaffalione, 20-1).
The Blue Grass Stakes awards 170 points for Kentucky Derby qualification, with the winner getting 100 points, the runner-up getting 40, the third place finisher 20 and the fourth place finisher 10 points.
Good Magic is coming off a third place finish in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park on March 3. His toughest competition is expected to come from Free Drop Billy who is trained by Dale Romans who has won this race twice. Free Drop Billy won the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity last year at Keeneland. The horse is coming off a third place finish in the Gotham at Aqueduct last month and is listed as the second choice in the morning line odds at 5-1. Romans also has Tiz Mischief who won for the first time at Keeneland last year. He was fifth in the Tampa Bay Derby last time out. Tiz Mischief is listed as a 30-1 longshot.
The co-third choice on the morning line at odds of 6-1 is Quip who won the Tampa Bay Derby. He has won three of his four starts. Flameaway for John Oxley is also listed at 6-1. He finished second to Quip in the Tampa Bay Derby.
Todd Pletcher is considered one of the top trainers in the country and he will send Marconi in this race, but the horse is considered somewhat of a longshot at odds of 15-1. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas will be sending out Sporting Chance who won the Hopeful at Saratoga. He is listed at 10-1 on the morning line. Lukas won the Blue Grass in 1987 and in 2000.
Doug O'Neill won the Blue Grass last year with Irap and he sends out Arawak at odds of 30-1.
If you are looking for a jockey angle then consider Kanthaka who is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. The horse will be ridden by Julien Leparoux who has had a lot of previous success in this race. He won last year’s race aboard Irap and he also won the race in 2013. There is definitely some value on Kanthaka, as the horse is listed at 10-1 on the morning line.
Blue Grass Stakes Picks
This is a large field of 14 or 15 horses, but the morning line favorite is listed at odds of 2-1. That tells me that Good Magic has a very good chance to win this race. The horse is highly respected and could be a horse to consider in next month’s Kentucky Derby. I think he is the clear choice to win this race even at the low odds of 2-1. If you are looking for a longshot then I think Sporting Chance is worth a shot at odds of 10-1. I would also consider an exacta box with Good Magic, Sporting Chance and Kanthaka.
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