Ben Ali Stakes Predictions, Picks, Odds (Keeneland)

Ben Ali Stakes Post Position and Odds

Odds for Ben Ali Stakes taken from Twinspires Sportsbook!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 COWBOY DIPLOMACY 30/1
BET HERE
C J Hernandez B Walsh
2 MIGHTY HEART 6/1
BET HERE
J Graham J Carroll
3 PROXY 7/2
BET HERE
B J Hernandez Jr M Stidham
4 DYNAMIC ONE 4/1
BET HERE
I Ortiz Jr T Pletcher
5 WARRANT 2/1
BET HERE
F Prat B Cox
6 TARTUFO 20/1
BET HERE
R Bejarano C Vaccarezza
7 SCALDING 9/2
BET HERE
J Castellano C McGuaghey III
8 TITLE READY 12/1
BET HERE
J Velazquez D Stewart

Ben Ali Stakes Predictions and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($45 in total)

$10 Exacta Part Wheel – Dynamic One over Warrant, Proxy and Scalding = $30

$5 Exacta Part Wheel – Warrant, Proxy and Scalding over Dynamic One = $15

Top Pick: Dynamic One (4/1)

Ben Ali Stakes

Fresh off a game runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap, Warrant looks like the likely favorite among a field of eight older males entered in Saturday’s $300,000 Ben Ali at Keeneland.

A 4-year-old son of Constitution, he was beaten just ahead by the streaking Express Train in the Big Cap seven weeks ago. The Brad Cox-trainee closed out last season with a victory in the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby and will be ridden by the hot Flavien Prat on Saturday

Among his rivals in Grade 3 Ben Ali is the two-time Canadian Horse of the Year Mighty Heart. The winner of the 2020 edition of the Queen’s Plate, as well as three stakes last year, he will be making his seasonal debut for trainer Josie Carroll on Saturday.

Another who should get plenty of betting support is Godolphin’s homebred Proxy. The well-bred Tapit colt hit the board in four consecutive graded stakes last year as a 3-year-old.

After a lengthy layoff, he returned in February with an easy allowance score at Fair Grounds, and followed that up with a second-place finish to Olympiad in the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic four weeks ago.

Ben Ali Stakes Predictions and Race Analysis

Warrant

Third in his seasonal debut, I did question if this one was capable of beating true graded stakes horses after being no match for Mandaloun and Midnight Bourbon that afternoon. That worry has lessened after the son of Constitution shipped to California and ran a bang up second to the state’s top older horse in the Big Cap.

A repeat of that effort certainly gives him a big chance on Saturday, but this time he will be the favorite and the horse everyone is watching. It might not matter, but I do wonder about the cut back in distance and how he will respond to all the recent travel.

A three-time stakes winner last year against second-flighters, he might be ready to move up to the big leagues this year. He is a big threat here, but not quite my top pick.

Proxy

This Godolphin homebred was knocking on the door in some solid Kentucky Derby preps last year but was never able to break through and actually win one. So it was again last time in his second race off the layoff when he could not stay with the talented Olympiad and finished second-best in the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic.

The defeat knocked his stakes record to 0-for-5, but he was competitive in all of them and faced numerous good horses. Will Saturday finally be the day that he breaks through? It is certainly possible, as the well-bred runner has run nine good races in his nine-race career and should be ready for his third race this season.

Still, I worry that he is a horse that just does not want to run by good horses. We shall see, but I think this might be yet another settle for a secondary award for the son of Tapit.

Dynamic One

On the one hand, this handsome son of Union Rags did very little in both the Kentucky Derby and Travers last year, which were his two biggest tests. On the other hand, he demonstrated that he belongs with good horses by winning the Curlin Stakes at Saratoga and just missing in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial.

Frankly, he seemed like a horse who would get better with age. That belief should get tested on Saturday. After a layoff of 6 ½ months, he returned to the races in a stakes race at Tampa Bay Downs last month. He finished third to Scalding that afternoon, but I liked the performance.

I believe he should make a step forward in his second race back and should get just enough speed to set up his rally. He also gets a distance on Saturday which has produced his best results. In a wide-open race, he is the top pick.

Scalding

This one looks to be a developing graded stakes type for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey. After not getting going with his career debut until November of his 3-year-old season, and not doing anything in that debut, he has made great strides in the last four starts.

Getting better with each start, impressive maiden and allowance wins at Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs began the year, before his stakes debut in the listed Challenger Stakes at Tampa last time. Although it was not graded, it drew a solid field that included the returning Dynamic One, and Scalding was able to battle between horses for the win.

I only expect him to get better from the experience, and now he moves up to a solid graded company. It will be a test, but with good tactical speed, quickly improving, and already battle-tested, I think he has a real shot here.

Mighty Heart

During his layoff, this feel-good story Canadian-bred son of Dramedy collected his second consecutive title as his home nation’s Horse of the Year. That’s worth celebrating, but his opposition will not be intimidated on Saturday as he makes his first start of 2022.

I feel like the synthetic surface at Woodbine is probably his best surface, although he has proven to be a tough foe on the dirt as well. It’s worth noting that he began his season last year at Keeneland, as well, and ran a pretty good race, but faded to third in a strong allowance race.

If he can reproduce that performance, he will likely be in the mix turning for home, but I believe this competition will prove a little too tough for him in his first race back.

Title Ready

It seems like this son of More Than Ready has been around for a long time for trainer Dallas Stewart, and as a 7-year-old with more than $700,000 in the bank, there is some truth to that.

A graded stakes winner early last season, he has not raced much since, and when he has, he hasn’t been able to produce his best.

Last out, he made up some ground to be beaten less than two lengths in an Oaklawn Park allowance race. While that may give his supporters some hope, I will need more to believe he is back to a point where he can seriously contend with a tough field like this.

Tartufo

This lightly raced son of Creative Cause was able to win back-to-back races this winter, but they came against significantly cheaper than he will face here. His graduation to stakes company was a decent effort, finishing third in the Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park three weeks ago.

He looks to be maturing into a pretty nice horse and is not completely out of this, but making another jump up in class will be tough. He’s still at least a cut below the top ones in here until he proves otherwise.

Cowboy Diplomacy

This 6-year-old gelding from the barn of Brendan Walsh has some speed and has drawn the rail on Saturday. He also has shown some flashes of talent, but his races have been so spread out, it’s tough to know how good he can be.

Likely a horse who has struggled to stay healthy, perhaps he is entered here because he is feeling good again. Despite that, and while he may be involved early, his recent form is not good enough to look at him as a live longshot on Saturday.

How to Watch the Ben Ali Stakes

Ben Ali Stakes Race Information
What Ben Ali Stakes (Grade 3)
Location Keeneland
Time Saturday, April 23 — 4:44 pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $300,000

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]

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