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Check out our predictions and odds for the Perryville Stakes at Keeneland!
Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.
Here are my plays ($60 in total)
Take a look at our Horse Racing Calculator and ensure your bets!
Verifying, who just missed winning a Grade 1 at Keeneland this spring, returns to the heart of horse country when he headlines a field of six sophomore males in the $250,000 Perryville Stakes on Saturday.
Three times a runner-up in Grade 1 races, the Brad Cox son of Justify most recently finished second in the 7-furlong H. Allen Jerkens Memorial (G1) at Saratoga eight weeks ago.
The winner of the Grade 3 Indiana Derby two starts back, he will take another at the 7-furlong distance in the Perryville. In his last start at Keeneland, he was beaten by just a neck when second in the Grade 1 Blue Grass.
Chief among his opponents on Saturday will be the unbeaten invader from California, Dr. Venkman.
A son of Ghostzapper, he has won both of his career starts by more than five lengths. Both were at Del Mar, where most recently he easily handled allowance company while going 7 furlongs last month.
Another to watch for on Saturday is Raise Cain, who won the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes earlier this year.
Trained by Ben Colebrook, he was beaten just a nose by Verifying in the Indiana Derby. Last year, he broke his maiden impressively at the same track and trip that he will see on Saturday.
The favorite will take some beating after often running well against top competition for much of the year. Second in three Grade 1 races in his career, he earned his first graded stakes win two starts back over Raise Cain in the Indiana Derby (G3).
Trained by Brad Cox, it will be up to him and the likely second choice, Dr. Venkman, to contend for the early pace, and that opponent comes into this race very sharp.
Considering his class, form, and good race over the track, the son of Justify is an obvious threat here, but as the clear favorite, I look forward to trying to beat him.
This will be a real test for the California-based shipper after two eye-catching performances at Del Mar to begin his career. In both his debut and as a recent allowance winner, he looks the part of a very good sprinter.
Clearly going well right now for trainer Mark Glatt, he has found a race with plenty of talent, but none of his stakes experienced opponents are world beaters.
With his good early speed, I expect him to take the race right to Verifying and I like his chances to beat him at this 7-furlong distance. He is the top pick.
A graded stakes winner at a flat mile and a winner over the track, this son of Violence should be respected in the Perryville.
While I don’t love his fourth-place finishes in the West Virginia and Oklahoma Derbies in his last two starts, they are good enough to believe a small move forward on Saturday puts him in with a chance.
Trained by Ben Colebrook, he has been training well at Keeneland in preparation for this $250,000 race. He will not be a top pick here, but I will use him in the exotics.
Trained by Keith Desormeaux, this son of Candy Ride has not been seen since finishing in the middle of the pack in the Kentucky Derby.
A winner of the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes in the start before that, he clearly brings some class to the table on Saturday. A winner of 3-of-8 lifetime, he was second, but well beaten by the winner in his only previous start at Keeneland.
While I do believe that he fits with these stakes horses, the talent in this race should make this a tough spot for him to run for the first time in nearly six months.
Undefeated in four career starts, this Maryland-bred son of Frosted will get his first real test on Saturday for trainer Brittany Russell.
He looked very good in easily winning all three of his starts late in his 2-year-old season at Laurel Park, including the Maryland Juvenile, but then was away from the races for nearly ten months.
Upon his return last month at Pimlico, the late runner made it look easy, powering by older allowance company down the stretch. I believe he is a talented horse who can compete at this level. He has a big shot to surprise in the Perryville.
Trained by Brendan Walsh, this son of Frosted has yet to break through against the stakes company. He did break his maiden over the Keeneland main track while going 7 furlongs back in April.
Five times in the money in six career starts, he also was a smart allowance winner at Ellis Park three starts back. That win pushed him into stakes company where he has finished third in both the Ellis Park Derby and Harrods Creek.
A late runner, he will look to pick up the pieces in the stretch and is a threat to fill out the exotics, but this appears to be his toughest test yet.
Perryville Stakes Race Information
Perryville Stakes predictions and best bets are here! See the full race analysis and odds for Keeneland this Saturday!
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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