Sixty Sails Handicap
Although Santa Teresita has been running extremely well this season I think she is still worth opposing in this race. She'll be even money or better but she's never shown good form on real dirt. Her one and only try on the surface was a total debacle at Delaware. I don't think she's really that bad on dirt but it's possible, given her ability on turf and synthetics that dirt might not be her best surface. Swift Temper is far and away the best of the rest. She was very game when chasing the unbeaten One Caroline home last time out. Many of her better races have come around one turn but she has form good enough to handle anyone aside from the favorite. She was very sharp in her last workout and it bodes well for her chances here.
Giant's Causeway Stakes
This is an almost unbelievable collection of playable horses running at a distance that can often yield any kind of result. There is nothing specifically wrong with the favorites Diamondrella and Genuine Devotion but there are so many other horses with a chance it seems a shame to stick with the favorite. Diamondrella is riding a 4 race win streak but all those wins came at Belmont and this is a cutback from what is likely her best distance. Genuine Devotion is also on a 4 race win streak but she's been away since last June. She did look scary on the grass last year but she's not worth 5/2 going for a stable that's been pretty cold. The horse I'm going to focus on is Coy Cat. She's in a real zone right now having won her last three starts on turf, all at this distance as well. There is nothing wrong with Ride Em Cowgirl whose form is somewhat muddled with most of her starts coming on synthetics. She's got good tracking speed and has never run a bad race on the grass. I think connections would prefer to see her have a grass campaign, the only real worry is that she's on the inside of what could be a crazy race. The same could said for longshot Kosmo's Buddy. She has a poor draw but she did run a very good third behind Just For Keeps in her seasonal debut. Just For Keeps is 4/1 in this race but Kosmo's Buddy could be over 40/1 at the off. She is a distance specialist and her best race is good enough to compete with these. She'll need quite a ride to win from post 2 though.
Ben Ali Stakes
This race has a very even assimilation of talent and I'm hoping that results in fair prices all around. The first thing that stands out in this race is that there is no speed and speed has been doing well at Keeneland. I think the short sharp work from Grasshopper is a possible signal that he's headed to the fore. He has shown enough speed to get in front in the past and with no one else really capable here it probably falls to him. The problem with taking Grasshopper, despite his pace advantage, is that he's been just brutal lately. He is not the same horse he was in 07' and the early part of 08'. So would seem as if we have a lone pacesetter we can count on to falter. Dominican and Monba both have good form at Keeneland and will both likely stalk the pace. I think there is little between them at their best but I prefer Dominican slightly. The horse I actually like best of all is Sterwins. I thought he was breathtaking in this race last year and his only other synthetic start was also a very good one. One trend that I've noticed in Keeneland route races is that is the pace is fast or decent the advantage goes to the front runners but if the pace is slow the advantage goes to the best finisher. Sterwins is definitely the best finisher in the race and I expect him to cut down this group regardless of the pace. His comeback effort on the grass this year showed that he still has some kick in those old legs. He will be very tough to beat here.