Trainer Chad Brown will send out a pair of contenders in Friday’s $300,000 Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) at Keeneland which drew a field of nine.
Brown will saddle the lukewarm 7-2 morning line favorite Raging Bull, who makes his first start since a 10th place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) over the Keeneland turf last November. Irad Ortiz Jr has the call and will break from the eight post.
Sacred Life (4-1) gives Brown a strong one-two punch in the race, one of the few Grade 1 turf races in the U.S. that Brown has not won. Sacred Life is coming off the bench, last seen running fourth in the Old Forrester Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs last September. He reunites with jockey Javier Castellano.
Trainer Dan Blacker sends in Hit the Road (4-1) from Santa Anita. The four-year-old colt has won six of his nine career starts, taking the Frank Kilroe (G1) in his last outing. Florent Geroux has the return call.
Hit the Road Wins Frank Kilroe
The supporting stake on Friday’s card at Keeneland is the $100,000 TVG Limestone Turf Sprint which will go off as the seventh race and drew a field of 13 three-year-old fillies.
There are four more stakes on Saturday at Keeneland including the $300,000 Jenny Wiley (G1) and the $200,000 Lexington (G3) which is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race.
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Let’s head out to Keeneland for Friday’s featured race of the day:
Keeneland Race 9 The Maker’s Mark Mile G1 5:30 ET
8 Raging Bull 7-2
2 Hit the Road 4-1
4 Sacred Life 4-1
3 Somelikeithotbrown 6-1
One of two in here sent out by the Brown barn, this guy is making his first start since running 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at 12-1. He drew a tough post, raced near the back of the pack and made up some ground late to finish 5 ½ lengths back of the winner. He came into that race off a solid runner up finish in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G2) here two back where he made a good late rally from last to come up just a length short. His lone win in five starts last year came in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) which was off an eight-month layoff. Brown is 27% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61–180-day layoff. He prepped in Florida getting in plenty of work on turf at Palm Meadows and should be fit and ready to go off the bench here.
Hit the Road
This colt does what his name implies, hitting the road and making his first start outside of Southern California. Last out he stalked the early pace and finished gamely to win the Frank Kilroe (G1) at a mile in his second start off a seven-month layoff. He won the Thunder Road (G3) two back off the bench and has now won six of his nine career starts. The colt earned matching career tops in his two starts this year and I see no reason to think this guy is going to regress as he makes his third start off the bench.
This guy is the other Brown trainee. He is making his first start since running fourth in the Old Forrester Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs last September. He came with a six wide run and made a mild late bid while racing on his wrong lead to finish fourth. Since coming to the U.S. his last start was just his second outing where he missed the exacta. His lone win came in the Oceanport over good ground at Monmouth Park last summer. He reunites with Castellano who was aboard this guy when he beat allowance foes here at the fall meeting in 2019. The barn is 28% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff.