The Blue Grass Stakes 2024

There is just something about the spring meet at Keeneland. With three, no pun intended, important three-year-old races on Saturday it just made sense to go after the 11-horse field in the Blue Grass.

 

No question this is a competitive renewal with implications about who will stake their claims to being among the top sophomores in the division.

 

I’ll look at this wide-open race and provide my thoughts on the field.

 

Top Conor has only one start and it only a one turn maiden race at Gulfstream. That said he was impressive. He had traffic along the inside and had to wait for room. Ultimately, after dropping and losing some momentum he was able to swing out and rally into and past a decent pace going a mile. He raced between horses in an uncomfortable spot and showed fight. I see it as a huge vote of confidence by Chad Brown giving this gray colt a shot at earning his way to a Run for the Roses. Dangerous despite the lack of experience.

 

Be You has sort of showed us who he is already. He is good but doesn’t appear to be one of the best three-year-olds, at least not now. He did put things together last out and he should appreciate this distance. I think he may regress off the win and even if he doesn’t, I think there will be at least one or two in here faster than him when it counts.

 

Seize the Glory has plenty of seasoning but doesn’t look fast enough to me.

 

Dornoch will be one of the favorites and comes in off a win in the Fountain of Youth. Personally, I did not like his action and after all the scratches I think that was a race he was supposed to win. I think he will have company on or near the front and I will try and beat him.

 

Good Money is intriguing. He has two “leg up” races at Tampa and I don’t care what the time of the Tampa Bay Derby was this Good Magic colt impressed me. He took pressure the whole way spotting others experience and fought the whole stretch. I don’t believe he “needs the Lead” and I think he is very live in here at a big price, especially for this barn.

 

Just a Touch should get to show us just what he has on a fast track after racing in the slop twice. He was wide when it counted in the Gotham and lost to a good horse. He looked beaten but came again late showing the heart I like to see. He will likely be an underlay with his connections. I respect him but I will try and beat him.

 

Lat Long has never really run a bad one and McPeek pops up in these types of spots often enough. He should get a good stalking type of trip with enough pace to set up that type of race. A big price who is not without a shot in here.

 

Epic Ride tries the dirt for the first time after racing 4 times on the synthetic. While that qualifies him as a question mark here I’d have to see more to consider him.

 

Mugatu has two past races on the main and neither points him out as a player in here.

 

Sierra Leone should be the favorite and can easily win this race. After the Remsen I felt Dornoch would not beat him again. I thought this colt ran a much better race. He is back on a fast track and has enough pace to set him up. I think he is absolutely the horse to beat but he is already in the big dance, and this may be a race to build off and set him up for the next one. Not to get ahead of ourselves, but Chad has two others in here because they belong in here. This pricey colt is the most likely winner, but he will be coming from far off the pace over a track that is often not kind to that style.

 

Encino is another question mark having done all his work on synthetic. Prat riding for Brad Cox will bring plenty of eyes to this colt and he has shown both talent and versatility. I will call him yet another contender in this interesting Blue Grass.

 

Even with the obstacles I will take a shot with Top Conor. He will have to go forward considerably and it is a big ask in here but I saw a lot of talent and heart in that first run and I think he should get a nice trip from the rail.

 

This should be a good one.

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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