Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland

Dave Bond

Las Vegas, NV -- The $750,000 Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes comes our way this Saturday, April 14th from Keeneland near Lexington, Kentucky. Three year old horses will go 1 1/8 miles on Keeneland's synthetic track in one of the last remaining prep races for the Kentucky Derby next month.

A deep and large field will be headed by Eclipse Award winner Hansen and a number of other graded stakes victors. 13 horses will go in hopes of generating a little more graded stakes earning in order to qualify for the Kentucky Derby in May. Although the race is on a synthetic surface, it is important to note that last year's Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom used the Blue Grass as a final tune-up for his run for the roses.

The Blue Grass Stakes is race 11 on Keeneland's Saturday card with a post time of 6:18 PM. Let's take a look at the entries and the credentials that brought them to this important prep race.

Blue Grass Stakes Race Favorites

Hansen - Eclipse Award winner for two-year-old colts Hansen has been beaten just once in the muck of the Grade 3 Holy Bull - he still finished second! Hansen rebounded in a big way with a win in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on March 3rd. Hansen was the 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile champ at Churchill Downs on November 5th and before the Holy Bull won three straight races by a staggering 25 1/2 lengths. Hansen is a champion and clearly the class of the field.

Blue Grass Stakes betting at Keeneland with

Howe Great - like Hansen, Howe Great has won four of five career starts with one second place finish - four straight wins with the last coming in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes on March 11th at Gulfstream at this distance. The synthetic surface is the only possible road block for Howe Great in this race.

Dullahan - most recently finished second to Howe Great in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes after finishing fourth at the Grade 1 Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs in November. Before that was an impressive win at the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October. Dullahan could surprise in the Blue Grass.

Remaining Field Entries

Prospective - has won two of the last three races - the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby and the Pasco Stakes with a second place finish in between in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes on February 4th. Prospective has four wins and two seconds in six career starts - a 13th in the Breeders' Cup being the only career hiccup.

Ever So Lucky - finished second to Gemologist in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club on November 26th and followed that with a third in the Grade 3 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream on March 10th. Ever So Lucky won his only other career start - a Maiden Special Weight at Churchill Downs on November 11th.

Heavy Breathing - has three career starts and two wins - an Allowance Optional Claiming and a Maiden Special Weight. Most recently Heavy Breathing was third in the Grade 3 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes at Turfway on March 24th.

Scatman - has had four impressive starts in a row - two straight wins against lesser competition, a second at the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn on February 20th and a third most recently at the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes on March 17th also at Oaklawn.

Hero of Order - has 14 career starts with only two wins - the latest an impressive score at the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on April 1st at Fair Grounds.

Midnight Crooner - won a Maiden Special Weight at Golden Gate on February 18th but followed that up with a third in the Pasadena Stakes at Santa Anita on March 23rd.

Holy Candy - has raced four Maiden Special Weight races with a win last time out and three second place finishes.

Gung Ho - won the Sunday Silence Stakes on September at Louisiana Downs but followed it up with a seventh in the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October. Gung Ho was second last time out in the Rushaway Stakes on March 24th at Turfway.

Politicallycorrect - finished seventh in the Gulfstream Park Derby recently and followed it up with a win last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream.

Russian Greek - has been disappointing lately - eighth in the Grade 3 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes and fifth in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby. Before that Russian Greek had a pair of wins - the California Derby and the Gold Rush Stakes.

Blue Grass Stakes Entries

Race 11 on Keeneland's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:18 PM.

Post Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Heavy Breathing C. Lanerie T. Pletcher
2 Gung Ho E. Prado M. Maker
3 Prospective L. Contreras M. Casse
4 Hansen R. Dominguez M. Maker
5 Russian Greek M. Mena G. Dorochenko
6 Dullahan K. Desormeaux D. Romans
7 Politicallycorrect E. Trujillo W. Ward
8 Midnight Crooner G. Gomez B. Baffert
9 Holy Candy J. Rosario J. Sadler
10 Howe Great J. Castellano H. Motion
11 Ever So Lucky J. Leparoux J. Sheppard
12 Hero of Order E. Martin, Jr. G. Dorochenko
13 Scatman S. Bridgmohan M. Lauer

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