2017 Elkhorn Stakes Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - The G2 Elkhorn Stakes will be contested this Saturday, April 22 at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. Horses four years old and upward will be after the winner's share of the $250,000 purse when they take to Keeneland's turf track and race 1 1/2 miles.

A field of 11 will take to the track in the Elkhorn Stakes - race 9 on Keeneland's Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:30 PM. Let's take a glance into the past performances of all 11 entries for this competitive and intriguing G2 stakes.

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2017 Elkhorn Stakes Entries at Keeneland

Itsinthepost - French bred Jeff Mullins trained gelding has 24 career starts with four wins, six seconds and five third place finishes. He enters on the heels of a career-best effort - a win at this distance in the G2 San Luis Rey Stakes at Santa Anita March 25. Before that were three straight runner-up finishes - the G2 San Marcos Stakes at Santa Anita February 4, the G3 San Gabriel Stakes on that track January 7 and an Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar November 19. He also posted a win and another second respectively in another pair of Allowance Optional Claiming races and placed in four of his previous five as well - all Allowance Optional Claiming races. Itsinthepost has two wins and four runner-ups in his last six starts overall - trending upward ahead of this race. Tyler Baze has the mount on the 120 pound highweight from gate 4.

Bigger Picture - made his stakes debut eight starts back for trainer Michael Maker and finished eighth in the G1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park July 3. Before that were six wins, three seconds and a third place finish including two Allowance Optional Claiming races with the last coming at Belmont Park May 12. He has been up and down lately - a fourth last time out in the G2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream March 4 followed a good win in the G3 John B. Connally Turf Cup at Sam Houston January 29, an eighth in the minor Claiming Crown Jewel Stakes here December 3, a terrific win in the G2 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct November 12 and a decent nose-second in the G3 Sycamore Stakes at this distance at Keeneland October 20. Bigger Picture has placed in seven of his last 10 starts overall with five wins over that span but hasn't been afraid to deliver a dud along the way. He tries for a third graded stakes score in five starts Saturday with Jose Ortiz guiding him from post 5.

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Taghleeb - Michael Maker trainee has six wins, four seconds and four third place finishes in 26 career starts. He made his graded stakes debut in October and finished seventh in the G1 Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine and followed that with a fourth in the G3 River City Stakes at Churchill Downs November 24. He posted a nice win in the minor $100,000 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes on at Gulfstream December 31 and followed that with another terrific win on that track - the G3 WL McKnight Handicap January 28. Last time out was a bit of a step back - a fourth in the G2 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream April 1. Taghleeb chases his third stakes win in four starts Saturday and for a strong bounce back with Luis Saez guiding him from gate 8.

Charming Kitten - Michael Maker trainee raced to a ninth in the 2013 Kentucky Derby and has been inconsistent since. Career highlights include a win in the 2015 G3 WL McKnight Handicap, a win in the minor H. Allen Jerkens Stakes in January, 2016, a win in the minor Belmont Gold Cup Invitational June 6, 2014 and seconds in the 2013 G2 Virginia Derby and the G3 Hawthorne Derby in October, 2013. He hit the track for the first time in five months January 28 and finished fifth in the 2017 G3 WL McKnight Handicap here after some time in Europe which included a fifth in the Group 3 Irish St. Leger Trial in August and a third in the minor Her Majestys Stakes at Down Royal in July. Last time out was a disappointing eighth in the G2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream March 4. Charming Kitten failed to hit the board in his last three starts overall after placing in his prior three and will be out to right the ship Saturday from post 9 with Julien Leparoux in the reins.

Danish Dynaformer - Roger Attfield trainee has five wins, two seconds and a third place finish in 20 career starts. He won the G3 Singspiel Stakes in July but hasn't looked great since - a sixth last time out in the G2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream March 4 followed an eighth in the G3 WL McKnight Stakes on that track January 28, a second in the G3 Red Smith Stakes at Aqueduct November 12, a sixth in the G1 Pattison Canadian International October 16, a fifth in the G1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes September 17 and another fifth in the G1 Arlington Millions in August. He has now placed in just two of his last 11 starts overall - inconsistent to say the least. Paco Lopez has been tabbed with changing all of that from gate 2.

Interpol - Canadian Sovereign Award winner as 2015 Champion Grass Horse - James Toner trainee has just one start the last 18 months and that resulted in a sixth in the G3 Canadian Turf Stakes at Gulfstream March 4. Before his layoff was a disappointing tenth in the 2015 G1 Pattison Canadian International and two straight impressive upset graded stakes scores at Woodbine - the G1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes at 10-1 odds September 13 of 2015 and in the G2 Sky Classic Stakes at 21-1 odds a month before that. Those results followed a fifth in his graded stakes debut - the G2 Nijinsky Stakes and two Allowance Optional Claiming scores in his previous three starts. Interpol now has five wins and two seconds in 15 career starts and looks for his first win in 17 months Saturday with Jose Lezcano in the irons from the rail.

Chocolate Ride - Brad Cox trained multiple graded stakes winning gelding has 21 career starts with eight wins, two seconds and three third place finishes. He won the G3 Fair Grounds Handicap two straight years and has also posted wins in the 2016 Colonel ER Bradley Handicap in January and the G2 Mervin H Muniz Jr. Handicap in March, 2015 but has been just OK the last 12 months. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Fair Grounds March 23 which followed a third in the 2017 G3 Colonel ER Bradley Handicap January 21, a fourth in the minor Buddy Diliberto Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds in December and a ninth in the G1 Woodford reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs last May. Chocolate Ride has certainly shown form in the past and will try to get back to the winners' circle Saturday when he departs from the outside post 11 with Shaun Bridgmohan guiding him.

Roman Approval - Michael Maker trainee has 39 career starts with eight wins, 16 seconds and five third place finishes. He was at his best at the beginning of 2016 when he posted consecutive runner-up finishes in the G3 Colonel ER Bradley Handicap in January and the G3 Fair Grounds Handicap in February - he hasn't been all that great since. Last time out was a ninth in the G2 Muniz Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds April 1 which followed an eleventh in the G3 River City Handicap at Churchill Downs in November and an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Belmont Park in October. Roman Approval tries for a first ever stakes score Saturday and enters in less-than-spectacular form. Joel Rosario gets the call from gate 10.

Red Rifle - Todd Pletcher trained gelding posted victory in the 2015 G3 Dominion Day Stakes and won the G2 Bowling Green Handicap August 1 of that year at Saratoga and also had a good second in the G1 Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga August 29, 2015. He hasn't been all that great since however - a third last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream Park March 10 followed eight months away, a fifth in the 2016 G3 Dominion Day Stakes, a second in the minor Mountainview Handicap at Penn National June 4, a sixth in the G3 Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont Park last May, an eighth in an Allowance in April and a seventh in 2015 the Breeders' Cup Turf. Other results include a win in the G2 Hawthorne Gold Cup in November, 2014 and an OK second in the G3 Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland October 16 of that year. Red Rifle now has seven wins, seven seconds and two third place finishes in 27 career starts and will be out to snap an eight race losing streak with Corey Lanerie in the reins from post 3.

Bullards Alley - won the G3 Louisville Handicap in May, 2016 for trainer Tim Glyshaw but has placed in just two of nine starts since. He enters on the heels of consecutive fourth place finishes - the G3 Muniz Memorial handicap last time out April 1 and the G3 Fair Grounds Handicap February 25 after an eighth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at fair Grounds February 4, a seventh in the G3 River City Handicap at Churchill Downs in November and an OK third in the G3 Sycamore Stakes on this track in October. Bullards Alley now has five wins, three seconds and five third place finishes in 28 career starts and will be out to end a skid Saturday. Martin Pedroza has the mount from gate 6.

Grey Wizard - has two wins, a second and three third place finishes in 11 career starts for trainer Neil Howard. He steps into stakes company for the first time Saturday off a third in an Allowance at Fair Grounds March 20 after a ninth in a similar race on that track February 25 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Gulfstream December 31. He failed to place in three of his previous four starts as well. Grey Wizard has been just OK against lesser company and hopes a huge step up in competition isn't too much. Joe Bravo gets the call from post 7.


2017 Elkhorn Stakes Odds & Entries

Race 9 on Keeneland's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:30 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Interpol 12-1 Jose Lezcano James Toner
2 Danish Dynaformer 6-1 Paco Lopez Roger Attfield
3 Red Rifle 6-1 Corey Lanerie Todd Pletcher
4 Itsinthepost (FR) 4-1 Tyler Baze Jeff Mullins
5 Bigger Picture 7-2 Jose Ortiz Michael Maker
6 Bullards Alley 20-1 Marcelino Pedroza Tim Glyshaw
7 Grey Wizard 30-1 Joe Bravo Jose Fernandez
8 Taghleeb 4-1 Luis Saez Michael Maker
9 Charming Kitten 6-1 Julien Leparoux Michael Maker
10 Roman Approval 20-1 Joel Rosario Michael Maker
11 Chocolate Ride 12-1 Shaun Bridgmohan Brad Cox

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OTB Schedule - Saturday, Sep 23

Race Tracks Time (EST)
Albuquerque 8:06 PM
Australia A 10:46 PM
Australia B 10:51 PM
Australia C 11:00 PM
Australia D 11:10 PM
Ayr Races (UK) 8:31 AM
Batavia Downs 6:04 PM
Belmont Park 1:30 PM
Belterra Park 1:21 PM
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Birmingham Mat 3:01 PM
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Century Downs TB 2:58 PM
Charles Town 5:05 PM
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Curraheen (IG) 2:43 PM
Daytona Beach Eve 7:27 PM
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Dayton Raceway 6:18 PM
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Dundalk (IG) 2:55 PM
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Finger Lakes 1:11 PM
Flagler Eve 7:02 PM
Flagler Mat 12:18 PM
Flamboro Downs 6:04 PM
Fort Erie 1:22 PM
Freehold Raceway 12:38 PM
Galway (IG) 3:07 PM
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Hawthorne (H) 8:18 PM
Iowa Greyhound Park Mat 2:00 PM
Jacksonville Eve 7:48 PM
Jacksonville Mat 12:38 PM
Laurel Park 1:12 PM
Lifford (IG) 3:05 PM
Limerick (IG) 2:40 PM
Lone Star Park 7:35 PM
Los Alamitos (QH) 9:53 PM
Los Alamitos (TB) 5:03 PM
Louisiana Downs 4:17 PM
Mohawk 7:35 PM
Monmouth at Meadowlands 7:04 PM
Mullingar (IG) 2:48 PM
Navan (IRE) 8:50 AM
Newbury (UK) 8:17 AM
Newmarket (UK) 8:26 AM
Northfield Park 6:07 PM
Northlands Park (H) 8:35 PM
Northville Downs 7:01 PM
Palm Beach Eve 7:02 PM
Palm Beach Mat 1:03 PM
Parx Racing 12:28 PM
Penn National 6:01 PM
Pleasanton 4:47 PM
Pocono Downs 6:36 PM
Prairie Meadows (TB) 2:01 PM
Remington Park 8:12 PM
Retama Park 7:48 PM
Sanford Eve 7:41 PM
Sanford Mat 1:35 PM
Saratoga Harness 6:52 PM
Seoul Korea 9:46 PM
Sha Tin (HK) 1:00 AM
Shelbourne Park (IG) 2:19 PM
Southland Eve 8:30 PM
Southland Mat 2:02 PM
Thistledown 1:43 PM
Thurles (IG) 3:02 PM
Tralee (IG) 2:45 PM
Tri-State Twi 5:00 PM
Turffontein (SAF) 6:31 AM
Vernon Downs 6:47 PM
Waterford (IG) 2:51 PM
Wheeling Downs Eve 5:54 PM
Wheeling Downs Mat 1:09 PM
Will Rogers Downs 1:00 PM
Wolverhampton (UK) 12:43 PM
Woodbine (TB) 1:04 PM
Yonkers Raceway 7:13 PM
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