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Get Ready for Keeneland Spring Meet: Wagering Guide to 5 Stakes Races

April 5, 2023

Are you getting excited yet? It’s that time of year, the Keeneland Spring Meet starts this Friday. Our next Wagering Guide will cover the 5 stakes races coming up this Saturday at Keeneland . The biggest one is the Kentucky Derby prep, the Blue Grass Stakes (GI).

The Blue Grass Stakes (GI) is a stakes race run annually at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky and is for 3-year-olds. The race is named after the Bluegrass region of Kentucky which is characterized by grass with bluish-green culms. The race has a storied history that dates back to 1911 and has been run at Keeneland since 1937. The distance of the race has changed over the years, but it has been at 1 ⅛ miles since 1983. The purse is $1 Million. In 2015 the race returned to dirt after Keeneland replaced its synthetic polytrack in the summer of 2014. The top five finishers get points toward qualifying for the Kentucky Derby. The breakdown is as follows 100-40-30-20-10. That’s a change this year as last year it was just the top 4. That has been a change to all the Kentucky Derby preps.

There have been 10 Blue Grass Stakes winners and 19 horses who ran in the race who went on to win the Kentucky Derby, but the last to do so was STRIKE THE GOLD in 1991. In 2007 Street Sense was your Kentucky Derby winner and finished runner-up in the Bluegrass Stakes. There have been three Triple Crown winners that have competed in this race WHIRLAWAY, CITATION, and COUNT FLEET. Even 2008 Kentucky Derby winner BIG BROWN ran in the Blue Grass Stakes (GI) Other notable winners of the race include HARLAN’S HOLIDAY, SKIP AWAY, HOLY BULL, and ALYDAR.

Some of the probables to run in this year’s edition include TAPIT TRICE, the Tampa Bay Derby (GIII) winner and RAISE CAIN, the Gotham winner. There are 10 horses listed on the probable list. The other eight include BLAZING STEVENS, VERIFYING, HAYAS STRIKE, SUN THUNDER, MENDELSSOHNS MARCH, CLASSIC CAR WASH, MAJOR BLUE, and SCOOBIE QUANDO. Last year the top 3 finishers in order were ZANDON, SMILE HAPPY, and EMMANUEL. The winner ZANDON is the only horse out of those three that hasn’t won a race since.

When you look at the Kentucky Derby points leaderboard both RAISE CAN and TAPIT TRICE should finish in the top 20 and qualify no matter what they do on Saturday. SUN THUNDER right now is on the edge in 19th place so he could definitely use some points. All the other runners need points to get up into the top 20 to secure spots in this year’s Kentucky Derby.

Here are the other 4 stakes races Saturday at Keeneland.

There is the Appalachian Stakes, Commonwealth Stakes (GIII), Madison Stakes (GI), and Shakertown Stakes (GII). We will go in-depth with all 5 stakes races on the Wagering Guide with our picks. Just go to Guaranteed Tip Sheet and become a PRO member to receive the Wagering Guide for free.

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