​Keeneland Horse Racing Picks for Saturday 4/17/21

It's a great time to dive into horse racing, and FanDuel Racing gives you the chance to do just that.

Starting at 1:05 p.m. EST, we have 10 races at Keeneland. Using numberFire’s projections as a guide, here are some of the best bets.

As always, check the program for scratches and changes, and monitor the weather and track conditions.

(I will reference Equibase's Speed Figure in selected races, which tells you how fast a horse has been running in each of its races -- adjusted for track, distances, and conditions.)

Coffee Break and Jerry’s Secret, Race 6

FanDuel Racing Odds: 10/1 and 5/2

Race 6 is a Maiden Special Weight at 6 furlongs, and seven runners will decide the sprint after Eye of the Cat was scratched. The favorite, Pledgeofallegiance (2/1), is the projected winner, according to numberFire’s data. She’s 0-for-4 and off a layoff but ran her best race with a 90 speed figure when finishing a close second in November going one mile.

But two debut runners are preferred by Top Race Reports' East Coast Handicapping Report (ECHR). Coffee Break (10/1) finally gets to the track as a four year old, and his sire is the great Ghostzapper. Top jockey Johnny Velazquez rides and a strong showing expected in his career debut. Captain Hank (8/1) also makes his debut and likely pops from the gate from the outside post. He’s one to include in exacta and trifecta wagering for a higher payoff.

Jerry’s Secret (5/2) is running well despite being 0-for-3. He strings races together and was a favorite last time out when pressing the pace and finishing third.

Top Seed, Race 8

FanDuel Racing Odds: 7/2

Race 8 is an Allowance race for older horses going 1 1/16 miles. The numberFire algorithm projects South Bend (5/2) to win in his 2021 debut, and strong stretch rider Joel Rosario is up for trainer Bill Mott. He makes his fifth straight graded stakes start and finished last in November’s Kentucky Derby.

But Top Seed (7/2) can win this off a long layoff, according to ECHR. Trainer Shug McGaughey III is so good at getting his horses ready, and this son of Kentucky Derby winner Orb is 3-for-5 and is well meant off a layoff.

Red Knight, Race 9

FanDuel Racing Odds: 3/1 and 8/5

Race 9 is the $200K Grade II Elkhorn Stakes for older horses going a 1 1/2-mile route on the turf. Note that EPO trainer Mike Maker had three horses entered in the race -- Cross Border (4/1), Tide of the Sea (4/1) and Monarchs Glen (12/1) -- but Cross Border and Monarchs Glen have been scratched.

With Cross Border scratched, numberFire projects the Red Knight (3/1) to win and North Dakota (10/1) to challenge. The implied odds at FanDuel Racing suggest a 31% win probability for Red Knight, who has two wins and two runner-up finishes in five starts at this distance, according to Horse Racing Radar (HRR). HRR adds that Tide of the Sea is 1-for-1 at Keeneland and 2-for-2 at the distance.

Say the Word (7/2) -- for EPO trainer Phil D’Amato with leading jockey Luis Saez riding -- has finished in the money in all four starts at the distance.