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Blue Grass Stakes 2021 Odds, Analysis, Free PPs

Churchill Downs returns post COVID-19 with Maxfield in the G3 Matt Winn

Free Blue Grass Stakes past performances for Saturday, April 3, 2021 at Keeneland.

The field for the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) with a purse of $800,000 will go as the 11th race on a big weekend of racing on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

A field of 9 will be headed by Essential Quality, winner of the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland last November. Trained by Brad Cox, the 3YO son of Tapit will be making his fifth start as the undefeated and heavily favored home bred who is Godolphin’s best ever shot at the Kentucky Derby.

Last weekend we saw heavy favorite Greatest Honour, who was on a three race winning streak, go down in defeat to Known Agenda in the Florida Derby. But this year’s Blue Grass Stakes field doesn’t include many who appear to have the ‘Quality’ of the favorite.

Regular rider Luis Saez will get the leg up on Essential Quality on Saturday.

Highly Motivated On the Bubble

The Blue Grass hasn’t attracted the top of the crop 3YOs this year and with a field of 9 we could see someone spring the upset at a price.

The Blue Grass Stakes is one of three races this weekend on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and offers 100 points to the winner as Derby fever kicks into high gear with less than 30 days before the May 1 Run for the Roses. In addition to the top prize of 100 points, the Blue Grass Stakes will also award points to the second, third, and fourth place finishers in a 40-20-10 distribution.

Left ‘Untreated’ Could Get Better

Should Pletcher shock the weekend action with this son of ’16 Derby winner Nyquist, he will have positioned himself to have a very good chance to win his third Kentucky Derby (Super Saver 2010, Always Dreaming 2017).

Last weekend’s victory by Known Agenda in the Florida Derby was a fitting reminder of what a simple thing like ‘blinkers on’ could do to increase the chances for success.

This weekend, he’ll send out Untreated off a MSW victory at Tampa Bay and could give Pletcher the one-two punch in this year’s Kentucky Derby.

The Official Field for the 1 1/8 miles Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland

PP Horse Trainer Odds
1 Hidden Stash Oliver 20
With 22 points already in the books, he’s 17th on the leader board and has one hoof in the gate for the May 1, Kentucky Derby. He’s been consistent throughout his six race career and broke his maiden here last October. A deep closer, he’ll have plenty of time to work his way onto the tote but don’t see him taking the top spot. Use underneath.
2 Untreated Pletcher 10
Will be making only his third lifetime start for Pletcher who took the Florida Derby in an upset. With the Wood and the Santa Anita Derby also on this weekend’s agenda, Pletcher opts to send him here to face what will be a huge challenge. He made his first ever trip around the track for money when sent out from the Brown barn in January at Gulfstream finishing 6th as the heavy favorite over the Mott trainee Candy Man Rocket. Was an easy maiden winner at Tampa Bay for Pletcher in his last start. Saez was aboard but had no choice regardless of what his assessment was of this guy after the win — would love to know. SHOCKER IN THE MAKING
3 Highly Motivated Brown 3
This weekend’s horse on the bubble with only 10 points, he exits the Gotham as the beaten favorite behind 50 to 1 shot Weyburn and stablemate Crowded Trade. He will need to live up to his name on Saturday if he wants in to the Derby. Lots to like on paper but this race seems to have upset written between the lines.
4 Essential Quality Cox 3 to 5
Undefeated and the legit favorite to win for the third time here on Saturday, he’ll face his toughest test to date. Rolled home an easy winner in the sloppy Southwest to open his 3YO campaign. Oddsbird has him heavy to win — but ‘keep in mind’ that Baffert sent Spielberg to test the Florida Derby off a second place finish behind this guy in the Southwest – and we know how that turned out. CAUTION.
5 Rombauer McCarthy 15
Has two wins to his credit. A first out turf victory at Del Mar last summer. And the El Camino Real Derby on the all-weather at Golden Gate last month. Tried dirt twice and was competitively 5th here in the BC Juvenile behind EQ. Should like the added distance and with Geroux, he could be around late. But gotta believe he’s not a dirt horse – unless it rains. Deep player.
6 Leblon Lobo 50
Winner of 1 in 5 starts, he hasn’t faced anything like he’ll face on Saturday. The only reason why connections could possibly see him belonging here is he scored at this distance — unlike most, including the favorite. Stranger things have happened, but in his five starts he’s had seasoned jockeys in the saddle — and none of them will be aboard for this one. Pass. 
7 Hush of a Storm Gonzalez 15
Scratched from the Jeff Ruby Steaks last weekend, allowing Like the King to rise into second place behind Hot Rod Charlie on the RTTD leader board with 104 points. Has reeled off three straight wins since first entering the starting gate in a 7 furlong MC at Churchill from which he could have been purchased for $150K. Finished 8th with no shakers. Won next out over the Turfway all-weather in a $32K MSW. Connections obviously think they have something and he’s proven them right, so far. But this is another league and would be a shocker to hit the board. Pass.
8 Sittin On Go Lanerie 30
It wouldn’t be Derby season without a Dale Romans horse in the mix. Won his first two career starts including the G3 Iroquois at long odds. It was enough to give his connections reason to think that they aptly named this son of 2016 Derby contender Brody’s Cause (7th) could make his sire proud on the first Saturday in May. As with his sire, Romans has charted a similar course with this youngster since the Iroquois. But he was a well beaten 9th in the BC Juvenile here last November. And he was equally disappointing in the KYJC, Holy Bull, and Tampa Bay Derby last time out when 7th. If there’s an upside, his sire was 7th in the TB Derby before winning the ’16 Blue Grass. Expect him to love the added ground with a chance to show he belongs in the Derby starting gate. Use underneath.
9 Keepmeinmind Cohen 8
Running line says he “did not fire” when 6th in the Rebel a couple of weeks ago. That’s usually code for “toss out the last one.” But not sure that’s reason enough to give him another shot in here. Connections were high on him early and entered as a maiden in the Breeders’ Futurity and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Got his first taste of victory in the KYJC in late November. Can see him close to the pace in here. Use on deep tickets.

Free Blue Grass Stakes Past Performances

Free past performances for the Blue Grass Stakes provided by Brisnet

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