Makers Mark Mile 2024


Let's discuss one of my favorite turf races, and one I've been lucky enough to watch in person.  A Friday Grade 1 race on the turf is the Makers Mark Mile.  Grab yourself a shot of bourbon and wager on this superb race.  They've been off the turf this week so I suspect the race will be on softer ground tomorrow.  We will factor that into our handicapping.  There are a lot of foreign horses where we can rely on PFDS Odds.  There is very little pace signed on for a track that is remarkably fair to runners of all kinds.  Slight advantage to horses drawn inside posts 1 or 2.

1. Equitize (SCRATCHED) - $600K purchase has been lightly raced and suspect there have been some health issues.  Pedigree is stamina oriented.  Exits a very fast Tampa race as odds on favorite against much weaker.  This colt has a bright future for Chad Brown but probably not ready for this level of competition and might want longer for very best.

2. Emmanuel - Pletcher trains this G3 winning machine but horse has been consistently not good enough when stepped up to G1 level.  Was 7th a year ago and has yet to hit the board in a G1.  Toss.

3. Naval Power - This is my swami horse as a former submariner.  Looking at running lines, this horse may take the early lead and set the pace for his stable mate.  Stepped up to win G2 in last in Dubai after running against much weaker & is first time gelded for Appleby.  Earns $6 of Value off that last effort and might be a good long-shot to use underneath.

4. Master of the Seas - The primary Appleby horse that Buick will ride.  In a couple nail biters recently but this is an easier spot than the BC Mile.  Earns the very strong K letter grade but horse is an underlay at 4-5.  Deserving favorite and must use on top of vertical exotics.

5. Kubrick - Prat rides this horse instead of Du Jour which is strange.  This horse also has a nice prep win at Tampa although slower than Equitize whom I prefer of the two long-shot Brown offerings.  

6. Shirl's Speight - This horse rarely wins due to running against top class G1 competition.  Would probably thrive if dropped into G2/G3 level of competition.   Has run 2nd at very long odds twice, once under Master of the Seas.  I will be using him underneath in the exactas as the clear value horse in the race.

7. Du Jour (SCRATCHED) - The rare Baffert turf horse.  Has some nice wins against weaker West Coast turf competition.  Finished behind Shirl's Speight in BC Mile.  With Prat jumping off, this is a horse you have to fade at 4-1 M/L.

8. Integration - This horse probably goes off as the 2nd choice.  Was favored in Pegasus World Cup Turf after a very strong G2 victory for Shug.  Gets Dettori for this one which is probably an upgrade.  Figures to get a close stalking trip and the cut back to a Mile should be fine.  The biggest threat to the favorite.

Bottom Line - Master of the Seas or Integration will win this race.  To get any value you must get a long-shot into 2nd.  The ones to consider are Equitize (good draw and tactical speed), Shirl's Speight & Naval Power.  Good luck with your wagers at Keeneland this weekend.  

Revised - Scratched down to a field of 6.  Now we know why Prat was on Kubrick as Du Jour was never coming. Absolutely no pace in race and expect Naval Power on the lead.  This is a jockeys race now and will be extremely fun to watch.  Still expect Mast of the Seas or Integration to win but am leaning towards the upset.  Thinking this trifecta might be worth a play.  4,8 / 4,8 / 3,6.  #CHV