The Grade I, $350,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes is the Saturday feature at Keeneland racecourse in Lexington, KY. Race 10 on the program, the 1 1/16th-mile turf event attracted eight fillies and mares, including fan favorite LADY ELI. Post time for the Jenny Wiley is estimated at 6:12 p.m. EST. Don’t forget to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#1 LADY ELI (even-money, morning-line favorite) is the deserving favorite after a strong but brief 2016 campaign. She was undefeated through her first six starts but unfortunately contracted laminitis and was forced to battle for her life. After winning the battle and getting back in training after an idle year, LADY ELI was a game second in both the Ballston Spa and Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Those efforts bracketed a splendid win in the Grade I Flower Bowl at Belmont Park last October. Chad Brown has LADY ELI training well and Irad Ortiz Jr. will have the call once more. However, her likely being an underlay on Saturday makes LADY ELI tempting to play against. It would only take a small step up by one of her classy competitors to upend her.
#4 DICKINSON (8-1) appears most capable of pulling off the Jenny Wiley upset for Kiaran McLaughlin and Paco Lopez. Lopez has been aboard DICKINSON for each of her last two stakes scores (the Suwannee River and Hillsborough Stakes). The speed figures from those races were solid and she’s training far better than before, suggesting she could run a new career-best today. Look for her to draft behind CATCH A GLIMPSE and whoever decides to challenge her early (possibly #7 ILLUMINANT and #8 QUIDURA) before pouncing at the quarter pole. Timing will be key; DICKINSON can’t afford to get bottled up by late-closing LADY ELI, among others.
QUIDURA (10-1) is ambitiously placed by Graham Motion for her first start of the year, but that confidence isn’t unfounded. QUIDURA looked sharp taking the Grade III Valley View at this course and distance last October over two next-out winners. Junior Alvarado will stay aboard QUIDURA, who fired a bullet workout for this.
The play: $4 exacta box 1/4, $2 exacta 1,4/8 ($12)
DFJ Analysis: Keeneland isn’t one of Paco Lopez’s usual haunts, but he stands a chance to have a multi-win Saturday here. Lopez is on DICKINSON in the featured Jenny Wiley and Watershed (7-2) in the Ben Ali Stakes. He rides a triumvirate of live mounts earlier in the card, including the 3-1 second-choice in Race 2.
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