Frostmorne seeks first Grade I in Maker’s 46 Mile

The Grade I, $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile is the Friday feature at Keeneland. The one-mile event drew a competitive field of 10 seeking graded stakes glory on the grass. Post time for the Maker’s 46 Mile, the ninth of 10 races on the day, is 5:30 p.m. EST. Be sure to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

#5 FROSTMOURNE (10-1) has had a penchant for finding the wire first in his career (5-for-8 lifetime) and is in good position to do so again in his first try at the Grade I level. He took consecutive graded stakes (The Penn Mile and the Kent) last summer before hitting the shelf for a spell. Then he was a game fourth in the Hill Prince before once again being laid off. FROSTMOURNE aced his 2018 bow at Gulfstream last month and should improve on that with the rust shaken off. He’s a perfect 3-for-3 at the mile distance and retains the services of Irad Ortiz Jr. Look for FROSTMOURNE to get the perfect tactical trip just behind a fast pace.

#8 NEXT SHARES (5-1) ships east after posting some solid results at Santa Anita this winter. He was second in two stakes, including the Grade I Kilroe Mile last time out, and third in the Grade III Thunder Road. He’s been the benefactor of some fast paces out west, and he’s likely to get another one on Friday. Corey Nakatani takes the assignment.

#6 HEART TO HEART (2-1, morning-line favorite) cuts back to his usual distance after gutting out a win in the 1 1/8-mile Gulfstream Park Turf, his first career Grade I, when last seen. His speed figures have been lacking this year but he’s still one to fear up front, especially if #9 OM scratches out. HEART TO HEART seeks his first win in three tries in the Maker’s 46 Mile. Julien Leparoux will be aboard.

#2 BALLAGH ROCKS (9-2) makes his 2018 debut off a lackluster effort in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. This is a more realistic spot for him; he was a hard-charging fourth in this heat last year and finished in the money in three graded stakes as well (including a win in the Grade III Poker). Luis Saez picks up the mount.

The play: $4 win 5, $2 exacta key box 5/2,6,8 ($16)

DFJ analysis: Irad Ortiz Jr. has a realistic shot in all four Keeneland races he competes in on Friday. Pacific Wind, a 9-5 favorite, gets his day started in Race 4. Then he’ll ride a 4-1 shot and a 5-1 shot in Race 7 and Race 8, respectively. Finally, he’ll be aboard live longshot FROSTMOURNE in the Maker’s 46 Mile.

Follow me on Twitter: @itsgood2beking