Keeneland Select Pick of the Day | August 31, 2019
Race 8 at Kentucky Downs on Saturday, August 31 | Post Time 5:11 PM Eastern Time
Tourist Mile Stakes | Purse $750,000 | One Mile on Turf | Three Year Olds and Upward
With 12 entered plus two also-eligibles, this year's Tourist Mile should go with a full field and provide a ton of excitement, as well as good betting opportunity as I don't imagine the favorite will be any lower than 3 to 1 at post time. Hoping to catch lightning in a bottle the second week in a row on these pages after tabbing Mind Control to win the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes last week, my top pick here, Real Story (11), also opens at double digit odds. A lightly raced four year old, Real Story has won four of 10 career races on grass and has put in FOUR "A" races in four starts this year. Aside from finishing just three-quarters of a length behind Catholic Boy in the Dixie Stakes in May, Real Story has been first or second in all his other starts, earning his first win of the year when last seen on July 13. He led from start to finish in a field of eight when taking a stakes race at Indiana Grand that day, never giving another horse a chance to run, and he didn't do it by crawling early either. Last July (2018), Real Story led from start to finish to coast home when winning the American Derby at Arlington, and in both that winning effort and his stakes winning effort last out the horse earned a career-best 109 Equibase figure. It's NOT going to take much better to win this as we can compared that figure to the 111 figure morning line favorite Next Shares (2) earned winning the Old Friends Stakes on the Kentucky Downs grass last September, and to the 110 figure Great Wide Open (10) earned when second in the Tourist Mile last year. Joe Bravo takes a day off from his regular stomping grounds at Monmouth to come in and ride the gelding he's ridden just ONCE before, to the win in the American Derby. Considering Real Story has won back-to-back before and there are only a couple of other horses to get in front of in the first quarter mile in order to establish the kind of high cruising speed he's capable of, I'll take my shot with Real Story to post the upset and win this race.
Of the many closers who will benefit if Real Story can't get an easy lead from the start, particularly is Siem Rep (6) and Great Wide Open (10) insist on the lead from the start as well, Parlor (5) is absolutely worth a bet to win (and possibly place) as well. In last year's Old Friends Stakes over the course, Parlor came flying late for third, missing second by a nose, and with the addition of blinkers for his most recent race, Parlor earned his first victory in 14 months. He earned a 110 figure for that win at seven and one-half furlongs on turf, very similar to this mile trip, and prior to that he missed by two necks and a head in a four horse blanket finish in the Grade 2 Wise Dan Stakes, so he fits at this level. A very consistent sort who has been first or second in nine of 18 turf races, Parlor also makes his fourth start since coming back from seven month off and that may mean he runs even better than he did last month.
Mr Cub (9) was sixth in this race last year BUT he won over the course (in an allowance race the previous year). Similar to Parlor, Mr Cub fits in this race by virtue of his big effort in the Wise Dan Stakes, not this year but in 2017 when he led late and was just run down late by two superb turf runners in Mr. Misunderstood and Inspector Lynley, both who won stakes in their subsequent starts. Mr Cub took time off between February and August of this year and the break helped him a lot as he won the Tourist Mile Preview Stakes on August 4 at Ellis Park. Hernandez rode him in that race, in which he rallied nicely from fourth to win by a neck, and rides him back. Before the break at the end of the year, Mr Cub earned a 115 figure so everything suggest he too fits with these and opening at 8/1 gives us even more profit potential if we're right.
For the minor awards and for inclusion on exotic tickets we must consider Snapper Sinclair (1), Next Shares (2), Hembree (4), Siem Rep (6) and Great Wide Open (10).
Win Bets (preference order):
Real Story (11) to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more, adding a place bet at 6/1 or more.
Parlor (5) to win at odds of 4 to 1 or more, adding a place bet at 7 to 1 or higher.
Mr Cub (9) to win at odds of 4 to 1 or more, adding a place bet at 7 to 1 or more.
Personally, I plan to bet two of the three above depending on odds as this is definitely a race we should be willing to lose one of our win bets in order to make a nice profit.
Real Story (11), Parlor (5) and Mr Cub (9) over Real Story (11), Parlor (5), Mr Cub (9), Snapper Sinclair (1), Next Shares (2), Hembree (4), Siem Rep (6) and Great Wide Open (10).