The Grade 1 $400,000 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland Race Course is one of 36 races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby in which the first four finishers will earn points toward an entry in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. The winner will receive 10 points, place finisher 4 points, show finisher 2 points, and fourth place finisher 1 point. The Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity is one of five stakes races on Keeneland Saturday card.
Tizracer, a son of Tiznow, leads the field of 14 two-year-olds as the 4-1 morning line favorite in the 1 1/16 mile race over the Polytrack. The Todd Pletcher trainee broke his maiden in his last start and dominated a short Belmont field, winning the one mile race by 10 ½ lengths under a hand ride. Although he’s never raced on a synthetic track or had any turf experience, that type of win leads me to put this colt at the top of my list.
Charming Kitten, at a morning line of 5-1, gets the second position on my list. Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey will send out the son of their sire, Kitten’s Joy. The progeny of Kitten’s Joy have shown an affinity for the Keeneland Polytrack and ability at a young age. Remember Stephanie’s Kitten who won the Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland last fall before dominating the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf?
Rounding out my trifecta is Pataky Kid. This Tom Proctor trained runner enters the Futurity off a three length victory in the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity at Arlington Park. He has two wins from three starts under rides from three different jockeys. He’ll again accept a new jockey today with Paco Lopez in the irons. At a morning line of 12-1, Pataky Kid may add some value to the wager.
Although not on my list, Dale Romans, Donegal Racing, and jockey Kent Desormeaux who teamed to win the Futurity last year with Dullahan, have Craving Carats in this year’s edition. The son of Street Sense has one win in five starts. Street Sense never won on the Keeneland Polytrack, finishing third in the 2006 running of the Futurity and second in the Toyota Blue Grass the next year, so I don't know that Craving Carats will prefer the surface either.
Rounding out the field are Joha, Are You Kidding Me, He’s So Fine, Java’s War, Dipsy Drew, Positively, Dynamic Sky, He’s Had Enough, Tree of Life, and Hightail draws in off the also eligible list. Balance the Books was scratched and Zoloto, another also eligible, did not draw in.
The Breeders’ Futurity is the eighth race on the Keeneland card with a scheduled post time of 4:49 p.m. The race can be seen live on TVG or on the Keeneland website.
Photo: Keeneland Photo