Jeff Siegel’s National Best Plays for Friday, April 22, 2022
Keeneland Third Race. Post time: 2:04 ET
7-Crimson and Cream (6-1)
Shows the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern and that angle, combined with the first-time-in-a-claimer class drop plus the addition of blinkers makes this son of Wildcat Heir a live item in this modest maiden $50,000 seller over a distance of ground. Although he finished off the board in both of his outings at Turfway Park, the Ben Colebook-trained colt earned competitive speed figures for this level, so under the assumption that he has improvement in him that most of the others don’t, the former $180,000 2-year-old in training purchase offers reasonable value in the win pool and in rolling exotic play at or near his morning line of 6-1.
Keeneland Seventh Race. Post time: 4:12 ET
11-Stay Restless (4-1)
After displaying considerable promise in his debut when finishing a sharp runner-up (while more than four lengths clear of the rest) in a hot maiden sprint at Gulfstream Park in February, this promising 3-year-old floundered on a wet track and finished a disappointing fourth as the 6/5 favorite the following month in a race that we’re inclined to dismiss. The Todd Pletcher-trained sophomore stretches out for the firsts time in this middle distance main track maiden affair and projects to inherit an ideal pace-stalking trip and then have every chance from there. A standout based on the speed figure he earned his first outing, the son of Empire Maker is a legitimate play at 4-1 on the morning line.
Keeneland Eighth Race. Post time: 4:44 ET
6-Modus Operandi (5-1)
Lightly-raced Frankel gelding is a true marathoner and gets ideal conditions to regain his winning form in this 12-furlong turf event card for second-level allowance horses. Effective on any surface, the Irish-bred 4-year-old is most effective when held up early and allowed to run late, and with the switch to expert grass rider Tyler Gaffalione, the Brendan Walsh-trained import should have every chance to produce a top effort. He’s not as fast on numbers as some of the others, but we’re anticipating a significant forward move and the price will be right in both the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.