After winning four of the first five races for juveniles or juvenile fillies at the Keeneland spring meeting, trainer Wesley Ward will sit out the finale Thursday, April 25.
Thursday's race for juvenile fillies features several potentially precocious pedigrees, including Maria Maria, by two-time Horse of the Year and second-crop sire Curlin ; Tizgale, by Stormy Atlantic ; Del Mar Holiday, by Sharp Humor; and Beautiful Dancer, by second-crop sire Notional .
Curtis Green homebred Maria Maria is out of the stakes-winning With Approval mare Hollow Miss, who won two races as a juvenile and recorded two of her four stakes wins at age 3. She already has produced the Songandaprayer gelding He's Got Grit, who as a juvenile won all four of his starts including the Tyro, Cowdin, and Sapling (gr. III) stakes on the New York circuit. Seven of her eight starters have won, and three of those winners registered victories in their juvenile seasons.
Maria Maria is trained by James DiVito, who according to BRIS, has a 31% win percentage with his previous 62 first-time starters. Curlin ranks 12th on the 2013 synthetic surface sire list.
Sagamore Farm homebred Tizgale also seems like a good fit for the Keeneland Polytrack as Stormy Atlantic ranked 7th on last year's synthetic surface sire list. She is out of the Tiznow mare Tizthen, who won at 2 and placed second as a juvenile in the Anoakia Stakes at Oak Tree at Santa Anita Park. Tizgale will be the first foal to race for Tizthen, who is a half sister to grade I winner Jeranimo.
J. Kirk and Judy Robison's Del Mar Holiday is out of the Apollo mare Harvest Girl, who won as a juvenile and earned a stakes win at age 3. Del Mar Holiday is a half sister to multiple stakes winner Winning Image, who as a juvenile won twice and earned a stakes placing.
Roger Braugh Jr.'s Beautiful Dancer is a half sister to the stakes-winning Whywhywhy ridgling Laysh Laysh Laysh.
Following today's race for fillies, the final juvenile race of the meet will be an open race on closing day, Friday, April 26.
The picks: Maria Maria, Tizgale, Del Mar Holiday
Note: An earlier version of this story had incorrect information about the meet's juvenile race schedule. The story has been corrected.