Keats Favored in National Jockey Club

Henry Pabst's speedy Keats is the morning line favorite for Saturday's $250,000 National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne Race Course.

The 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds and older attracted a field of 10.

Keats, a 5-year-old horse by Hennessy whose last graded stakes win came in the Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) two years ago, is the 7-2 morning line favorite and will carry 114 pounds. To be ridden by Larry Melancon for trainer Niall O'Callaghan, he's coming off a third-place finish in an allowance race at Gulfstream on March 22. He was fourth to Harlan's Holiday after setting the pace in the Donn (gr. I) at Gulfstream a month earlier. Overall, Keats is 19-5-2-4 with earnings of $447,840.

Also in the field is Irish Acres Farm's Colorful Tour, pegged at 4-1. The Noel Hickey charge, assigned top weight of 119, had a five-race winning streak snapped when second by a length to Patton's Victory in the Fifth Season Stakes at Oaklawn Park on April 9. Curt C. Bourque'll ride the 4-year-old colt.

$250,000 National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III), 3 & up, 1 1/8 mile
PP. Horse, Rider, Wgt., ML Odds
1. Colonial Colony (KY), Willie Martinez, 114, 10/1
2. Fight for Ally (IN), Eusebio Razo, Jr., 114, 15/1
3. Regency Park (KY), Christopher P. DeCarlo, 114, 8/1
4. Fighting Indians (KY), Carlos H. Silva, 113, 20/1
5. Keats (KY), Larry Melancon, 114, 7/2
6. Parrott Bay (KY), Larry J. Sterling, Jr., 113, 5/1
7. Mc Mahon (KY), Marlon St. Julien, 114, 6/1
8. Colorful Tour (IL), Curt C. Bourque, 119, 4/1
9. Deferred Comp (KY), Brian Dale Peck, 113, 6/1
10. Fourth Floor (KY), Justin J. Vitek, 111, 20/1