The competitive action at Keeneland continues this weekend with a star-studded renewal of the G2 Elkhorn Stakes. International raiders will be looking to take their chance in the turf race, with Charlie Appleby looking for a second straight graded success in Lexington following a dominant win for Master of the Seas last Saturday.

But, can anything stop the powerhouse British trainer from landing another illustrious prize this weekend?

Race Information & History

The Elkhorn Stakes has been staged at Keeneland since 1986, with the field competing over a distance of 1 ½ miles on the turf. A purse of $350,000 has been put aside for this contest, which has produced some famous winners throughout history.

A number of champions have landed success in the Elkhorn, including Manila in 1986. Dual Breeders’ Cup Mile hero Lure won this race as a short price favorite in 1994, while Chief Bearhart landed success before being named as the US Champion Male Turf Horse. Verstappen was the most recent winner of the Elkhorn Stakes for trainer Brendan Walsh in 2023.

Leading Contenders

Bold Act

Bold Act will likely be a short price for the in-form yard of Charlie Appleby this weekend. Frankie Dettori will take the ride on the four-year-old, who has already showcased his talent this year after landing success in the Middle East in March. Bold Act was excellent in the G2 Dubai City of Gold, finishing two lengths clear of Warren Point.

He will likely be pointed at a number of prestigious U.S. races this year, and he was excellent over course and distance when landing the G3 Sycamore Stakes last October. The form in the book very much makes him the one to beat this weekend.

Silver Knott

Charlie Appleby will be chasing a second straight weekend to achieve a one-two finish in a prestigious graded race at Keeneland. Silver Knott certainly boasts plenty of talent, as the four-year-old has finished in the top three on eight of his ten starts in stakes company.

However, he has been slightly more expensive to follow than his stablemate after being turned over at short prices on his last two starts in the U.S. His most recent defeat came in the G1 Hollywood Derby when finishing two lengths behind Program Trading. But, he is down in grade this weekend, and could present a value angle in the betting.

Missed The Cut

Missed The Cut certainly appears to be the leading chance for the home team this weekend. The John Sadler-trained runner has won four from ten starts in stakes company, and he has looked better than ever on his three starts this year. He was most recently seen landing the G3 San Luis Rey Stakes over a mile and a half at Santa Anita, finishing over a length clear of Planetario.

The decision to campaign this runner on the turf this season has been an excellent one, as he looks a more competitive runner than the star that finished last of 12 in the Breeders’ Cup Classic last year.

Elkhorn Stakes Prediction

Bold Act ticks plenty of boxes in terms of claiming the race victory this weekend. But, Highland Chief could be an excellent selection to complete the exacta. The seven-year-old returns from a lengthy layoff since finishing last but one in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2022, but he boasts some strong Keeneland form after landing the G3 Sycamore Stakes over course and distance.

Pick: Bold Act

Exacta: Bold Act/Highland Chief