Our Anthony Fontaine has been at it again. He is a true Keeneland lover. Here are his thoughts about the Keeneland October 11 Full Card.
Race One: Selections 8-1-2-6
#8 Wrath bred to be a nice runner takes another drop hoping to find the winners circle. This one runs for the first part of the race them seemingly gives up. This is the easiest spot to date and if this one is ever going to break the maiden today looks like the day.
#1 Odie is another runner that began with lots of promise but it has never materialized on the track. Last race was not terrible although the late drifting is always concerning. Not facing a very tough field here and is the one to beat to cash. #2 Popcorn for Eddie is in search of a group of friendly competitors by which he can make it to the winners circle. His previous races were not bad and with some improvement off those efforts this one should be in the mix coming down the lane.
Race Two: Selections 3-4-5-6
#3 Chief Know it All comes off a stylish win at the Spa and will try to make it two in a row in this spot. Has shown a liking for Keeneland in the past and Gargan has been red hot recently. A runner to consider for all slots today.
#4 Celerity would love to have some pace to close into in this spot and runner may get such a set up in this spot. Has been a solid competitor at this level of competition and should give a good account of himself one again. #5 Honor Mission takes a climb in price and has been competing sharply recently. This runner likes to be close up and the stalking strategy may allow him to have a few options especially if the pace fails to develop. This runner can hold for a nice slice with a good trip.
Race Three: Selections 2-6-3-4
#2 haunt may be able to workout a nice trip under Bo rail especially with the inside horse not having much early speed. This one may not be as flashy as a few others in this field but is bred to be a nice runner and will be tough to pass in the lane with the right set up.
#6 En Wye Cee has been impressive since stepping onto the track and will look to add to the unbeaten streak in his third start. Although this horse ran a faster race when sprinting, I think this one was just as impressive as he had to duel and put away his foes to prevail. #3 Gray Magician will use this race as a prep for a possible run in the Breeders Cup yet I feel this one will be hard pressed in this spot under any scenario. A nice runner that likes to run close to the pace, this horse has yet to display that tenacity necessary to win races with rivals that. This one does not figure to offer value at the window as will be heavily backed and in my opinion is not the most likely winner.
Race Four: Selections 7-8-6-3
#7 Classical Magic has lots of speed and the rider would be wise to let this horse establish position close to the front. Rider is capable of getting the best out of his runners and this one should be prominent from start to finish.
#8 Art Bluff has a similar style but in the past has shown she can rate a bit further back. Rider is having a solid meet so far and without a doubt will place this runner in a spot most advantageous to earn a slice in this event. #6 Jordan’s kitten will need some pace to deliver her best in this spot but runner is more than capable of earning a major share. Lanerie has been riding lights out at this young meet so would not sell this runner short.
Race Five: Selections 1a-4-7-6
#1a Ashley’s New Shoes has not shown much in two starts to date but may have encountered circumstances that prevented her from showing her best. With a fast track and the experience gained in the previous races, plus the all-important albeit slight drop from maiden allowance to maiden claiming this one can light up the board today.
#4 Badgeri Candy ads blinkers for today’s assignment as connections hope she will focus on the task at hand and show more speed from the bell. Runner has not been disgraced nor has made much of an impact so rider would be wise to get this one going early and remain relevant from pole to pole. #7 My Maiko comes off a long break and finds a competitive group in this event. Works have been even and nothing to set the hair on fire however trainer not known for fast drills, and she has displayed ability particularly in the debut race so a solid effort is within scope.
Race Six: Selections 7-9-3-8
#7 Cairo Express finds a spot where she can improve off the experience he has gained in the two races to date. Was overmatched at the Spa and showed great improvement on the lawn at Kentucky Downs. I think the non-performance in the debut had more to do with the level of competition more than any lack of ability. Expect a nice effort today.
#9 Tapigal has some nice works for the debut and trainer Brad Cox is making all the right moves with his entrants. His numbers with debut runners is rock solid and his main rider Geroux is in tow for this event, looks like all systems go. #3 Elizabeth T is a well bred sort that has some nice works for this debut run. Trainer won a nice race on Thursday and will look to continue to build off that success, worth some consideration and inclusion on tickets.
Race Seven: Selections 9-12-6-1
#9 Shootin the Breeze takes a much needed drop in class seeking second lifetime win. Runner has been in some tough races and the drop may be just what was needed to earn a victory and gain some confidence. Will be a nice price as other runners look much better on paper but this one has a chance to wake up and earn a major share at a nice price.
#12 Sherkali is a well-bred sort in the hands of a very capable trainer. Do not be fooled by the 0 for 38 in 2019 this trainer is very good with turf runners and can pop at a price. #6 Chewing Gum won right away for new trainer Mott and looks to add to that score. This field is not filled with world beaters and this is the runner to deny to cash in this race.
Race Eight: Selections 12-9-4-7
#12 Midnight Patriot debuts from the far outside with some nice works and a capable trainer and rider. The break will be key as in many instances young horses break in or out depending on their post. If rider can get away cleanly and put this one in the race I firmly think this runner can light up the board today.
#9 Young Phillip always seems to give a good effort just shy of getting his picture taken. This spot may prove difficult as well as runner will have to be hard used from post 9 to get the lead and work over to the rail. Will need a big effort but capable of earning a share once again. #4 Luna’s in Charge has a big shot in this spot as this one is proven to stalk and pounce and those tactics have been a winning formula so far this meet. Lanerie will have his charge in an optimal spot to deliver a good performance so worth inclusion in the exotics and multi race wagers.
Race Nine Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes: Selections 12-3-2-1
#12 Painting Corners may not have liked the Kentucky Downs surface and will appreciate the Keeneland lawn which has been firm and similar to those on the west coast particularly Del mar. Trainer Miller has been on fire with his runners at this meet and Castellano taking the mount inspires lots of confidence.
#3 Morticia got back on the beam last out and returns to a course she absolutely adores. How much did that last effort take out of her? No way to really know for certain but that was her best race in a while so some regression is to be expected. Still this game lady of the springing grass game will give another solid effort. #2 Oleksandra goes for the ever dangerous Hall of famer Drysdale. Got off to a sluggish start last time and was able to close mightily for a share. With an alert beginning this one will pose a danger to everyone for top honors today.
Race Ten: Selections 6-1-9-3
#6 Chasingthegame has shown an affinity for this surface in the past and although stepping up in class this runner is sharp right now and many of the other top competitors come in with question marks. Runner will outrun odds and I feel is a major win candidate against this group.
#1 Satellite will hope a pace develops and allow him an opportunity to sweep past late. Runner has some ability and deserves some attention in this spot. #9 Stormy Pacific has yet to visit the winners circle this year but usually runs a solid race. Expecting a similar effort in this race today.