Fall Stars Weekend wraps up with a 10 race card highlighted by the Grade 1 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes. Malathaat, who is looking for her third graded stakes win on this course, will take on last year’s winner of this race, Letruska. The Grade 2 Castle & Key Bourbon Stakes and the $200K Indian Summer Stakes will also be a part of this sequence. First post for the Sunday program is 1:00 (ET) and this sequence is set to begin at 3:57 (ET).
Best Bet: Race 6: #7 No Nay Hudson (8-1, ML)
Best Price Stab: Race 10, #3 Cibolian (15-1, ML)
I’ll typically be covering the Late Pick-5 sequence from this exciting meet on the ITM Blog, along with posting some updates and thoughts from time to time on Twitter @EricSolomon718. Feel free to reach out!
|Race||Top Pick||A||B||C||Wagering Menu|
|6||7||7||10,11||PK5, PK3, DBL|
|7||3||1,3||2||PK4, PK3, DBL|
Race 6, The $200K Indian Summer Stakes Presented by Keeneland Select:
Love Reigns (#5) defecting from this race totally changes the complexion of this race. She felt like an easy single in a race where she towered over her competition on paper. Wesley Ward scratched her, but he still has No Nay Hudson (#7) who is an improving two year old that was second in the Skidmore last time out when making his first career start on the turf at Saratoga. He was three wide that day, but battled gamely when he was second best. Ward’s horses seem to always appreciate being home at Keeneland, and the fact that he remains in this race tells me that Ward believes this one has some ability. Private Creed (#11) was third, a little bit behind No Nay Hudson in that race. He came back to win the Juvenile Sprint at Kentucky Downs in his last start. Horses that raced at Kentucky Downs in their last starts were so tough on this course last season. However, going into the day today, they have been shut out in turf races at this meet. He is still the main danger in this one. Castlemola (#10) is a longshot that clearly defeated a respectable field in his debut at Horseshoe Indianapolis. He has the speed to clear this field and may be flying under the radar due to some unfamiliar connections.
Maiden two year olds go seven furlongs in this maiden special weight contest. Cherie DeVaux sends out Cagliostro (#3) for his second career start. He debuted at this challenging distance at Saratoga last month, where he was wide before flattening out. He showed enough in that debut to make me think that he will move forward off that effort. DeVaux has very good numbers with second time starters, and her horses at this meet are often well-meant. McEnroe (#1) is the first time starter that is the most interesting to me. He’s sired by freshman sire, Justify, who is on fire so far. His runners are winning at a ridiculous 29% when they debut. The works are good for this $275K purchase. On deeper tickets, Perform (#2) is the morning line favorite for Shug McGaughey, making his third career start. He adds blinkers today after tiring at this distance in his last start at Saratoga. There is some ability there, but he’s hard for me
Race 8: The $350K Grade 2 Castle & Key Bourbon Stakes:
This is an evenly matched field where I think you could go one of two ways. You could spread heavily here, knowing there isn’t much that separates the top and bottom here. The alternative is to try to nail down a race that might be more impactful than the other races that some horses are coming out of. I like the Juvenile Race at Kentucky Downs that some horses are coming out of and I do believe that the trip will be the deciding force in who wins today. Reckoning Force (#3) and Deer District (#4) were the best in that race, and with their inner posts, I do feel they are more likely to get a better trip than some of the contenders in the outer stalls. Perhaps Dale Romans’ poor numbers with turf horses and graded stakes races will drive up the price on Deer District, who will be my top pick. He’s been very good in two turf starts and Martin Garcia seems to get along very well with him. He fought tooth and nail with Reckoning Force, so the price disparity between the two on the morning line is a little puzzling. Both are worthy of being on the A line. On deeper tickets, Andthewinneris (#12) could be overlooked. He was chasing Boppy O. (#7), most of the way around the track when that one was setting a dawdling pace in the With Anticipation at the Spa. I expect a more honest tempo here and I think Prat could be able to slide in mid pack to avoid too much ground loss into the first turn. He continues to improve and is another one that could be overlooked by the public.
This Grade 1 contest figures to another matchup between Malathaat (#1) and Letruska (#3), two multiple Grade winning females that have their sights set on the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. They’ve met three times, with Malathaat getting the better of her rival each time. Letruska was able to set reasonable fractions in the Personal Ensign when they last met, but Malathaat proved that she was simply the better animal on that day. I do think that Army Wife (#2) and Played Hard (#4) have enough early speed to keep Letruska honest up front. At the nine furlong trip, I don’t think Letruska is as effective as she would be at 1 mile and 1/16. The table should be set for the better horse,so I’ll use Malathaat as another short priced single in this sequence.
The nightcap is a wide open N2X allowance contest for three year olds and up going 12 furlongs on the turf. Some of the earlier spots in the sequence look to be logical spots for short prices, so I’m hoping to get a price home here. Cibolian (#3) is my top pick in hopes of rebounding from a few subpar efforts. He ran very well in his last two races at this distance and condition here in the spring and last fall. He was a close 4th in the Louisville at Churchill and 4th when going two miles in the Belmont Gold Cup. His last two at Woodbine and Saratoga were dull, but at 15-1 (ML), I’ll bet that can return to form on a course he likes. Always Above (#11) is a three year old taking on his elders here. He has some upside at this distance, running a credible race in the Colonial Cup against older foes in July. He was a little flat at Kentucky Downs in the Dueling Grounds Derby last out, but that course isn’t for everyone. He broke his maiden at 11 furlongs on turf at Churchill in the spring and goes here despite being eligible for N1X company. He’s definitely a stayer and might have found a niche in these longer distance races. Mud Pie (#8) is a logical player and the morning line favorite. He continues to improve and always seems to show up on race day. He was third behind Cibolian in this race last fall, but I do think he appreciates a firmer course, which he should get today. Offlee Naughty (#7) was a wide 6th at this level at Saratoga last out. He was only two lengths behind Reigning Spirit (#10), who is worth covering as well here. I do think with a better trip, he can easily make up those two lengths on his rival, while likely going off at a better price. Point Me By (#4) is another one to cover on deeper tickets. He’ll be trying the marathon distance for the first time, but he is sired by Point of Entry, which should serve him well. He’s a Grade 1 winner at three, and looks to be improving, despite not winning in over a year. He has upside, but 6-1 is a little light for me on a race like this.
Pick-5 – Main Ticket, $54:
The scratch of Love Reigns (#5, R6) totally changed my approach with this ticket. Malathaat (#1, R9) is going to be a single for me. I don’t trust that Letruska (#3, R9) is as good as she was when she won this race last year and I think at this distance, she’s more vulnerable. I want some coverage in some of the other legs, trying to get some prices, especially in the races that bookend this sequence.