The Grade 2, $200,000 dollar Fayette Stakes for 3-year-olds and up, which is run at a mile and eighth on the dirt, is set for Saturday as the final stakes race of Keeneland‘s fall meet.
The Fayette attracted a field of 10 and includes some familiar names from the Older Male division as well as the Triple Crown series, along with an intriguing outsider who is riding a five-race Winning streak.
The race is slated as Race 9 on a card of 10 with a scheduled Post Time of 5:30 Eastern Time. Here then is a brief look at the field with Morning Line odds.
1) THE GREAT DAY [ML 20-1] Trainer: Arnaud Delacour. Jockey: Corey Lanerie. He came to the American barn of Delacour from Argentina this year. In the U.S., he has raced in three Graded Stakes, two on the turf and the most recent on the synthetic course at Woodbine. He won that Woodbine race on the front end and now moves to the dirt at Keeneland. He does show dirt Victories in Argentina, but those Stakes races are hard to compare to American racing.
2) MR FREEZE [ML 7-2] Trainer: Dale Romans. Jockey: Robby Albarado. In his third start of this year he stepped up and beat older horses for the first time in the Ack Ack (G3) at Churchill Downs. As a late-developing 3-year-old, he made his career debut in April and Won three of his first four starts, including the West Virginia Derby (G3).
3) TOM’S D’ETAT [ML 2-1] Trainer: Albert Stall. Jockey: Joel Rosario. His last out he ran 4th, beaten by less than two lengths, as a 2-1 shot in the Woodward (G1) at Saratoga. The lightly raced 6-year-old has two Wins in listed Stakes races, but he has yet to break through in graded company. He seems to a have a class edge in this field but is a bit unpredictable.
4) EVERFAST [ML 20-1] Trainer: Dale Romans. Jockey: Miguel Mena. Competing in a long list of Grade 1 and 2 races, he did record two 2nd place finishes in the Preakness and the Holy Bull (G2). Bottom line is that he has only a Maiden Victory to his credit. He now tries older horses for the first time after last seen running at the back of the 12-horse Travers (G1) field.
5) MOCITO ROJO [ML 6-1] Trainer: Shane Wilson. Jockey: Filemon Rodriguez. Based out of Delta Downs in Louisiana, this 5-year-old has a gaudy career record that includes five consecutive Stakes Victories with two Grade 3 scores. He came to Kentucky and took down the Lukas Classic (G3) by a neck at odds of 9-1. That Win has to earn him respect and likely a much shorter price on the board.
6) TENFOLD [ML 15-1] Trainer: Steve Asmussen. Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr. We remember TENFOLD chasing JUSTIFY in the 2018 Triple Crown series, but that year he did win the Jim Dandy (G2). This season as a 4-year-old he won the Pimlico Special (G3). His recent form has not been good.
7) CORE BELIEFS [ML 8-1] Trainer: Peter Eurton. Jockey: Joe Talamo. Based on the west coast, this guy has been off since July when he ran 4th in the San Diego Handicap (G2) at Del Mar behind three horses that are heading to the Breeders’ Cup. He was the Winner of the New Orleans Handicap (G2) last March. He fits well with this group of horses, but the layoff from two tough races is cause for concern.
8) BAL HABOUR [ML 7-2] Trainer: Todd Pletcher. Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione. This 4-year-old has hit the board in four consecutive Graded Stakes races, including the Woodward last time when he had the lead at the top of the stretch and finished a half-length behind the Winner, PRESERVATIONIST. He won an Allowance race in his only start at Keeneland last fall after being gelded.
9) OWN AGENDA [ML 30-1] Trainer: Cherie DeVaux. Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr. His first race in Graded Stakes company. His last Victory came a year ago in a first-level Allowance race at Churchill Downs. Since then, he has tried five times to Win the next level Allowance and hit the board three times.
10) BIG DOLLAR BILL [ML 12-1] Trainer: Ian Wilkes. Jockey: Chris Landeros. He sports a perfect 3-for-3 record at Keeneland, which includes two Allowance races and his Maiden score. However, he comes to this spot with two lackluster performances in 2019, and will need to make a significant improvement to be a contender at the Grade 2 level.
Summary: This race is filled with horses having inconsistent form. That is why #5 MOCITO ROJO and his five-race Winning streak has past performances that standout. With two Grade 3 Wins in that streak, especially the Victory in the Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs, he is the top pick for the Daily Racing Blog.
We suspect that #3 TOM’S D’ETAT, and #8 BAL HARBOUR will go off as the top two choices. If we can get MOCITO ROJO at odds of 4-1 or better, it’s worth trying to beat the favorites. We also like #2 MR FREEZE at odd of 7-2 or better.
The Play: DRB will do a Trifecta Key using the #2 & 5 on top of the #1-2-3-7-8. So the ticket will read; 2-5 with 1-2-3-5-7-8 with 1-2-3-5-7-8. We’ll also do an Exacta Box with the 1-2-5-8. Win bets on the #1.
Best of luck no matter how you play it.