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Check out our predictions and odds for the Bryan Station Stakes at Keeneland!
|1||TALK OF THE NATION||5/2|
|J Ortiz||C McGaughey III|
|J Rosario||S Asmussen|
|3||DUDE N COLORADO||15/1|
|F Prat||T Pletcher|
|J Graham||M Maker|
|L Saez||V Oliver|
|C J Hernandez||E West|
|R Gutierrez||M Maker|
|A Achard||R Brisset|
|9||MORE THAN LOOKS||8/5|
|J Velazquez||C DeVaux|
|T Gaffalione||C Brown|
Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.
If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick More Than Looks (8/5).
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Following a sharp stakes win at Churchill Downs, More Than Looks looms the horse to beat in a field of ten sophomore turf males in the Grade 3 Bryan Station Stakes on Saturday at Keeneland.
Trained by Cherie DeVaux, the son of More Than Ready has won three of his last four. Three starts back, he rallied by Talk of the Nation in the Grade 3 Manila Stakes at Belmont.
After a third-place effort at Saratoga, he rolled to victory in the Jefferson Cup four weeks ago at Churchill Downs.
Chief among his challengers in the one-mile grass test will be the Shug McGaughey-trained Talk of the Nation.
A dark bay son of Quality Road, he has done no worse than second in five career starts on the turf.
Most recently, he earned his second stakes win with a determined victory in the Gun Runner Stakes at Kentucky Downs.
Another to watch on Saturday in the Bryan Station is the gray gelding Smokey Mandate. Trained by Mike Maker, he comes in off competitive stakes losses in the last two to Talk of the Nation and More Than Looks.
This son of More Than Ready has a lot going for him on Saturday. Trained by Cherie De Vaux, he has won three of his last four. His best performance came in his last start when he powered by his rivals down the stretch in the Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs.
He won with a similar strong late run two starts before that in the Grade 3 Manila Stakes in New York. In his only recent loss, he ran well but was hampered by a slow early pace.
In this race, the pace should be fast, setting the table for his closing kick. He ran well in his only previous start at Keeneland, and should be only better this time around. He is the top pick.
The most obvious threat to the top pick, this Shug McGaughey-trainee has been first or second in all five of his turf tries. The last four have come in stakes company, where he has two wins and two seconds.
All of them have come at the one-mile distance, which he appears to like. Perhaps his one negative here could be the amount of speed in the race. He likes to be close early, and fast fractions could favor More Than Looks.
Still, it is hard to ignore his excellent form on the grass. The son of Quality Road looks to be a strong second choice on Saturday and must be respected.
This Mike Maker-trainee has taken well to the turf in his last four starts. A son of Strong Mandate, he just missed in his turf debut before romping home to break his maiden next out.
In his last two, he moved up to solid stakes company and was pretty competitive against both More Than Looks and Talk of the Nation in a pair of stakes races.
Having said that, those two were too good for him down the stretch, and he will need to improve to turn the tables. As one of many with speed in the race, I am siding with others in the Bryan Station.
I’m not sure what happened to this son of Kodiac last time, when a dull fifth in the Gio Ponti Stakes, but if you can excuse that one, he looks like a serious threat on Saturday.
He was a solid performer in his first five career races, which include nice maiden and allowance wins in New York for trainer Chad Brown. He has yet to win a stakes race, but has threatened.
Two starts back, he nosed out More Than Looks for second in the Grade 2 Hall of Fame. I think that result will be reversed here, but he looms as one of the biggest threats to the top pick.
This son of Uncle Mo is a graded stakes winner over the Keeneland turf course. That win came in the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes back in May, and was achieved on the front end.
For that reason alone he should be respected on Saturday. Trained by VIcky Oliver, he has not won in four starts since, but has kept good company.
He should be involved in the pace here, but there are plenty of other speed types to pressure him. I cannot completely dismiss him, but the race dynamics would seem to favor others.
This son of Not This Time is one of the few horses in the race who likes to come from off the pace. That style should suit him well in a race likely to have strong early fractions.
His performance last time in the Grade 3 Virginia Derby was not great, but at least the Steve Asmussen-trainee was gaining a bit in the stretch.
Before that, he had won two stakes races, both of which came at a mile and included the Grade 2 Secretariat. Of the longshots in the race, I like him the best.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, this Uncle Mo colt has been a consistent pace presence while winning two of six career starts.
He was able to win the one-mile Colonel Liam Stakes three starts back at Gulfstream Park, but followed that up with a dull performance at Keeneland in the Grade 3 Transylvania.
Beaten by Gigante in his most recent race, he has now had five months since his last start. The freshening and maturity may well do him good, but he returns to a difficult spot with plenty of speed. I prefer others on Saturday.
A speedy sort, this gelding from the Ethan West barn won on the turf in his second career start and has moved forward nicely since.
A gate to wire winner at Laurel Park and Horseshoe Indianapolis, he got his first taste of graded stakes action last time out in the Virginia Derby. He set the pace there but faded to third down the lane.
With only four lifetime starts, there is room for improvement. Having said that, this is a tough spot with good other speed in the race. I am looking elsewhere in the Bryan Station.
After winning a maiden and an allowance race back to back on the turf last year, this son of Classic Empire has yet to find the winner’s circle in seven tries in 2023.
All of them have come in stakes races, but he has yet to seriously threaten in any of them. His best tries in stakes company resulted in a trio of thirds.
Most recently he was well behind More Than Looks when third in the Jefferson Cup. I find him hard to recommend in a field of this ability.
This son of Twirling Candy has won twice in eight career starts for trainer Rodolphe Brisset. In his only two stakes attempts, he finished sixth on the turf and third on an all-weather surface.
He was able to win last time out, scoring a tough win by a neck in allowance company at Kentucky Downs.
That was his best performance to date, but it came against a full level below what he will see on Saturday. I like others better here.
Bryan Station Stakes Race Information
Bryan Station Stakes predictions and best bets are here! See the full race analysis and odds for Keeneland this Saturday!
Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Email: [email protected]
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