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Check out our predictions and odds for the Fayette Stakes at Keeneland!
|J Ortiz||L Rice|
|J Graham||N Pessin|
|C Lanerie||K McPeek|
|J Rosario||D Romans|
|B J Hernandez Jr||J Sharp|
|R Santana Jr||R Moquett|
|L Saez||A Sano|
|F Geroux||R Atras|
|T Gaffalione||S Joseph Jr|
|M Garcia||V Oliver|
|J Velazquez||K McPeek|
|F Prat||B Cox|
|L Saez||T Pletcher|
|AE||TIME FOR TROUBLE||20/1|
|J Talamo||J Hiles|
Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.
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Coming off a pair of narrow defeats in graded stakes action, Trademark looks to get over the hump when he tops an overflow field of older males in Saturday’s Grade 2 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland.
A 4-year-old son of Upstart, the gelding has run four consecutive strong races after a failed effort on turf in the spring.
Trained by Vicky Oliver, he was a solid third in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile before winning the Schaefer Memorial at Horseshoe Indianapolis. In his last two, he was second in both the Grade 3 Philip Iselin and the Grade 2 Lukas Classic.
A trio of horses coming out of the Grade 2 Woodward in New York are among his many challengers in the 9-furlong Fayette.
Film Star (2nd), Law Professor (3rd), and O’Connor (5th) all will be making their first start since finishing behind the Grade 1 winner Zandon four weeks ago.
Film Star had scored two straight impressive allowance victories heading into the Woodward for trainer Linda Rice and could be the second choice on Saturday.
Law Professor and O’Connor, meanwhile, are both multiple stakes winners respectively for trainers Rob Atras and Saffie Joseph, Jr.
This Vicky Oliver-trained runner has proven to be a very solid competitor in graded stakes racing a cut below the top level. A winner at Keeneland last fall, he has turned in four good performances in a row.
Last out, the son of Upstart was passed in the last jumps in the Grade 2 Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs. A similar performance here makes him one of the ones to beat on Saturday.
He looks like a deserving favorite, but by no means does he stand over this field. I will use him in the exotics and see if he can earn his biggest stakes win yet.
In a race with plenty of early speed, it makes sense to pay attention to horses with the ability to fire from off the pace.
A top horse in his native country of Chile, he has found things tougher here in the U.S. but has shown enough to believe that with the right set up, he can break through and win a graded race here. This race could be the one.
Off a strong early pace, the Saffie Joseph, Jr.-trainee should come running in the Fayette. He is one of the biggest threats to my top pick
Trained by Linda Rice, this 4-year-old son of Flatter has been going really well of late. After just missing in a Saratoga allowance race, he rattled off a pair of impressive allowance scores at Saratoga and Aqueduct.
Both came at the same 9-furlong distance he will see here. He was beaten last time, but he set all the pace in the Grade 2 Woodward and was only beaten by the Grade 1 winner Zandon.
There is plenty of other speed in here, but as sharp as he is and breaking from the rail, I believe he can scoot to the lead heading into the first turn. He is the top pick.
The only 3-year-old in the field, this son of Gun Runner has shown solid improvement of late for trainer Antonio Sano. It was clear that he was not up to the challenge early in the year, and finished well beaten in five straight stakes races on the Kentucky Derby trail.
Skipping the Derby, he gained some confidence in an allowance win. He was never involved in the Belmont Stakes next but has since run three good efforts against fellow sophomores.
His recent form is interesting, including a third in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby, but I suspect this deep field of older horses will prove a little more than he wants on Saturday.
This multiple-stakes winner from the barn of Kenny McPeek has won two of his last four races. Both came in allowance company, but the most recent one was a solid field at Churchill Downs.
While it has been over a year since his last stakes win, his recent form is good enough to believe he is in with a shot on Saturday.
Like many in the field, however, he likes to be close early and my feeling is that he prefers a little shorter distance than the 9-furlongs he will see here. In this deep field, that is enough to go against him.
The least experienced horse in the field has won half of his eight career starts. The son of Flatter nearly won two straight graded stakes races last summer for Brad Cox, with a near miss and then an easy win.
Away for nine months, he has come back with three solid races, with his last being his best yet. The sharp allowance win shows he is back to his best. One of many with early speed, he will need to work out a good trip from his post.
He would be higher on my list if it were not for the far-outside post position, but I still believe he is a dangerous runner who will be a part of my exotic tickets.
One of many horses in the field who like to be close early, this son of Giant’s Causeway won the Grade 3 Cornhusker three starts back.
That evening he was able to control things on the front end. That task should be much more difficult on Saturday. He faced tough fields in his last two and had little left for the stretch drive.
He won his only start at Keeneland as a 2-year-old for trainer Dale Romans, but this race does not appear to set up well for the speed type.
This 5-year-old son of Constitution has kept good company the past few years. In 2023, he won two stakes races in five tries, but both came against lesser fields than he will see here.
In the tougher races, he has been falling a bit short. He wasn’t far behind Film Star last time and that came after a bit of a freshening.
If he can improve in his second start off the layoff, he is dangerous, but it could be pretty crowded among those who want to stay close to the early pace in the Fayette.
This confirmed late runner will be hoping for a fast pace on Saturday to best set up his closing kick. While many in the field have split their time between allowance races and stakes, this son of Runhappy has seen nothing but graded stakes races this year.
He has only won one of them but often rallies up for a share. This race, without any true Grade 1 horses and plenty of speed types could set up for him well.
He should have attractive odds as well. In his only previous race at Keeneland, he rallied for fourth, but this should provide more pace. I will use him in the exotics.
Trained by Joe Sharp, this son of Air Force Blue will be making his first start at Keeneland in the Fayette. He has a pretty nice record elsewhere with five wins and four seconds out of 13 career starts.
While most of those came in allowance company, he did win the Fort Larned Stakes at Churchill Downs in August of 2022.
He was away from the races for 13 months after that victory, just returning last month. There he finished second to Dash Attack at Churchill Downs. Any improvement in his second race back makes him one to watch on Saturday.
Since romping in an allowance race at Oaklawn Park to begin the season, this Ron Moquett-trained son of Uncle Mo has lost his last seven starts.
There are some good efforts in there, including a near miss second-place finish in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special.
Still, he has lost his last three in allowance company, and in a race with many possible winners, I like others better.
This well-bred son of Curlin is the second of two for trainer Kenny McPeek. A graded stakes winner at Keeneland back in 2001, he has gone winless in his last ten starts.
His third-place finish behind Dash Attack and Twilight Blue was his first start in seven months. It was a decent effort and he could show improvement in his second start back.
Having said that, I just don’t see enough in his form in the past 24 months to be excited about his chances on Saturday.
Two horses (Gasoline and Time for Trouble) have been placed on the also eligible list and would only get into the race if other horses are scratched. If drawn into the Fayette, neither would be among my top picks nor among my wagers.
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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