• KMR Racing

Keeneland’s fall meet loaded with quality

October 02, 2019 3:00 AM by Dave Valento

The first week in October brings a new fall meet for Keeneland and a chance for horseplayers to pad their Breeders’ Cup bankroll.

Friday is opening day for the Lexington, Kentucky-based track and if it plays out like opening day in 2018, there is going to be boxcar payoffs. There were five winners of 13-1 or higher on the 10-race opening day card last year, including a 33-1 winner and a 55-1 winner. The 55-1 winner keyed a $5,000 10-cent superfecta.

The Keeneland meet produces some serious Breeders’ Cup players. The Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity for two-year olds is a high producing race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Either the winner or runner-up has exited that race in four of the last six Juvenile’s.

The 16-day meet runs through Saturday, October 26. First post time is 10:05 a.m. PT. There is a $200,000 guaranteed pick 4 on opening day (starting in race 7). On Saturday, there is a $300,000 guaranteed All-Stakes Pick 5 (starting in race 6) and a $400,000 guaranteed All-Stakes Pick 4 (starting in race 7).

The Saturday card is highlighted by the million dollar Shadwell Turf Mile, one of three Grade 1 races on the card. The stakes races will be shown on NBC.

Weekend Major preps

The Breeders’ Cup is less than a month away and we’re getting down to the final prep races for the championship races held at Santa Anita.

Many of these “preps” are important Grade 1 races on their own. Santa Anita, Belmont Park and Keeneland all have impactful graded stakes races this weekend that will figure in a myriad of Breeders’ Cup races.

In fact, most US-based winners of Breeders’ Cup races in recent memory have run on this weekend at one of the three tracks mentioned. Combined, those three tracks will card 19 graded stakes races this weekend. It’s a good time to monitor the results for those looking to get a jump on Breeders’ Cup ideas.

Breeders' seminar

I’ll be joining Gordon Jones and Brian Arrigoni (Canterbury Park TV analyst) for a Breeders’ Cup seminar at Boulder Station on Thursday, October 31.

The seminar, which is free to attend, will be held at 6 p.m. in the Railhead ballroom. I’ll have free full-card analysis sheets for both Breeders’ Cup days for those that attend (a $25 value). More details to come so put it on your calendar.

Play of the week

Race 6 at Laurel Park on Thursday is a maiden special weight sprint on the dirt for two-year olds. The play is Order for Porkey (No. 8).

He is a first-time starter for trainer Kelly Rubley. The dam was unraced but her sister, Take Charge Lady, won $2.5 million (three-time Grade 1 winner, 2nd in the 2002 Kentucky Oaks). Rubley is 2 for 8 with a two-year old making their debut on the dirt sprinting in a spot like this.

The works are typical of a live runner for Rubley. The rider has won 28 percent for the trainer with a healthy $3.33 ROI.

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