Everything was in place to put us back into positive territory last weekend, but things turned south when Daddy Is A Legend, who looked like a clear winner at the eighth pole, broke through the rail and into the infield just as she was cruising to the lead in the Valley View on Friday. The unlucky $60 ($20 WPS) wager on the Scat Daddy filly was the major blemish on an otherwise profitable weekend that included a winning exacta and an across the board play on the winning Mister Maestro on Saturday. This abbreviated weekend offers our last chance to make amends for a bankroll that remains $139.30 in the red.
Friday October 26, 2018 – Race 9
The Friday feature drew a full field of debutantes going a mile on the grass, all non-winners of two races lifetime. Boxwood beat 10 others in her second trip to the post and overcame a wide voyage to find the line just over a length the best at Kentucky Downs. Reflected won easily at first asking over soft ground at Arlington, and the affinity she showed for the surface that day may prove to her benefit again today. Slimey performed well over good turf in her most recent effort at Churchill Downs. Speedy Solution found graded company a bit tough in the Jessamine earlier in the meet and will appreciate the drop in class. No Mo Temper broke through in her 3rd start to win last month at Churchill and her two-turn experience will be to her advantage against many in this group.
Wager: $10 WPS on Reflected, $0.50 trifecta box with Boxwood, Reflected, Slimey, Speedy Solution, and No Mo Temper. All bets only if the race stays on the grass.
Naughty Joker finished a strong second debuting in a full field over the lawn at Kentucky Downs. The daughter of Into Mischief indicated her readiness for this venture with a half mile in :46 and 3 here on Sunday. Wesley Ward sports a 40% win rate with horses moving from turf to dirt.
Wager: $20 WP on Naughty Joker
Saturday October 27, 2018 – Race 8
Admiral took his debut by a widening 4 plus lengths at Churchill last month and has trained solidly since over the local strip. The son of Curlin appears to have considerable upside in comparison to most of this field and looks poised to make it two-for-two right out of the box. Mac Jagger was competitive against tough company in New York, adds blinkers, and has some very nice breezes over the Keeneland surface since shipping into town.
Wager: $15 WPS on Admiral, $5 exacta box with Admiral and Mac Jagger
Race 9, the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes
Hofburg will take a good share of public money as he was a popular horse on the Triple Crown trail earlier this year. The Bill Mott trainee finished 2nd in the Florida Derby and 3rd in the Belmont, but was most recently a lackluster 4th in the Pennsylvania Derby. This is his first attempt against older horses, and while there are certainly no world beaters in this group, there are also no pace setters. Hofburg lays back near the rear of the field and makes one move, and the lack of pace in this contest will certainly be to his detriment. We’ll find out if he is simply talented enough to overcome it. Prime Attraction is actually the morning-line favorite in here. While he has been battling with the best this division has to offer out west, he has been beaten more than 40 lengths in his last 3 appearances on the main track. His best might certainly be good enough to find the winner’s enclosure on this occasion, but his last few trips to the post do not indicate that his best should be expected in this spot. Leofric has been a model of consistency, hitting the board in 9 straight races, including a 3rd in the G1 Woodward at Saratoga and a win in the G3 West Virginia Governor’s Cup in his last two starts. He is just versatile enough to be close to the expected slow pace, if not on the lead himself. The track has played kind to speed all meet, and the Brad Cox trainee figures to be sitting in the right spot when they turn for home.
Wager: $15 WPS on Leofric
Best of luck on closing weekend. Check back next week for Breeders’ Cup coverage from Churchill Downs. Follow me on Twitter @chadlashbrook for more racing insight and opinions on the races.