We normally don't post on Fridays, but today is a special occasion, as it's opening day at Keeneland's boutique fall meeting, and there's a terrific card there, featuring two crackling good stakes races, the Grade 2 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix, a sprint, and the Grade 1 Alcibiades, which has 2-year-old fillies going a mile and a sixteenth. Both are on dirt, both are terrific, and we like horses in both of them. We expect a fast main track in Lexington today; let's go.
Keeneland, Race 8, 4:57 pm ET
Grade 2 Stoll Keenon Ogden Stakes, 6 furlongs, dirt, 3 & up
Eleven go to the post here. There are some seriously fast runners in here, but we have eyes for only one of them: 7-Promises Fulfilled. This 4-year-old Dale Romans trainee has been a top sprinter since last year, and though he's won only one his five starts in 2019, he has been running against the toughest horses in the world, in races longer than today's distance. His prior races this year were at 7 furlongs and a mile; but today he cuts back to 6 furlongs, which we think is his best distance. Put bluntly: we think he's ready to run them off their feet today. We think his 3-1 morning line price is a bargain, we will bet him to win. The bet: Keeneland, Race 8, $40 to win on 7-Promises Fulfilled.
Keeneland, Race 9, 5:30 pm ET
Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, dirt, 2-year-old Fillies
There's an interesting and evenly matched filed of eleven in this one, a great juvenile fillly stakes that is the featured race on the opening day card at Keeneland. A handicapper could go in many different directions here, but we are going in one that may seem downright crazy: we like 9-Sequin, who is a maiden. She is winless in her two career starts, finishing a close second in two turf sprints, but today she goes from grass to dirt, and from sprinting to routing. Her speed figures are competitive, her pedigree suggests she should relish going long on dirt, and her trainer, Wesley Ward, is as good as any human on planet at conditioning 2-year-olds. We are expecting big improvement and a big run from her today. She is 12-1 on the morning line, and we are going to jump all over it: we will bet her to win. The bet: Keeneland, Race 9, $40 to win on 9-Sequin.
We are also embrace our inner degenerate and play these two in the Daily Double that comprises the two stakes. The bet: Keeneland, Race 8, $30 double, 7 (Promises Fulfilled) with 9 (Sequin).
That's all for today. We'll be back tomorrow. Good luck at the windows.