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Keeneland Breeders' Cup Challenge Races: Part 2

keeneland start
Day two of the Keeneland meet and three more Breeders’ Cup Challenge races are on the card. Winners of the GII Thoroughbred Club of America S., the GI Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity, and the GI Shadwell Turf Mile S. will be awarded automatic entry into the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, Juvenile, and Mile divisions (respectively) in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Championships at Churchill Downs, just a few weeks from now. Not a handicapper, but rather a reviewer, my picks for yesterday’s BC Challenge races managed to finish third and second so I’m happy. Here’s some preview of what to watch in today’s Win-and-You’re-In stakes.
 
The first BC Challenge race is race 6, the GII Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes for fillies and mares, 3 yo and up, 6 furlongs to be run on the Polytrak. The morning line favorites in this race include Switch, at 9/5 and Musical Romance at 4/1.  While I really like Switch and she has won at 7f, 1m, and 1 1/16 m, she hasn’t raced at this distance, so I’m skeptical, but hopeful.  Musical Romance, on the other hand seems more in touch with her inner sprinter, having won at 5 ½ f, 6 f, and 6 ½ f, coming into this race right of a 6 ½ f win. Between the two, I’d have to go with Musical Romance. However, Rapport has proven herself at the distance as well, more than once, and I really like the longshot, I Knot who has won her last three starts at 6 f, though I don’t know how she’ll fare over the Polytrak and with a new jockey.


Thoroughbred Club of America S.
October 08, $200,000, 3yo and up, f & m, 6F, Keeneland Race Course, 4:01 PM ET

ML
Post
Horse
Weight
Jockey
Trainer
4/1
1
122
J. C. Leyva
W. A. Kaplan
5/1
2
124
G. K. Gomez
C. R. Trout
5/1
3
Rapport, 4, f.
118
B. J. Hernandez, Jr.
R. W. Werner
50/1
4
118
J. Theriot
D. Stewart
15/1
5
116
J. A. Garcia
W. A. Ward
15/1
6
118
R. A. Dominguez
M. J. Maker
20/1
7
118
A. A. Marin
M. Criollo
6/1
8
Indulgence, 4, f.
118
J. R. Leparoux
M. D. Wolfson
12/1
9
12o
R. Albarado
J. Fernandez
9/5
10
Switch, 4, f.
124
J. Rosario
J. W. Sadler
50/1
11
I Knot, 4, f.
118
J. K. Court
R. B. Kohnhorst
 

The morning line on race 8,  the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity, shows Shared Property at 4/1 and Take Charge Indy at 5/1 as the favorites for this 1 1/16m race.  In their last start they finished first and second, respectively, in Arlington Park’s GIII Arlington-Washington Futurity (1 1/16m) in a very exciting battle in the final 1/16th mile. They each only have two starts by which to judge, so it’s a tough call for me. I’d be happy with either of these favorites, but I’d also like to see Gung Ho (15/1) make it to the wire first in this one, I certainly would like to see what he can do on Keeneland’s Polytrak after his last win on the turf at 1 m 30 yds.

 
Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity
October 08, $400,000, 2yo, 1 1/16M, Keeneland Race Course, 5:13 PM ET

ML
Post
Horse
Weight
Jockey
Trainer
15/1
1
121
J. M. Rios
S. Santoro
10/1
2
Space Race, 2, c.
121
E. Castro
M. R. Matz
15/1
3
Dullahan, 2, c.
121
K. J. Desormeaux
D. L. Romans
15/1
4
Motor City, 2, g.
121
C. H. Borel
I. R. Wilkes
7/2
5
121
G. K. Gomez
P. Miller
50/1
6
121
B. Creed
H. R. Reed
4/1
7
121
L. R. Goncalves
T. M Amoss
8/1
8
Lucky Chappy (IRE), 2, c.
121
R. A. Dominguez
H. G. Motion
8/1
9
121
J. Rosario
T. A. Pletcher
30/1
10
Ancil, 2, c.
121
M. R. Cruz
J. Scott
5/1
11
121
J. Graham
P. B. Byrne
8/1
12
Optimizer, 2, c.
121
R. Albarado
D. W. Lukas
50/1
13
121
S. J. Sellers
E. Gary
15/1
14
Gung Ho, 2, c.
121
J. R. Leparoux
M. J. Maker
20/1
15-AE
Fire Alarm, 2, c.
121
J. Theriot
W. B. Calhoun
20/1
16-AE
121
D. Centeno
J. D. Arias
 

Some heavy hitters here in race 9, his year’s GI Shadwell Turf Mile, including superstar Gio Ponti, the favorite at 5/2 and Sidney’s Candy, 3/1. I love races for 3 yo and up—I love the competition! I’ll admit that Gio Ponti is one of my favorite race horses so I’ll be rooting for him for certain. There are serious challengers here, including Wise Dan (12/1), who won his last two starts, which were at 1 m, and Irish-bred Zoffany (3/1), if he can stretch out to the mile.
 

Shadwell Turf Mile S.
October 08, $600,000, 3yo and up, 1 1/16M, Keeneland Race Course, 5:45 PM ET

ML
Post
Horse
Weight
Jockey
Trainer
15/1
1
Tajaaweed, 6, h.
126
J. Graham
D. C. Peitz
3/1
2
126
J. Rosario
T. A. Pletcher
8/1
3
126
J. P. Spencer
E. Vaughan
3/1
4
Zoffany (IRE), 3, c.
126
C. O’Donoghue
A. P. O’Brien
5/2
5
Gio Ponti, 6, h.
126
R. A. Dominguez
C. Clement
8/1
6
126
J. R. Leparoux
R. L. Attfield
12/1
7
Wise Dan, 4, g.
126
J. K. Court
C. Lopresti
5/1
8
Get Stormy, 5, h.
126
G. K. Gomez
T. M. Bush
 
 
My picks for these stakes:
  • Thoroughbred Club of America S.: Switch or I Knot
  • Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity:  Take Charge Indy or Gung Ho
  • Shadwell Turf Mile: Gio Ponti or Wise Dan
Have fun and good luck!    

 

What the Nation is saying about Keeneland Breeders' Cup Challenge Races: Part 2...

OK ... let's keep the winners rolling. Going with a longshot today in the Spinster ... Stars to Shine.

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Meet Melaina Phipps

I came to horseracing only about a decade ago. (And no, I am no relation to the celebrated racing family of the same name.) My equine interests prior to that began, as they do for most young girls, with riding lessons and horse shows, and ended up with me playing polo while a graduate student at UVA and thereafter. It was entirely unexpected that I should spend time on the backstretch at Saratoga in the summer and on the rail at Payson Park in Florida in the winter watching some of the best trainers and horses in the country work. But that’s where I found myself and where my interest in this wild ride of an industry took shape. I don’t exercise racehorses; I don’t work with a trainer.  I watch, I listen, I ask a lot of questions, and I learn.  I enjoy supporting equine charities. Sometimes I bet a little.

I leave the handicapping and serious race talk and examination to those more knowledgeable than I. What I’d like to share through Around the Oval are some of the myriad observations, stories, histories, events, charities, places, and personalities that make up the variegated landscape of the Thoroughbred racing industry. If you find any—or all—of it interesting, please leave comments. Have any particular interests you’d like to read about? Send word—suggestions are more than welcome!