Key Races & Bets for Saturday October 29th

Race 5 at Keeneland – Post Time 3:08 PM Eastern

Top win contenders:
General Jim fits this first allowance condition perfectly coming off a win on grass in his second career start, first on turf. Saez rides back and he gets a great inside post. The colt was so highly regarded he was entered in the Bourbon Stakes opening weekend but opts for this logical spot to get his second career win.

Our Dream Rye’d ran in the Bourbon Stakes opening weekend and although seven wide at the quarter pole passed quite a few to go from last of 12 to fifth at the end. He had broken his maiden at Saratoga this summer just as General Jim had, also impressively, and now at the correct NW1X level instead of in stakes competition should return to form good enough to win.

There are quite a few horses which can finish second or third to complete the exacta or trifecta and some will go to post at high odds. This group consists of Disdainful, Bling, Oscar Award, Mendel’s Secret and Rarified Air.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Consider win bets on either or both General Jim and Our Dream Rye’d at odds of 5 to 2 or more.  

Exactas: General Jim and Our Dream Rye’d over General Jim Our Dream Rye’d, Disdainful, Bling, Oscar Award, Mendel’s Secret and Rarified Air

Trifectas: General Jim and Our Dream Rye’d over Disdainful, Bling, Oscar Award, Mendel’s Secret and Rarified Air over General Jim and Our Dream Rye’d

General Jim and Our Dream Rye’d over General Jim and Our Dream Rye’d  over Disdainful, Bling, Oscar Award, Mendel’s Secret and Rarified Air

Doubles:

Race 5: General Jim, Our Dream Rye’d

Race 6: Raise Cain, Quick Hammer

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Bowman Mill Stakes – Race 6 at Keeneland – Post Time 3:40 PM Eastern

Top win contenders:
Quick Hammer showed a lot of maturity as well as ability winning in his debut last month in New York. He stalked the pacesetters in third position early, moved three paths wide on the turn to secure a clear path, then drew off late. Saez rode then and rides back and the colt is exceptionally well bred as well as hails from the Cox barn which wins at about a 30% clip with last out maiden winners back-to-back.

Raise Cain was also impressive in his most recent race, his second career start. That came at Keeneland on 10/9 where he stalked in third then drew off by six lengths. He cuts back a furlong which helps him to have the same late kick and both his and Quick Hammer’s running style are complimented by the fact it appears all of the other five horses here might want the lead.

Handicapper Picks

Consider win bets on either or both Quick Hammer and Raise Cain at odds of 3 to 2 or higher. These are definitely low odds overlay win bets.

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Hagyard Fayette Stakes – Race 9 at Keeneland – Post Time 5:16 PM Eastern

Just West Will Power and First Captain are the main contenders here, so much so that if we ran this race 100 times these two might win 75 to 80 times between them. It’s very tough to separate them but based on the starting odds of 4 to 1 we’ll start with West Will Power, who draws the ground saving rail and who has a very consistent career record of four wins and five runner-up finishes in 11 races. Perhaps better still he won the ONLY time he raced at Keeneland previously and he won his most recent race, at the same mile and one-eighth distance as this year’s Hagyard Fayette Stakes. That win came in his second start after returning from a 10 month layoff, where he missed by a head, before dominating by nearly three lengths for the entire length of the stretch. He’s certainly not over raced and should run as well or better than he did last month, and he put in a very strong five-eighths of a mile morning workout last week which was the best of 71 on the day and signals he’s holding top form.

First Captain has won five of nine career starts but lacks a win at this distance, although he’s run only once. He won the Pimlico Special Stakes at one and three-sixteenths miles, one-sixteenth of a mile farther than this, so the distance is of no concern and he enters the race having faced tougher last month when third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, won by Olympiad, who is going to compete next week in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Jockey Luis Saez has been fighting with Tyler Gaffalione to be the top rider at the fall Keeneland meeting and rides this colt for the fourth straight time so that’s another plus.

Handicapper Picks

Win: West Will Power at odds of 3 to 2 or more.
Opening at 6 to 5, a win bet on First Captain is not warranted but we will be playing doubles to race 10 to make some money if he wins.

Exactas:
Box West Will Power and First Captain

Doubles:
Race 9: West Will Power, First Captain
Race 10: Illegal Smile. Miner’s Queen

Race 9: West Will Power, First Captain
Race 10: Illegal Smile
We will want to play the additional double above because Illegal Smile will be the favorite in race 10 so we will want to cash the bet twice if she wins.

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Race 10 at Keeneland – Post Time 5:48 PM Eastern

Illegal Smile, who opens as the 8 to 5 favorite, certainly is the one to beat if she repeats wins in identical races at this distance on the Keeneland turf in October, 2021 and in April of this year. Both were in allowance company and one came from the two post so the rail should be no problem. She finished fifth in a grade 3 stakes since then then third in a non-graded stakes in her most recent start and she won the race this past April off a six month layoff so the two months she’s coming back from here are no issue. Just the same, she has an overall record of 3-4-2 in 13 races and is no lock.

With that in mind I’m very intrigued by Miner’s Queen, who opens at 15 to 1. Saez has NEVER ridden for trainer Hernandez, who is pretty competent and who saddled the filly to two straight wins at five furlongs on grass in July and August. The 98 Equibase speed figure earned in that 8/3 win is just close enough to the 102 figures Illegal Smile earned in her two Keeneland wins to believe that if Saez moves her up at all she can post the upset.

Lemos Cunha and Sara Mia are both deep closers a bit disadvantaged by the temp rail being out 20 feet but both could be passing a number of horses late and be part of the exacta or trifecta.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Miner’s Queen at 4 to 1 or higher.

Exactas: Illegal Smile and Miner’s Queen over Illegal Smile, Miner’s Queen, Lemos Cunha and Sara Mia

Trifecta: Illegal Smile over Miner’s Queen, Lemos Cunha and Sara Mia over ALL

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Ellis Starr

Ellis is a well respected handicapper and contributor of AmWager. He has been a public handicapper for more than twenty years, educating racing fans of all skill levels with detailed commentary few other handicappers provide.

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