Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity – Race 9 at Keeneland – Post Time 5:15 PM Eastern
In a 13 horse field full of potential stars, some of which we are likely to see on the Road to the Kentucky Derby trail next year, Great Escape gets top billing owing to a very mature, and very fast, win last month in his second career start. He stalked in fourth early and drew off to earn the best last race Equibase Speed Figure (a number measuring time and allowing us to compare horses coming from different tracks), 92. Considering many of these are going to improve going two turns for the first time and making their second, third or fourth career starts, we will assume the best will improve at the same rate and that means the rest would have to improve markedly over Great Escape to beat him.
Stellar Tap and Costa Terra both come from the top Asmussen barn and if we bet one, we MUST bet the other because if the trainer thinks they both belong we cannot argue, plus they share common ownership. Stellar Tap was impressive in his debut in August at Saratoga winning by five lengths then made a premature run from third to lead on the turn in the Iroquois Stakes at this distance last month but faded late. Santana rides back and likely WON’T make the same mistake this time so considering another son of his sire, Tapit, (Essential Quality) won the 2020 edition of this race, Stellar Tap must be respected.
Similarly, and likely at higher odds, we must respect Costa Terra as a contender. Jockey Arrieta isn’t known to most Kentucky bettors but wins a LOT of races for Asmussen in other states. The colt showed maturity rallying from fourth in his debut in July then in the Juvenile Stakes at seven furlongs in August, in his second start, rallied late to miss by a half-length. His bred to be a VERY GOOD horse as his sire is champion Gun Runner, who has already produced a two year old star in his first crop in Echo Zulu (who won the Frizette last weekend) and his dam’s ONLY foal is Pneumatic, who won his first two starts including at a mile then won the 2020 Pegasus Stakes.
Seal Beach finished second behind Great Escape and although still a maiden is talented, as well as likely to be ignored by bettors. He has improved in each start and is one that has potential to leap frog Great Escape in terms of his speed figure and if that occurs the payoff will be very nice.
Win bets: Great Escape should be bet to win at odds of 5 to 2 or higher.
A second win bet, for a slightly lower amount than on Great Escape, would be warranted on the highest odds near post time among Stellar Tap, Costa Terra or Seal Beach at 7 to 2 or more.
This is another race where a Dutching tool, like the one which is free at Amwager, really helps. We are likely to have two horses go to post at higher than the minimum odds but not at the same odds so the tool really helps us gain an edge mathematically when wagering on more than one horse to win.
Exacta: Box Great Escape, Stellar Tap, Costa Terra and Seal Beach
Trifectas: Box Great Escape, Stellar Tap, Costa Terra and Seal Beach
Race 9: Great Escape, Stellar Tap, Costa Terra and Seal Beach
Race 10: In Love, Space Traveller, Ivar, Pixelate, Order of Australia