What? No stakes races?! Yes, it’s true. With no stakes races on the docket for the first time during the 17-day fall meet, Keeneland still takes center stage with a 10-race card, highlighted by an $80,000 allowance race for 3-year-olds and up on the turf over 1 1/16 miles.
The race 9 feature, comprised of 13 horses, is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. ET post time.
#1, Deauville (IRE), Tyler Gaffalione, 10-1
Deauville (IRE) will be making his 30th career start today (5-7-5), his sixth this year (1-0-0) and will be making a return appearance to the United States for the first time since a sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 Arlington Million XXXVI on Aug. 11, 2018. Since then he has made seven starts over four tracks abroad (Curragh, Leopardstown, Meydan Racecourse and Bahrain Equestrian Club (2-3-11-6-14-1-5). With his resume loaded with 25 graded stakes races, a lengthy layoff of close to seven months so plenty of rest with all the travelling for his first start at Keeneland and a solid jock aboard for the first time in Tyler Gaffalione. He and trainer Brendan Walsh will have Deauville ready to strike at great odds. He is too talented and way overdue to notch his third win since May 11, 2017. I’m taking a shot. The pick.
#3, Sacred Life (FR), Javier Castellano, 5-2
In 11 career starts, Sacred Life (FR) is an impressive 4-5-0 with two runner-up finishes in his last two starts of three this year. He posted back-to-back seconds in the $100,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure Stakes (lost by a nose to Lucullan) on Aug. 3 and in his last start, the $250,000 Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap on Sept. 2 (lost by 2 ½ lengths to Quebaan), both at Saratoga. A solid performer with Javier Castellano taking the reins for trainer Chad Brown. He will be right there at the end again. Runner-up.
#6, Doctor Mounty, John Velazquez, 5-1
Doctor Mounty is another horse loaded with experience (31-8-5-5), including a 2-0-2 ledger in seven starts thus far this year. In his last win, he upended Divisidero (who was right in the thick of it at the end of last weekend’s Shadwell Mile) by one length in the $100,000 Prince George’s County Stakes at Laurel Park, back on June 16. Since then, he has posted a sixth-place finish in the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple Stakes at Saratoga on July 12 and a third-place finish in an allowance race at Colonial Downs on Sept. 5.
His previous experience includes 10 graded stakes. A Hall-of-Fame duo of John Velazquez and trainer Shug McGaughey provides the foundation, now let’s see if Doctor Mounty’s late kick will get it done. Contender.
#2, Factor This, Florent Geroux, 8-1
Factor This had three straight wins (including an allowance race here on April 24 by 4 ½ lengths) before finishing a disappointing fourth in the Grade 3 Calumet Farms Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 7. After a one race absence, Florent Georux is back aboard to see if he can make it two straight wins in the saddle for trainer Brad Cox. Factor This will be making his 23rd career start today (7-2-2). In the mix.