The second weekend of Keeneland’s fall meet begins today, highlighted by the $150,000 Grade 3 Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes for 3-year-olds and up fillies and mares on the turf over 5 ½ furlongs.
The field of 14 (although 16 have entered) is slotted as race 9 of the 10-race card with an approximate post time of 5:30 p.m. ET.
#2, Oleksandra (AUS), Joel Rosario, 5-1
Oleksandra (AUS) has finished in the money in 10 of her 12 career starts and is a solid 4-0-2 in here seven starts this year, including a third-place finish to today’s counterpart, Morticia, in the Grade 3 Spendthrift Farm Ladies Sprint Stakes in her last outing at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 7. In that race, a slow start might have diminished her chances, because she was full of run at the end and with Joel Rosario, who won this race in 2014 and 2016, back in the saddle, he will know what to do. The pick.
#3, Morticia, Tyler Gaffalione, 9-2
The winner of the 2017 Franklin County by a half-length over Justa Lady returned last year to defend his crown only to finish third in a five-horse free-for-all at the end. In her last start, she won the aforementioned Grade 3 Spendthrift Farm Ladies Sprint Stakes by 1 ¾ lengths over A Little Bit Me and today’s foe, Oleksandra (AUS). She has been consistent throughout her whole career, failing to hit the board four times in 25 career starts (10-6-5) and is a rock-solid 3-2-1 in seven starts this year. She will be there at the end and can she make it two Franklin wins in three years? We shall see, but leaning the other way. Runner-up.
#11, Girls Know Best, Corey Lanerie, 6-1
She has finished in the money in three straight starts, including two consecutive first-place finishes, highlighted by a 1 ½-length triumph in a $150,000 allowance optional claiming race at Churchill Downs on Sept. 15. The drawback: it’s her only start of the year. Corey Lanerie returns for another start for trainer Eddie Kenneally and that will provide a boost. Sneaky, maybe she does know best. Contender.
#12, Painting Corners, Javier Castellano, 8-1
This will be Painting Corners second start away from the state of California (Santa Anita, Del Mar) and comes off a fifth-place finish with Ricardo Santana, Jr. aboard in the Spendthrift Farm Ladies Sprint Stakes. Javier Castellano comes aboard for trainer Peter Miller and shows a big chance to improve as she searches for her first win since the Daisycutter Handicap at Del Mar back on July 20. In the mix.