It’s a big weekend in Kentucky at Keeneland. They recently opened their fall meet, which includes 22 races for approximately $6 million in prize money. This is a record-breaking fall meet at Keeneland. There has never been this much in prize money available at Keeneland for this meeting. That is a testament to the excitement for the return of in-person horse racing.
Purses were cut in many cases last year. Horsemen were running for less money in most cases last year. That didn’t deter participants from entering races, but it was less than what they were used to in these big events. Keeneland has five stakes races on Saturday, including the $750,000 Keeneland Turf Mile (Gr. 1).
There are four Breeders’ Cup Challenge events at Keeneland on this card. We’re going to take a look at three races and look to nail down a profitable day in Lexington. Head below for our free Keeneland picks for October 9, 2021.
Race 6 – Woodford Stakes
Post Time: 1:39 p.m. EST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
The $200,000 Woodford Stakes (Gr. 2) is a Grade 2 event covering 5 ½ furlongs on the turf. It’s a short sprint for a sizable $200,000 purse. Look for Extravagant Kid and Golden Pal to have a big showing for the top prize.
Extravagant Kid is 15 for 52 in his career, and has finished 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 3rd, 14th in his previous six attempts. He’s back to US soil after finishing 1st, 3rd, 14th overseas. In his most recent win, Extravagant Kid was a winner of the Al Quoz Sprint (Gr. 1) in Saudi Arabia on March 27.
Extravagant Kid hasn’t won in the US since May 29 at Churchill Downs in a $88,000 assignment. Since then, he’s gone winless in seven straight attempts in the US. That said, Extravagant Kid has gotten close in several, placing 2nd in many of those attempts.
Golden Pal might be just a bit too tough for Extravagant Kid to catch. He has finished 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 1st, 7th in six attempts.
Golden Pal was on a hat-trick, with his most recent win on July 15 in the $120,000 Quick Call Stakes (Gr. 3) at Saratoga. A trip overseas for the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Stakes didn’t go too well for 7th, but back to the US and down in class, expect a big attempt.
Race 7 – Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes
Post Time: 4:12 p.m. EST
The $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (Gr. 2) should be a good one between Estilo Talentoso and Bell’s The One. These are two runners that are expected to go well with a chance at winning.
Estilo Talentoso is 3 for 16, and looking for her first win since cashing on June 4 in the $300,000 Bed o’ Roses Stakes (Gr. 3). That was an impressive neck win for Estilo Talentoso to end a four-race losing streak.
Since the win, Estilo Talentoso placed 2nd behind Ce Ce by 3 ¼ lengths in the $350,000 Princess Rooney Invitational Stakes (Gr. 2) on July 3. She then finished 5th on August 28 in the $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina Handicap (Gr. 1).
Bell’s The One is 9 for 20 in her career, finishing 1st, 1st, 2nd in her previous three attempts. Not a bad run for Bell’s The One, with back-to-back wins in the $110,000 Roxelana Overnight Stakes by ¾ lengths, and then followed up on July 28.
Bell’s The One came back with a neck win over Lake Avenue in the $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap (Gr. 2). It was tough for Bell’s The One to respond with a hat-trick, but still productive on September 18.
She placed 2nd behind Sconsin by a half length in the $300,000 Open Mind Stakes. Despite the loss, it was a good attempt and this one should be slightly easier. A similar performance should be good enough.
Race 8 – First Lady Stakes
Post Time: 4:44 p.m. EST
The $400,000 First Lady Stakes (Gr. 1) goes for a mile on the turf. This is a pretty sizable field with 13 horses expected to participate. Blowout and Althiqa are on my shortlist in this event. Both offer attractive value in this spot.
Blowout is 4 for 13 in her career, with the mare finishing in the top-2 in six straight races before going 4th most recently. Blowout was a winner of the Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (Gr. 2) on May 1. She defeated New York Girl by a half length in the $500,000 Grade 2 assignment.
That was impressive, but she fell off in form on August 14 at Saratoga. Blowout finished 4th in the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (Gr. 1) for a disappointing run. If Blowout runs how she did in May at Churchill Downs, then she has a big chance of getting in this afternoon.
Althiqa is looking like my horse in this one, though. She has finished in the top-3 in 11 career races, and is perfect on US soil since coming over from Europe.
She opened her career in the States with a ¾ length win in an upset in the $500,000 Longines Just a Game Stakes (Gr. 1) on June 5 at Belmont Park. To show it was no flukey win, Althiqa followed up with a ¾ length win in the $500,000 Diana Stakes (Gr. 1) on July 17.
Althiqa’s speed reading in both attempts were impressive, and she’s in great form for the First Lady on Saturday. This filly has to be considered a serious player in Race 8.