A sentimental revival of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup and grass marathon known as the Sycamore Stakes will put Keeneland’s grass course front and center in the second week of its autumn meeting.
Friday’s $300,000 Sycamore is three weeks and a day away from the Breeders’ Cup Turf and could provide a limb or two to that field. The Sycamore includes Arklow, a $3 million earner; 2020 Sycamore winner Red Knight just scored in the Kentucky Downs Turf Cup; Highland Chief, Grade 1 Man o’ War winner; and Channel Maker, an older male Eclipse Award 2020 winner, who won the April Elkhorn at Keeneland at the ripe old age of 8.
With America’s top 3-year-old turf filly Spenderella not posting a practice since her score at Del Mar Oaks and missing the race, QE2 should be a more open event on Saturday. For those betting on Keeneland, here are some early stats from the first weekend of the Keeneland Fall Meet:
Percentage of winning favorites: 35% Average win odds: 6.4-1 Hot coaches: Al Stall Jr. (3-6, 50%), Todd Pletcher (3-7, 43%, all 3 level stakes wins 1), Wayne Catalano (2-4) Hot Jockeys: ET Baird (2-2, 100%), Irad Ortiz Jr. (3-11, 27%), Joel Rosario (4-18, 22%), Florent Geroux (3-14, 22%)
Things to watch this week
Due to the Holiday Monday map in Santa Anita, there will be no live racing this Friday. The action resumes Saturday and Sunday with a mandatory payout in the Rainbow 6 on Saturday… The world’s highest-ranked horse, Flightline, is scheduled for its next Breeders’ Cup Classic training this Saturday at Santa Anita, and will be available on XBTV.com …Saturday morning, international racing fans can enjoy Champions Day at Ascot as Europe’s top horses compete in multiple divisions, including the latest career start of unbeaten Baaeed…Also on the international schedule, late Friday evening Eastern Time, Australia’s prestigious Caulfield Cup will also be available for betting on 1/ST BET and Xpressbet.
Friday weekend fire starter
Coach Al Stall Jr. got off to a flying start to the opening weekend at Keeneland with three wins. His lightning-fast sprinter Peaceful Waters should be tough to beat in Race 6 at Keeneland on Friday. #4 Peaceful Waters is coming off a blowout victory in Saratoga and the early speed was dangerous in the early days of the Keeneland Fall Meet. Catch it if you can.
1/ST BET App Top Disabling Tracks of the Week
The free 1/ST BET app allows you to apply millions of data points across dozens of Handicap Factors in seconds and place your bets immediately. Here’s where the AI got the most work last week in win percentage:
53% Zia Park 41% Thistledown 39% Charles Town 38% Hawthorne 38% Belterra
Tracks with most trusted favorites last week (by winning percentage)
53% Zia Park 49% Thistledown 46% Finger Lakes 46% Hawthorne 45% Santa Anita
Tracks that were longtime havens last week (most winners 10-1 or more)
7 Keeneland 5 Belmont-at-Aqueduct 5 Laurel Park 5 Delta Downs
The American Hot Jockeys last week
Luis Fuentes (6-9, 67%) // Zia Park Miguel Vasquez (10-25, 40%) // Gulfstream Park Arnaldo Bocachica (6-16, 38%) // Charles Town Thiago Canuto (7-20, 35 %) // Belterra Park Abner Adorno (7-20, 35%) // Parx, Penn National, Meadlowlands, Delaware Park Jamie Rodriguez (9-28, 32%) // Meadlowlands, Delaware Park
America’s Hot Coaches Last Week
Robertino Diodoro (5-10, 50%) // Remington, Delta Downs, Santa Anita Anthony Farrior (8-21, 38%) // Charles Town, Laurel Peter Miller (5-14, 36%) // Santa Anita Todd Pletcher (5-15, 33%) // Gulfstream, Keeneland, Belmont-at-Aqueduct, Meadowlands Brad Cox (6-19, 32%) // Keeneland, Belmont-at-Aqueduct, Indianapolis, Woodbine.
Keeneland Saturday Competition
Horse players can take part in Keeneland’s annual Gamble Grade 1 handicap competition on Saturday online at Xpressbet. The $3,500 contest has a bankroll format of $2,500 in real money and includes all races live on the Keeneland card. Bets available include Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta and Daily Double. To register and for more information, visit xpressbet.com/tournaments.
– Statistics courtesy of Betmix