Spinster Stakes Picks and Preview and more from Keeneland – Sunday, October 10

    Picks and analysis for the horse races at Keeneland including the Juddmonte Spinster Stakes, the Castle and Key Bourbon Stakes, the Indian Summer Stakes, and more.


    On Sunday, October 10 at Keeneland wraps up an excellent opening weekend of racing with three Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In Race: the Indian Summer Stakes, the Grade 1 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes, and Grade 2 Key & Castle Bourbon Stakes. I break down all three races on the podcast and give you my Win, Place, and Show predictions. Additionally, play along at StableDuel where you can enter contests and win big. How? Download the StableDuel app and then pick 10 horses with your $50,000 fantasy budget from the fields at Santa Anita on Friday. If your stable comes out on top, you’re a winner! In addition to picking the winners below, I’ll also include the “price” in the StableDuel contest.

    Race 1

    Post time: 1:00 PM ET

    Distance: 7 furlongs

    Type: $75,000 Maiden Claiming

    Age: 3-years-old and up 

    Surface: Dirt

    Overview: We start off the Sunday card with a race that features a first-time runner serving as a morning line favorite, Dance Company (5-2). The Wesley Ward horse seems to have the goods based on workout figures and trainer stats, let alone pedigree. However, I’m always nervous picking a first-time starter in a race that mostly features horses with several races under their belt. Of the two 7-2 horses, I’d probably lean more toward North Pole simply based on his dirt experience over that of Button Boy who is probably the better horse but has never run on dirt before after having several respectable finishes and improving speed numbers on turf. Looking past those, I think Centurion (5-1) is a solid horse that provides a little bit of value. I don’t think first-time starter Holiday Ticket (10-1) is quite in the same tier as the horses mentioned above and while I’m nervous about maiden morning line favorites, I typically like to take a shot at a new runner when there is some value attached, so he’s a horse to consider on the backend of exotics.

    Win: North Pole ($7,500)

    Place: Dance Company ($8,500)

    Show: Centurion ($6,000)

    Race 2

    Post time: 1:32 PM ET

    Distance: 1 mile

    Type: Maiden Special Weight $84,000 purse

    Age: 2-years-old (fillies)

    Surface: Turf

    Overview: I really like the value of this race. I particularly love both 6-1 horses, Trobairitz and Under One Sky. Let’s start with Trobairitz who came up just a head short against Jazz Time Girl (7-2) last time out. The reason I prefer Trobairitz, other than the better odds, is that she showed significant improvement between her first and second race whereas Jazz Time Girl ran the same speed figure in both her races and I believe Trobairitz is more likely to make a progression in her third race. Now, let’s shift to Under One Sky who posted a 62 Beyer’s figure her first time out, which is tied for the best figure in the field. If she’s able to take another step, then I think she’s a no-brainer to hit the board and possibly the winner’s circle. Morning line favorite Requestforproposal (3-1) ran into some tough luck her first time out when her race was taken off the turf and it’s obvious, she does not like the dirt. However, this Chad Brown filly is now getting back on her preferred surface, and we should expect to see a significant improvement, but I’m not sure if it’ll be enough. Daisy Bee (8-1) is another horse that showed significant improvement when she got to run on turf in her second race and should be considered in exotics.

    Win: Under One Sky ($5,000)

    Place: Requestforproposal ($8,000)

    Show: Trobairitz ($5,000)


    Race 3

    Post time: 2:04 PM ET

    Distance: 6 furlongs

    Type: $40,000 Claiming

    Age: 3-years-old (fillies)

    Surface: Dirt

    Overview: R Working Girl (2-1) ran a monster speed figure for this field in her second race but seemed to regress back to her norm the next time out. Additionally, that 82 Beyers figure was only good for third in an allowance race. Therefore, I’m looking at Alberta Sun (4-1) as a horse that loves the distance and has won at respectable non-graded stakes races. Assertive Style (9-2) has nice speed figures but I believe this horse that might prefer more distance and definitely prefers a different running surface. Silver Cloud (5-1) is coming off a claim and has been running well at Arlington Park by hitting the board the last five times out. I like for that trend to continue. Shastaloo (5-1) finished just behind Alberta Sun last time out and should absolutely be considered as a contender to hit the board as she’s put up very consistent performances over the last year.

    Win: Alberta Sun ($7,000)

    Place: Silver Cloud ($6,000)

    Show: Shastaloo ($6,000)

    Race 4

    Post time: 2:36 PM ET

    Distance: 1 1/16 miles

    Type: Maiden Special Weight $84,000 purse

    Age: 2-years-old (fillies)

    Surface: Dirt

    Overview: With so much of the field entering their first or second career race, there isn’t a ton to go from here, but I do prefer Coco Puff (3-1) to Full Focus (2-1). First off, Coco Puff beat Full Focus by 5+ lengths last time out. Additionally, Coco Puff should relish the longer distance and has been posting nice workout figures. You also saw a progression from her between her first and second start and I believe that trend will continue. I don’t hate Full Focus, but I dislike those very short morning line odds for a horse that needs to improve. She’s got a great combination going for her though as she’s bred and owned by Godolphin, trained by Brad Cox, and jockeyed by Luis Saez. Outside of those two, I think Off the Charts (6-1) is probably your best to hit the board with a little value and if she gets a better trip, which she might get since this will be the smallest field she’s run in, then I think there is something there to like. She just can’t spot the leaders 10-15 lengths on the front end of the race.

    Win: Coco Puff ($8,000)

    Place: Full Focus ($9,000)

    Show: Off the Charts ($5,000)


    Race 5

    Post time: 3:08 PM ET

    Distance: 6 ½ furlongs

    Type: $50,000 Starter Allowance

    Age: 3-years-old and up

    Surface: Dirt

    Overview: A very evenly matched field, which is reflective in the morning line odds that has the field, with one exception, between 3-1 and 6-1. Amongst Friends (4-1) posted the best speed figure in the field last time out but I’m skeptical that it’s replicable seeing as it came over a mile on a sloppy track at Indiana Grand. It’s too bad for Amongst Friends that it’ll be beautiful weather at Keeneland on Sunday. However, file a note that Amongst Friends should absolutely get bet if it looks like he will run on slop in the future. No Que No (7-2) took a step down last time out to get a win and finally got moved off turf, which seems like the right move. I expect to see a little progression in his second start on the surface and like the cutback in distance. Outlier (3-1) may have had a bit of an outlier performance last time out (sorry for the dad pun) as he ran great off the claim but took a huge cut in class to do so. I’m not convinced this is a sprint horse and might prefer more distance. Critical Threat (4-1) has been turning in great workouts and has his only career victory at Keeneland, so I like for him to be a factor. Finally, Divine Leader (6-1) is stepping up in class but showed progress last time out and could sneak on the board.

    Win: Critical Threat ($7,000)

    Place: No Que No ($7,500)

    Show: Divine Leader ($5,000)

    Race 6

    Post time: 3:40 PM ET

    Distance: 1 1/8 miles

    Type: Allowance $86,000 purse

    Age: 3-years-old and up (filles & mares)

    Surface: Turf

    Overview: Longpants Required (7-2) is a consistent horse on turf and should probably be included on all horizontal bets since she’s too consistently strong not to hit the board. However, I think there are some live long shots in this field, which bare consideration. Tammany (10-1) stepped up to a big race last time out at Kentucky Downs and get beat soundly but had been progressing nicely and posting improving finishes at the lower level prior to that start. Silky Warrior (12-1) has been improving and his latest effort is pretty close to being on-par with the favorites, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen less impressive workouts, but he just seems like a horse that comes from the Allen Iverson School where practice is not taken seriously. Meanwhile, Sursum Corda might be a horse for a course as she’s turned in some of her best performances at Keeneland and unlike Silky Warrior has been working out well. I’d expect at least one of those three to hit the board at a good price. Getting back to some of the favorites, I think Suki (7-2) is an improving horse who likes more distance, so I think this will set up well for her despite never running this far before. I’m not sure I Hear You (3-1) or Social Dilemma (6-1) will like the distance and the former turned in one of her worst performances on this Keeneland turf last year.

    Win: Suki ($7,500)

    Place: Tammany ($1,000)

    Show: Longpants Required ($7,500)


    Race 7

    Post time: 4:12 PM ET

    Distance: 1 mile

    Type: $80,000 Allowance Optional Claiming

    Age: 2-years-old (fillies)

    Surface: Dirt

    Overview: Brad Cox tried to get morning line favorite Let’s Be Clear (3-1) on turf last time out, but it got taken off the grass due to condition and the horse promptly ran a respectable second at a nice race at Saratoga. It’s interesting that he’s not trying to get her back on the turf and opting to run her again on dirt. Meanwhile, Code for Success (7-2) got crushed at the Grade 3 Pocahontas by Hidden Connection last time out, but you know what? Hidden Connection crushed everyone, this isn’t a Grade 3 race, and Hidden Connection isn’t running today, so I like for Code for Success to bounce back with a nice finish. Manasota Sunset (7-2) is getting blinkers on and should go for the lead, which might allow for her to set the pace and her jockey, Irad Ortiz Jr., is at his best when he’s aggressive, so I like that combination. Laura’s Charm (8-1) won at a mile last time out and while her speed figures aren’t quite good enough to hang with the favorites, I do like her to put in a respectable showing on the board. All Luck (9-2) also won at a mile last time out, but the pace was painfully slow, which should not be the case with this field.

    Win: Manasota Sunset ($7,500)

    Place: Code for Success ($7,500)

    Show: Laura’s Charm ($3,000)

    Race 8

    Post time: 4:44 PM ET

    Distance: 5 ½ furlongs

    Type: Indian Summer Stakes

    Age: 2-years-old 

    Surface: Turf

    Overview: An exciting turf sprint for juveniles with a chance to punch a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup. Morning line favorite Averly Jane (4-5) has been dominant against solid competition in his first three starts, but interestingly has yet to run on turf since his last race, the Skidmore Stakes, was taken off turf due to excess moisture. He promptly won on the dirt by nine lengths. Another horse that is really intriguing is Sonnyisnotsofunny (5-1) who also has only run on dirt but posted a 78 Beyer Speed Figure in his maiden and won with ease. His pedigree doesn’t scream turf, but he’s got the speed to contend. Kaufymaker (7-2) has already raced overseas and come back to the United States to finish third last time out at the Juvenile Sprint at Kentucky Downs. Unlike the other two favorites, Kaufymaker has run on turf before, and I think the 5 ½ furlongs will suit him nicely given that he’s shown some fatigue when running over that distance. Two long shots that intrigue me are Bonus Appreciation (12-1) and Big Boss Ben (30-1). Bonus Appreciation is a Steve Asmussen horse who is already running in his fifth career race and has shown improvement each time out. He also loves the surface since he performed poorly in the two races that were washed off the grass until he finally got to run on the green stuff last time out and posted his best speed figure. Now, I love Big Boss Ben for the value because he flopped his last time out at Colonial Downs, but Colonial has a unique turf surface that favors is different build of turf runner. Therefore, I’m willing to toss that last performance and when you do that, you suddenly see a horse that is steadily improving.  

    Win: Averly Jane ($11,000)

    Place: Sonnyisnotsofunny ($6,000)

    Show: Big Boss Ben ($50)


    Race 9

    Post time: 5:15 PM ET

    Distance: 1 1/8 miles

    Type: Juddmonte Spinster Stakes – Grade I

    Age: 3-years-old and up (fillies & mares)

    Surface: Dirt

    Overview: Last week I quoted Ric Flair’s legendary line “To be the man, you gotta beat the man” and let me say that it holds true for ladies as well. Letruska (4-5) has been as dominant as any horse in the country within their division this year as she’s won five of six races and an astonishing 16 of 21 in her career. Her last time out at Saratoga was a nail-biter as she just barely edged out Bonny South (9-2) in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign. Letruska runs from the front and dares the rest of the ladies to come and catch her. So far, nobody has but they’re getting closer. If there is one potential drawback it might be that when Irad Ortiz Jr. rides Letruska she often barely wins while she typically breezes to an easy victory when she has Irad’s brother, Jose, aboard. That may simply be a fluky coincidence, but if you’re trying to take down the champ, then you’re probably looking for any angle you can get. The challenging part of potentially trying to pick against Letruska is that last time out both Bonny South and Dunbar Road (5-1) ran personal best races in terms of speed figures. Will either horse be able to back it up with another monster performance? Of the two, Bonny South would seem to be the more likely candidate given that her personal best was only a slight improvement over some of her previous races and she bounced back with crisp workouts after the race. Envountante (6-1) is an intriguing horse and is probably a safe bet to hit the board, but I don’t think she’s got the high-end speed to catch Letruska. If you’re looking for a long shot to hit the board, look no further than Town Avenger (20-1) who is taking a massive step up in class, but has been constantly improving and just recently moved to dirt after performing well on turf. I think she’ll likely get outclassed, but she can run and I wouldn’t be shocked if she ended up third or fourth. Must like last week with Mo Forza, I will continue to take my handicapping advice from Ric Flair.

    Win: Letruska ($11,000)

    Place: Bonny South ($6,500)

    Show: Envoutante ($5,000)

    Race 10

    Post time: 5:46 PM ET

    Distance: 1 1/16 miles

    Type: Castle & Key Bourbon Stakes – Grade II

    Age: 2-years-old

    Surface: Turf

    Overview: We finish up the day with a crowded 14-horse race with one lucky runner getting to head to Del Mar for the Breeders’ Cup. With such a large field, I’m always concerned about things happening that are outside the control of the horse and jockey. However, there are a few horses that appear to be upper-tier that should all be content. Morning line favorite, Tiz the Bomb (3-1) is appropriately priced and has shown significant class but will add some distance onto his longest trip to date. His workouts have been crisp, and he seems to relish the turf. Red Danger (7-2) is a very good horse and I think his future might be at a mile, but he’s taking a big step up from 6 ½ furlongs to running over a mile. I’m weary to put too much faith in him despite the fact he won’t wear himself out since he won’t go for the lead and should be able to relax on this two-turn trip. Martini’nmoonshine (10-1) has a great name but is also the only horse in the field to have won at this distance, which was the last time out on turf at Saratoga. I remember watching the race and being impressed as he changed his running style to be more of a front runner. There will be a few other horses vying for that spot, but I still like the value and could easily see him hitting the board. I also like the two 8-1 horses, Rocket One and Heaven Street, who both have won the turf at a mile and have improving speed figures. From a handicapping perspective, this race gives you a lot of options and opportunities to find value on exotic bets since I think we should expect two 8-1 shots or higher to hit the board.

    Win: Heaven Street ($3,000)

    Place: Tiz the Bomb ($8,000)

    Show: Rocket One ($3,000)

    Get all of Matthew’s horse racing coverage by following him on Twitter at @failedtomenace, by subscribing to Amalfi Media’s YouTube channel, and following The Win Place Show podcast.


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