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Happy Opening Day - Here's Some Picks

Updated: Oct 8, 2021


Happy opening day from your boy Fern and my boy Stoooooooops!!!

Lexington is gonna be LIT


What a weekend to be in the Bluegrass. Keeneland’s Fall Meet starts Friday, featuring nine Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” stakes races over the three-day “FallStars” weekend. And on Saturday night at 7:30, the undefeated, 16th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats will host LSU at Kroger Field under the lights before a sold-out crowd. In terms of weekends to be in Lexington, it really doesn’t get any better than this.


Keeneland Friday and Breeders’ Cup Implications


For those unfamiliar with the ponies, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships is basically the Super Bowl of horse racing. It’s a two-day series of races that offer million-dollar purses for each division of Thoroughbred. Keeneland’s fall meet always serves as a stepping stone for many Breeders’ Cup contenders; the last stop before they compete for the biggest race of the year. This year’s Breeders’ Cup will be staged at Del Mar Race Course near San Diego, CA on November 5-6.


Keeneland’s Friday card offers 10 races, including the Grade-1 Darley Alcibiades for 2-year-old fillies and the Grade-2 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix for dirt sprinters ages 3-and-up. Winners of both races will receive an all-expenses paid trip for the horse and its connections to Del Mar to compete in the Breeders’ Cup.


Understanding My Picks...


My picks are intended to provide guidance and perspective. If I were that good at picking winners, I would not have a day job; I would be a professional handicapper and probably wouldn’t be sharing my picks here because I’d be too busy raking in the cash.


Best Ways to Bet


If you’re totally new, maybe try a show pool with your friends, or pick one horse each race and bet it “across the board” aka bet a horse to win, place, and show. That’s always my recommendation for beginners, because it’s better to get a little money back, if your horse comes in second or third, than none at all. Hopefully you can hit a couple winners and pay for some drinks.


If you’re a little more advanced, you can always play some exacta boxes and trifecta boxes, maybe using some horses from my picks. Exacta (picking the first two finishers) and trifecta (picking the first three finishers) wagering is typically referred to as “horizontal betting,” because the numbers you pick are for one single race, and therefore are shown in a horizontal line on the betting ticket.


Over the years, I’ve grown more fond of what are referred to as multi-race, “vertical wagers,” where you try and pick just the winner in consecutive races. This could be in two races (double), three (pick-3), four (pick-4), five (pick-5) or six (pick-6), and you can use multiple horses in each race. The more horses you use, the more expensive your bet. Think of it as somewhat of a parlay of consecutive races.



Keeneland Picks | Friday, Oct. 8, 2021

Scratches & Changes


Race 1 - 1pm (6 horses entered)

CLAIMING : $20,000 | PURSE: $32,000 | 1 1/16 Miles | Fillies and Mares | 3 Year Olds And Up

Double-Exacta ($1 min)-Trifecta-Pick 3-Pick 5 ($.50 min)-Superfecta ($.10 min)


3 - Sum Kinda Pretty

2 - Swanage

4 - Katie’s Karat


Race 2 - 1:35pm (12 horses entered with 4 AE’s)

MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT | PURSE: $84,000 | 1 Mile | Open | 2 Year Olds (Turf)

Double-Exacta ($1 min)-Trifecta-Pick 3 -Pick 4 ($.50 min)-Superfecta ($.10 min)-$3 Keeneland Turf Pick Three (Races 2-7-10)


5 - Gingrich

3 - Overanalytical

9 - Rum ‘n Tonic

1 - Steinbeck


If the race comes off the turf, look for AE #16 - Faith Runner (if he draws in)


Race 3 - 2:10pm (7 horses entered)

STARTER ALLOWANCE | PURSE: $33,000 | 1 1/16 Miles | Open | 3 Year Olds And Up

Double-Exacta ($1 min)-Trifecta-Pick 3 ($.50 min)-Superfecta ($.10 min)


5 - Family Man

6 - Irish Declaration

1 - Double Tough Tiger


Race 4 - 2:45pm (9 horses entered)

CLAIMING : $25,000 | PURSE: $42,000 | 6 Furlongs | Open | 3 Year Olds And Up

Double-Exacta ($1 min)-Trifecta-Pick 3 ($.50 min)-Superfecta ($.10 min)


1 - Awesome Saturday

9 - Big Bella Brown

7 - Spycraft

2 - Town Classic


Race 5 - 3:20pm (8 horses entered)

CLAIMING : $50,000 | PURSE: $42,000 | 6 Furlongs | Open | 3 Year Olds And Up

Double-Exacta ($1 min)-Trifecta-Pick 3 ($.50 min)-Superfecta ($.10 min)-Pick 6 ($1 min)


1 - Vulcan

2 - Heart Rhythm

5 - Peruvian Boy


Race 6 - 3:55pm (12 horses entered, 1 AE)

MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT | PURSE: $84,000 | 6 Furlongs | Fillies | 2 Year Olds

Double-Exacta ($1 min)-Trifecta-Pick 3-Pick 5 ($.50 min)-Superfecta ($.10 min)


11 - Thedevilyousay

5 - Halo of Fire

3 - Lady Arsinoe

8 - Fannie and Freddie


Race 7 - 4:30pm (12 horses entered, 1 AE)

ALLOWANCE | PURSE: $90,000 | 1 1/16 Miles | Open | 3 Year Olds And Up (Turf)

Double-Exacta ($1 min)-Trifecta-Pick 3-$200k Guaranteed Pick 4 ($.50 min)-Superfecta ($.10 min)


4 - Kentucky Ghost

5 - Dynadrive

7 - Cavalry Charge

11 - Americanus


Race 8 - 5:05pm (7 horses entered)

$250,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix S. (G2)

| 6 Furlongs | Open | 3 Year Olds And Up |

Double-Exacta ($1 min)-Trifecta-Pick 3 ($.50 min)-Superfecta ($.10 min)


6 - Special Reserve

5 - Aloha West

4 - Just Might


Race 9 - 5:40pm (12 horses entered)

$400,000 Darley Alcibiades S. (G1) 1 1/16 Miles | Fillies | 2 Year Olds

Double-Exacta ($1 min)-Trifecta ($.50 min)-Superfecta ($.10 min)

Read: Evenly matched field of 12 entered for Friday’s Darley Alcibiades


10 - Penny Saver

1 - Juju’s Map

8 - Distinctlypossible


Race 10 - 6:15pm (12 horses entered, 4 AE’s)

ALLOWANCE | PURSE: $86,000 | 1 1/8 Miles | Open | 3 Year Olds And Up (Turf)

Exacta ($1 min)-Trifecta ($.50 min)-Superfecta ($.10 min)-Toyota $1 Super High Five

Read: Special Reserve Tops Field Of Seven For Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix


2 - Modern Science

1 - Camp Hope

8 - News Break

AE 13 - Scarlet Fusion


Good luck. Fire away!




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