Saturday is closing day for racing in 2011 at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. The featured event on the closing day program is the Grade 2 Fayette, which features a strong contingent of twelve colts and geldings going 1 1/8 miles over the polytrack. Here is the analysis:
#1 Decisive Moment- The lone three-year-old in the field finished an overmatched 14th in the Kentucky Derby. Since then he has just one win in four starts, a score in the ungraded El Kaiser at Calder on July 30. It is highly unlikely he gets a second win in this tough spot.
#2 Modern Cowboy- Ran 2nd in the Grade 3 Excelsior at this distance at Aqueduct back in April. Won the West Virginia Governors Handicap. This son of Tiznow did win his only other effort over polytrack at Turfway in October 2010.
#3 Jimmy Simms- Ran 2nd in the Presque Isle Downs Mile behind Wise Dan, who is in here also. Kent Desormeaux rides for trainer Anthony Dutrow and this horse appears to be a fan of the synthetic surface. Must be respected as a possible price to like in here.
#4 Eighttofasttocatch- Horribly named, but has two bullet workouts and won the Maryland Million Classic on October 1 at Laurel. His only previous graded try was on the turf in the Grade 2 Dixie at Pimlico and it didn't go well, finishing last of seven behind Paddy O'Prado.
#5 General Quarters- Every once in a while, this guy can run a big race. Saturday might just be one of those occasions. He ran 2nd in the Grade 2 Kentucky Cup on September 24 at Turfway behind the #6 in this field. Bullet workout on October 25 at Churchill.
#6 Future Prospect- Beat #5 in that race at Turfway Park and did it at 18-1 with a front-running effort. He will certainly be a part of the pace picture in this race, but there seems to be a surplus of speed, which might severely compromise his chances.
#7 Anak Nakal- Clearly, his best days are behind him. His only win in the last two and a half years came two back at Presque Isle in an Allowance start. It would be a comeback worthy of the St. Louis Cardinals if he were to win this one.
#8 Wise Dan- 4th behind Gio Ponti in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland last time out on October 8. Upset the Grade 2 Firecracker at Churchill at 14-1 three back and also won the Presque Isle Downs Mile two back. Julien Leparoux has the mount on Saturday.
#9 Guys Reward- 19 of 25 lifetime starts have come on the turf for this colt, but he did win his only prior race over the Keeneland polytrack. Has a win and a second in the last two races he ran at 1 1/8 miles, but those were both on the turf, one at Churchill and one at Gulfstream.
#10 Ioya Bigtime- Could be a likable longshot here with Calvin Borel riding. This colt has a bullet workout on October 23 at Keeneland, going 5F in 58 4/5 seconds. Trainer Chris Block won two of three races at Keeneland this season.
#11 Workin For Hops- Was DQ'd from 2nd to 3rd in the Grade 3 Washington Park Handicap at Arlington two back as the betting favorite. He led all the way there before fading slightly. Appears to be very versatile, able to run up front or just off the pace and be effective.
#12 Mission Impazible- His last three tries have been with Grade 1 company and the best result of those was a 2nd in the Foster at Churchill behind longshot Pool Play on June 18. Javier Castellano will have the riding assignment for trainer Todd Pletcher.
TOP FOUR SELECTIONS: 12-8-10-5
They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in again next week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!