2021 Fayette Stakes Picks
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You’ve found the right place for expert picks for the 2021 Fayette Stakes (G2) at Keeneland! The race is the traditional closing day feature at Keeneland, and it will be run on Saturday, October 30. A $200,000 horse race open to horses three years old and up, it is an excellent prep race for the fall and winter handicap season.
Its winners over the years include Wise Dan (2011), Successful Dan (2010), Blame (2009), Arch (1998), and Summer Squall (1991). The 2021 edition of the Fayette drew a field of nine runners to go a mile and an eighth over the main dirt track at Keeneland.
Keep reading to find out where to bet the race, and to learn about the most intriguing horses to bet in the Fayette.
Code of Honor
Sleepy Eyes Todd
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Fayette Stakes 2021 Field
This is the official field for the 2021 Fayette Stakes including post positions, trainers, and jockeys:
- Sleepy Eyes Todd (Miguel Silva/Ry Eikleberry)
- Manhattan Up (Robertino Diodoro/Chris Landeros)
- Militarist (Carlo Vaccarezza/Martin Garcia)
- Night Ops (Brad Cox/Florent Geroux)
- Independence Hall (Michael McCarthy/Javier Castellano)
- King Fury (Kenneth McPeek/Brian Hernandez, Jr.)
- Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey/Tyler Gaffalione)
- Fort Peck (Robertino Diodoro/David Cohen)
- Major Fed (Gregory Foley/Ricardo Santana, Jr.)
In the days leading up to the race, online racebooks will start to publish their odds. It pays to follow the odds as the race draws closer, so you can be ready to place your bet when you get an overlay on the horse you think will win the race!
Fayette Stakes Handicapping
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are all expected to be rainy in Lexington, meaning a horse who likes an off-track will be at an advantage in the Fayette.
The Speed Brigade
Rail-drawn #1 Sleepy Eyes Todd may be forced to send given his draw, but that style suits him just fine. He can be the speed of the speed if he wants to go. Especially over a sloppy track, speed can be a serious asset, and Sleepy Eyes Todd has wins in both his wet-track attempts. Though both came against less difficult company than this, his better races fit this grade well and he is a strong contender.
The other horse who may show a lot of speed is #5 Independence Hall. He is fast enough to be forward early, though he does tend to sit off the pace more than make the lead, meaning he is likely to stalk just off Sleepy Eyes Todd. This is a welcome class drop for Independence Hall, though he still has yet to prove that he can win going this long.
#6 King Fury ran the best race of his career last April in the Lexington (G3) at Keeneland, over a track rated sloppy. It will not be an easy task for King Fury, as he does face older horses for the first time. But, his best races are fast enough to suggest he fits, he has tactical versatility, and he comes into the race off of a good confidence-builder at Churchill Downs.
#7 Code of Honor is another with strong wet-track form. In two off-track starts he has a win and a second. Though he wasn’t a threat in the Woodward (G1) last out, these foes are a significant step down class-wise, meaning he looms the class of the field.
He also gets Tyler Gaffalione in the irons; Gaffalione has been the hottest rider on the Keeneland grounds. Gaffalione will have to make sure Code of Honor does not drop too far back early, but if he does that, he has a good chance to add to an already-sparkling meet with Code of Honor.
For Exotics Only
#4 Night Ops will likely take a lot of money due to his hot connections, trainer Brad Cox and rider Florent Geroux. Geroux and Night Ops do have good form together, and Night Ops’s best Keeneland outing did come in a sloppy Ben Ali (G3) earlier this year. But, he always seems to find one or two too good at this grade, making him more likely to plug along for a piece than win.
The Rest of the Field
#2 Manhattan Up may improve on the move to the Robertino Diodoro barn, but has yet to show that he loves an off-track like some of these foes. His stablemate, #8 Fort Peck, likes the distance but is not as potent on the slop as he is on a dry racetrack.
#3 Militarist has only ever won on the grass and is a closer who stands to get a less-than-perfect setup. #9 Major Fed rides a two-race win streak into this but has to find a career-best over a sloppy track, and it is a concern that jockey Ricardo Santana is 0-for-64 leading into the meet’s final week.
2021 Fayette Stakes Free Picks
- $20 to win - #1 Sleepy Eyes Todd
- $1 exacta key - #1 Sleepy Eyes Todd with #6 King Fury and #7 Code of Honor
- $0.50 trifecta key - #1 Sleepy Eyes Todd with #4 Night Ops, #6 King Fury and #7 Code of Honor
Fayette Stakes Post Time
Post time for the 2021 Fayette Stakes is scheduled for 5:16 pm Eastern, 2:16 pm Pacific, on Saturday, October 30. It will be run as the 9th race on Keeneland’s ten-race closing-day card.