Even Field Contests Dixiana Bourbon Stakes

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Alastair Bull

October 7th, 2017

Punters will have few more challenging tasks at Keeneland this weekend than trying to sort out the Dixiana Bourbon Stakes (G3).

A full field of 14 is set to contest the 1 1/16-mile contest for 2-year-olds on turf. It’s a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race, earning the winner automatic entry into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

Few black type races are held on turf in the United States prior to September, and the vast majority of the field has had no stakes race experience. So punters will need to assess what they can from the runners’ few prior races.

The morning line favorite at 4-1 is Tap Daddy, on the strength of a strong maiden win at Kentucky Downs. He aims to continue a good season on turf for 2-year-olds by Scat Daddy.

Admiralty Pier is one of the few horses with black type form, having finished third in the Summer Stakes (G2) at Woodbine. Flameaway has a win in the Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga (on dirt) to his credit, while Captivating Moon finished second in the Arlington Washington Futurity Stakes on the all-weather.

Wesley Ward’s Arawak, who’s raced from California to Royal Ascot this year, comes into the race after finishing third in the Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase Juvenile at Kentucky Downs. John Tippman, second in that race, also lines up.

Basically, it’s a difficult race to pick. The best thing to do is watch the videos of the contestants’ previous races, be mindful of pace, and consider all scenarios clearly. If you get it right, there’s likely to be a good payout.