How to bet the Sycamore Stakes
A field of 10 turf stayers will travel 1 1/2 miles on the Keeneland lawn in Thursday’s $150,000 Sycamore (G3).
I expect #5 Big Agenda to shoot for the lead on the stretch out in trip. #1 Postulation will also be forwardly placed from the fence, as will #6 Aquaphobia and #10 Ziyad. The early tempo will be honest.
#1 POSTULATION (15-1) -- Matz trainee was a big second on the course in the Elkhorn (G2) in July and rates an obvious top-three chance with a similar run on Thursday. The 8-year-old son of Harlan’s Holiday has early foot and will benefit from drawing the rail with Leparoux in the silks.
#2 RED KNIGHT (3-1) -- Consistently good Mott trainee makes his second start since January and is a sure win threat with his best showing. Second in the 2019 Elkhorn (G2) on the surface, the Pure Prize gelding had an excellent prep for this at Kentucky Downs when splitting a pair of Grade 1 winners, and he will be a tough beat in his second local appearance. James Graham rides.
#3 HE’S NO LEMON (15-1) -- Stakes winner from the Motion shedrow didn’t handle the soft turf most recently in a race that I will toss. Gelded son of Lemon Drop Kid is a deep closer in a field with some pace, and he has room for improvement and could make the frame at a big price beneath Bejarano.
#4 SPLIT THE WICKETS (15-1) -- Van Berg trainee takes a class hike at an unknown distance, and he would be a surprise to me with Colby Hernandez in the pipes.
#5 BIG AGENDA (10-1) -- Data Link 5-year-old is two-for-two since arriving in the barn of Mike Maker. Dark bay Kentucky-bred will be part of the early action on the stretch out in distance, and he could get brave if he dictates things from the break. Tyler Gaffalione will guide the sleeper.
#6 AQUAPHOBIA (5-2) -- Second from the Maker shedrow bagged the United Nations (G1) two back and is an obvious win contender against this cast. Giant’s Causeway 7-year-old has been very good since being claimed by this outfit in the winter, and his stalking style will give him first run on the deep closing types, as well. Florent Geroux taking the reins adds to the appeal.
#7 NORTH DAKOTA (10-1) -- McGaughey pupil takes a big class jump following a second-level allowance tally at Colonial Downs in his most recent endeavor. Medaglia d’Oro late runner has to prove being capable of knocking off this type of opponent before I get in his corner, however.
#8 MORNING STRIDE (20-1) -- Florida import has solid current form, but the son of Morning Line faces a tall task in the Sycamore. Claimed for $12,500 in June, the 5-year-old will need a lifetime best to make the top-four in this spot.
#9 EONS (20-1) -- Grade 3 victor has failed to hit the board in a trio of 2020 assignments to date and will race with blinkers off for Delacour. Chestnut colt has trained well this campaign, but he will need a quick form reversal to challenge for the top prize in the final furlong on Thursday.
#10 ZIYAD (5-2) -- The one to beat draws widest in the field for his U.S. debut. Group 2 hero has faced some fantastic foes in Europe this season while registering some fine results, and his best will make him especially tough in his initial run with Lasix. Rock of Gibraltar gelding has early presence and gets the nod with Manny Franco in the silks.
- $2 Trifecta Key: 10 with 2,3,5,6,9 ($40)
- $.50-cent Superfecta Key: 10 with 2,3,5,6,9 ($30)