Key horses for Keeneland’s Sunday program

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TwinSpires Staff

October 6th, 2018

Keeneland (c) Coady Photography

by Scott Shapiro

The first weekend of the Keeneland fall meeting concludes on Sunday with a 10-race card headlined by three “Win & You’re In” Breeders’ Cup races.

Here are a few horses I will build my afternoon around in Lexington:


Guest Suite (#4) (5-1) makes his first start off a near three-month freshening for trainer Neil Howard. When last seen, the son of Quality Road ran a non-threatening third at odds of 15-1 in the Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Stakes at Indiana Grand to lone speed victor Pioneer Spirit and Grade 1 winner Seeking the Soul.

The four-year-old gelding illustrated he can fire fresh back in March when he put forth a 94 BRIS Speed rating in a one-length victory at Fair Grounds. He should get an honest pace to run into given the presence of Phat Man (#1) (5-2), Fort Fortitude (#3) (5-1) and Hot Shot Kid (#5) (10-1). At 5-1 on the morning line, Guest Suite is worth a win wager and use in the early Pick 4.


Harvey Wallbanger (#5) (3-1) ran into the morning-line favorite in Saturday’s Champagne (G1) in Complexity in his first start at Saratoga on closing day. The Ken McPeek trainee was no match for that $375,000 son of Macleans’s Music, but he ran on well to finish a strong second at odds of 33-1.

Harvey Wallbanger receives Lasix for his second start and stretches out to two turns, which should work to his benefit in the final leg of the early Pick 4. Look for Corey Lanerie to find a prominent spot early aboard the son of Congrats and get the best of this full field of protected maidens.


Eskimo Kisses (#4) (5-2) ran huge when posting a 103 BRIS Speed rating in her 6 1/2-length win in the Alabama (G1) on August 18, but the three-year-old filly got a perfect setup in the 1 1/4-mile event. Now she takes on older fillies and mares, and is unlikely to have things so much her way. I think she is a play against.

Talk Veuve to Me (#7) (7-2) was the gal that set the torrid early pace in the Alabama before tiring late to finish fourth. She certainly will have a better chance if they go slower on the front end and but I am still not convinced she can best a group of this quality without a perfect voyage.

Blue Prize (#11) (7-2) has been extremely impressive earning a triple-digit BRIS Speed rating in each of her last two starts, including a game win on September 15 in the Locust Grove (G3) at Churchill Downs. She is the one to beat on Sunday, but I am slightly concerned that she is coming back too quickly off of that nose victory over fellow Spinster rival Champagne Problems (#8) (8-1), who is getting really good but may prefer shorter distances.

With questions surrounding the likely favorites I am going to take a shot with Sassy Sienna (#6) (12-1). The daughter of Midshipman was wide throughout in the Monmouth Oaks (G3) in mid-August, but showed a ton of determination losing to Skeptic (#9) (15-1) by just three parts of a length. She will need to move forward considerably to be in the mix in this spot, but the price is right to take a chance with this Brad Cox filly.

Good luck!