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Blog - GAMBLING

Take Charge Indy enters the Fayette Stakes off a long break from action (Photo Courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire).

The buzz word for Saturday’s $150,000 Fayette Stakes (G2) is rest.

Too much or too little.

Take your pick.

In choosing between the two most likely winners of the 1 1/8-mile stakes at Keeneland Race Course, you can opt for the horse who may coming back too soon or the one who may have rust to shake off.

The thought here is to strike when the iron is hot.

Salto, the Todd Pletcher-trained son of Pivotal, had never raced on an artificial surface until Oct. 13 when he romped to a nine-length victory in an allowance race at Keeneland. Now, some two weeks after the most impressive victory of his career, he’ll squeeze in another start on Polytrack on closing day at the Lexington track, hoping to add a Grade 2 win to his resume.

Normally another two or three weeks of rest would be optimal after such a breakthrough performance, but given the fondness Salto displayed for Polytrack in his first effort over it there’s reason enough to believe he can duplicate or at least approach his last start.

If that happens, he should be able to handle his 10 opponents.

The complication, however, could come from Take Charge Indy. Winner of the Florida Derby (G1) over eventual Belmont Stakes (G1) victor Union Rags, Take Charge Indy was last seen on the first Saturday in May while finishing half a hundred lengths behind the victorious I’ll Have Another in the Kentucky Derby (G1).

The 3-year-old son A.P. Indy came out of the Derby needing ankle surgery, and nearly six months later he’ll resume his racing career in Saturday’s featured event. On his best day, Take Charge Indy would be a heavy favorite in a race like the Fayette. He also possesses the kind of early speed that’s lacking among his rivals, enhancing the likelihood of a highly beneficial soft pace. But given the layoff, a fourth-place finish in his lone Keeneland start (last year’s Breeders’ Futurity (G1), and the prospect of facing his elders for the first time, Take Charge Indy seems better suited for the bottom half of the exacta than the top.

Beyond those two, Middie has some appeal after a solid win over a quality field on opening weekend at Keeneland, and deserves a spot in the exotics.

Golden Yank also merits attention off a pair of runner-up finishes in ungraded grass stakes at Remington Park and Louisiana Downs. He was second this spring in an allowance race at Keeneland, which bodes well for his chances Saturday.

He also has four weeks rest, which might be just right in a race where too much and too little are the primary choices.

My selections:

Salto

Take Charge Indy

Middie

Golden Yank

$150,000 Fayette Stakes (G2)

Keeneland Race Course, Saturday, Race 9, 5:21 p.m. EDT

3-year-old and & older, 1 1/8 Miles (All Weather)

PP

Horse

Jockey

Weight

Trainer

1

Guys Reward (KY)

C J Lanerie

121

D L Romans

2

Photo Shoot (KY)

S Spieth

121

J Cheeks

3

Nikki's Sandcastle (KY)

L R Goncalves

121

D C Kassen

4

Newsdad (KY)

J R Leparoux

123

W I Mott

5

Take Charge Indy (KY)

C H Borel

122

P B Byrne

6

Salto (IRE)

R Napravnik

121

T A Pletcher

7

Golden Yank (KY)

S Bridgmohan

121

G A Thomas

8

Middie (KY)

J K Court

121

P J Oliver

9

Vertiformer (KY)

J Graham

121

W M Catalano

10

Eye of the Leopard (ON)

J Rocco Jr.

121

D W Lukas

11

Twinspired (KY)

V Lebron

121

M J Maker

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

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