America’s Best Racing is excited to partner with StableDuel, a first-of-its kind platform for daily live horse racing contests. For the first time, ABR will present with StableDuel two weekly contests featuring racing at Keeneland Race Course.
StableDuel and ABR have scheduled the contests for every Wednesday and Thursday of the Keeneland Fall meet. The contests cost just $10 to enter, and this Thursday, StableDuel’s contest is a “Double Up” bankroll builder, where the top 40% of stables at the end of the card will double their money.
If you’re not familiar with StableDuel, think of it the same way you’d think of any fantasy sports platform. To win, you have to create the best roster of horses – a stable – just as you would select football players for a fantasy team. The better each horse performs, the more points you rack up. The top horses in each race (based on morning-line odds) are assigned the highest salaries. Since each team has a salary cap, teams can’t consist of all “favorites” and inevitably require players to identify winning “longshots” or sleeper picks that can be added to a stable for lower salaries.
The Thursday Oct. 15 Keeneland contest requires the standard selection of 10 horses per team. Each stable assembled must stay within a $50,000 virtual salary cap. The horses available for selection in the contest are the runners from all nine races that are scheduled at Keeneland on Wednesday.
ABR’s Patrick Reed lives less than half an hour from Keeneland and attends the races there regularly, although this fall he'll be watching remotely along with all other fans and bettors. Here’s how Patrick constructed his team.
Horse: #4 Tetrahydro
Reasoning: This filly has the most back class among an uninspiring bunch in this maiden claimer. I expect Joe Talamo to put her in the race earlier than in her most recent start, either setting the pace or sitting just off of it.
Horse: #1 Americain Joey
Reasoning: There are several other horses in this claiming race who’ve been racing against tougher competition, but this gelding enters off of two straight wins at Mountaineer and he ran very well in two maiden claiming races a year ago at Keeneland’s fall meet, including a half-length runner-up finish at the 1 1/16-mile distance he tries again in this race.
Horse: #5 Thirtyminutemass
Reasoning: Five of the seven colts in this six-furlong maiden claimer are making their first start, and among that group this son of Honor Code comes in for trainer Al Stall Jr. and jockey Colby Hernandez, who’ve teamed up with some success recently. Stall also has good stats with debut maiden claimers.
Horse: #11 Alwayz Late
Reasoning: This 1 1/16-mile turf maiden special weight race with a full 12-horse field is wide open. I’ll back this Animal Kingdom filly who makes her first start for Hall of Famer Bill Mott after a debut effort at Kentucky Downs where she had a poor start but ran on well to nearly get second. She posted a good recent workout at Churchill Downs, too. Hoping she doesn’t race to her name in this one.
Race 5 (MUST START)
Horse: #6 Thrill Ride
Reasoning: This Candy Ride colt is making his third start after showing improvement in his first two, finishing fourth and then third in two six-furlong sprints. He gets another half-furlong to work with in this maiden special weight race and has posted two good workouts since his Sept. 5 start at Churchill Downs. There appears to be enough pace lined up in this race to set up his late kick.
Horse: #8 Yes It’s Ginger
Reasoning: This 5 ½-furlong turf allowance is another full-field, wide-open affair. This filly faded to finish seventh of 12 at Kentucky Downs in her most recent start at 6 ½ furlongs, but prior to that won two races in a row at Ellis Park running the same distance she’ll try here. Brian Hernandez Jr. was aboard for all three of those starts and keeps the mount. She has a forwardly-placed running style that I think will be to her benefit.
Race 7 (SLEEPER PICK)
Horse: #7 Allege
Reasoning: This allowance at 1 3/16 miles on dirt drew several horses that at one time or another were entered in graded stakes and showed little. Allege, on the other hand, is making only his fourth career start and comes in off of a clear win in a 1 ¼-mile maiden special weight race at Churchill Downs on Sept. 1. I’m betting he’s a late developer and can take that next step in development for the potent trainer-jockey combo of Steve Asmussen and Ricardo Santana Jr.
Horse: #2 Glory Road
Reasoning: The same logic used for Allege applies to Glory Road in Race 7 as well. He’s making his third career start and second this year for Dallas Stewart after debuting last year with a win at Saratoga for Todd Pletcher. He showed improvement in his most recent start, finishing third going 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs on Sept. 18. By Belmont Stakes runner-up Commissioner, this one is bred to run all day.
Race 8 (SLEEPER PICK)
Horse: #1 Postulation
Reasoning: The 1 ½-mile Sycamore Stakes drew a competitive 10-horse field, and favorite #10 Ziyad ($8,500) should win if his European form translates to the U.S. in his first start here. The price is right for me on Postulation, though. This veteran 8-year-old finished three-quarters of a length behind top-class Zulu Alpha in the TVG Elkhorn Stakes back in July at this distance and overall has finished in the money seven of 12 times at a mile in a half, with two wins. Julien Leparoux was aboard Postulation in the Elkhorn and retains the mount. Leparoux sent him to the front in that race and I expect him to do it again in the Sycamore.
Horse: #7 Major Attraction
Reasoning: This colt drops down in class for his eighth start. He raced on dirt for his first five starts and was never worse than fourth against tougher competition than he’ll face in this 6 ½-furlong claimer, and then broke his maiden on turf and most recently showed little in a starter allowance race, also on turf. Major Attraction switches back to dirt, which I believe he prefers, and current meet leader in wins Tyler Gaffalione stays aboard.