StableDuel Strategy for Keeneland's Wednesday Oct. 21 Races

Horses break from the gate on the Keeneland turf. (Eclipse Sportswire)

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 Wednesday, 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 Wednesday Oct. 21 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 eight 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: #7 Crafty Lady

Salary: $750

Reasoning: It’s hard to get too excited about any starter in this $15,000 maiden claimer, so I’ll take a stab on this 3-year-old filly who has finished last in three out of four starts – and beaten soundly – but is taking a drop in class and stretching out to two turns. She broke poorly in all three of her last-place finishes and hopefully a better start and the added distance can help her improve.

Race 2  

Horse: #3 Tkotchke

Salary: $8,000

Reasoning: This 6 ½-furlong claimer for 2-year-olds drew a competitive field. Tkotchke exits a Churchill Downs maiden claiming win in September when he rallied late going six furlongs, and he should be able to handle the extra half-furlong for the uber-successful trainer-jockey duo of combo of Steve Asmussen and Ricardo Santana Jr. There is some speed lined up in this race, too.

Race 3  

Horse: #11 Madame Ready

Salary: $6,000

Reasoning: Keeneland’s turf races have been especially wide-open this fall, and this one-mile maiden for 2-year-old fillies is no exception. Madame Ready has been training well for her debut and has a good pedigree for grass as she's by More Than Ready and her dam (mother) is a daughter of leading British sire Pivotal. Asmussen and Santana Jr. team up here as well.

Race 3  

Horse: #3 Dame of Malta

Salary: $1,000

Reasoning: Another option at a lower price in Race 3 is this first-time starter for owner-breeder Runnymede Farm and Catesby Clay and trainer Arnaud Delacour. She’s posted some encouraging workouts at Fair Hill Training Cener and is by Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags out of the Afleet Alex mare Bizzy Caroline, who was a graded stakes winner on turf.

Race 4  

Horse: #5 Conformist

Salary: $3,000

Reasoning: None of the horses in this $30,000 maiden claimer that have prior racing experience excite me, so I’ll take the nonconformist route and support … Conformist. This gelding has a turf pedigree but picks up red-hot jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who is leading the Keeneland meet in wins and has a shot in finishing first in earnings as well. I expect him to be forwardly placed in this six-furlong race.

Race 5 (MUST START)  

Horse: #2 Intrepid Heart

Salary: $8,500

Reasoning: There are five horses in this $40,000 claiming race with graded stakes experience, and Intrepid Heart stands out among that group. He’s 2-for-2 since being gelded and rolled to a 1 ¼-length win at Saratoga in his most recent race, a 1 1/8-mile claimer in August. He also has a win going this 1 1/16-mile distance at Keeneland from back in 2019. Ricardo Santana Jr. has been on Intrepid Heart for his two recent wins and keeps the mount.

Race 6  

Horse: #7 Carpe Vinum

Salary: $8,500

Reasoning: Another competitive field is lined up for this 1 1/16-mile turf allowance. If you overlook Carpe Vinum’s most recent race in which she was a no-show at Kentucky Downs and assess her form racing in California, she fits in very well against this bunch. She also has a good, pace-pressing running style and picks up Tyler Gaffalione to ride.

Race 7  

Horse: #8 Never Forget

Salary: $8,000

Reasoning: Never Forget broke slowly in her most recent start, the Grade 2 Eight Belles Stakes Presented by, but still rallied into a very fast pace to finish third. One race prior to that, she led from start to finish going one mile and 70 yards at Indiana Grand. This is a salty group, but if she breaks well from the far outside post I expect her to clear the field and attempt to win on the front end. The about seven-furlong distance should suit her well.


Horse: #6 Brassy

Salary: $500

Reasoning: Brassy is an alternative choice for Race 7 based on potential. She stumbled badly in her debut at Aqueduct in March – toss that race. Then she returned on Woodbine’s synthetic main track in August and won going away at the same seven-furlong distance she’ll race here. She has been training at Arlington Park and Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois leading up to this $71,000 allowance, and she’ll be making a class jump, but this Godolphin homebred has a typically good pedigree (relatives include Maxfield and Sky Mesa). An intriguing longshot.

Race 8  

Horse: #3 Leah Chase

Salary: $5,000

Reasoning: Another Keeneland turf maiden, another wide-open field. Leah Chase ran her best race in her most recent start but still showed some immaturity in the stretch, losing by three-quarters of a length. That race was at Churchill Downs at 1 1/8 miles, and I think she’ll like stretching out another half-furlong in this 1 3/16-mile event. By Lemon Drop Kid out of a Galileo mare, she’s got the right bloodlines to win this race, and I expect her to sit just off of the pace in a field that, aside from probable front-runner #7 Fortuna, lacks speed.

newsletter sign-up

Stay up-to-date with the best from America's Best Racing!