StableDuel Contest Picks for Keeneland’s Wednesday Oct. 13 Card

Horses break from the starting gate on Keeneland's backstretch during its fall 2021 meet. (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 second year in a row, ABR will present with StableDuel a contest featuring racing at Keeneland Race Course.

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. 13 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.

America’s Best Racing’s John Piassek is an avid StableDuel player, who plays under the username “Bob Sacamano.” He recently won the Santa Anita Smash contest on Oct. 2, cashing for $3,300. Here’s some horses he likes for Wednesday’s card.

Race 2

Horse: #8 McLovin

Salary: $250

Analysis: The second race on Keeneland’s Wednesday card is a maiden special weight at 1 3/16 miles on the grass. Generally, fields in grass races are more bunched together on the wire. It’s not as common for a horse to win by open lengths or lose by a lot of lengths in a grass race as it is on dirt. As such, these are good kinds of races to take a shot in.

McLovin is 20-1 on the morning line, which means that he costs just $250 to add to your stable. In July, he returned from a long layoff to make his second career start at Ellis Park. He made some decent ground late to get fifth, a respectable performance given the circumstances. In his last start at Kentucky Downs, he went off at 6.80-1 against a similar field as today’s. On the first turn, he took some awkward steps and lost several lengths. He never recovered and was well-beaten. Since then, he’s had some very sharp workouts, suggesting that whatever problems he may have had that day are behind him. He’s making his third start off the layoff, a time when horses usually run a big race, and he cuts back from 1 ½ miles. I’m not sure if he’s going to win, but he’s likely to run a much-improved race, and is a great horse to use for just $250.

Race 5

Horse: #5 Beer Chaser

Salary: $5,000

Analysis: The fifth race is a claiming race for horses who have not won two races lifetime, going 6 ½ furlongs on the dirt.  Generally, I prefer horses who have not lost at this level before in these types of races. If they’re lightly-raced, all the better. Beer Chaser has raced just three times, tied with the morning-line favorite #7 One Fast Cat for the fewest times of anyone in this six-horse field. Beer Chaser broke his maiden at Prairie Meadows in gate-to-wire style last out, earning a career-top Equibase Speed Figure in the process. He has lots of early speed and looks like he’s only going to get better. At a 6-1 morning line, he’s a great value pick.

Misthaven (Coady Photography)

Race 8

Horse: #10 Misthaven

Salary: $5,000

Analysis: A full field of fourteen 2-year-old fillies will take the stage in the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes, held at 1 1/16 miles on the grass. The winner will receive a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Misthaven went off as the 9-5 favorite in her debut at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 5. Despite some traffic as she turned for home, she wove her way through the pack and drew off to a 1 ¾-length victory. This will be her first start around two turns. However, the way she closed in her debut makes me think she can handle longer distances just fine. With her closing kick, she should finish in the top five and put some points on the board.

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