2013 Hagyard Fayette Stakes

Hagyard Fayette at Keeneland

Abraham LincolnLet’s preview the running of the Grade 2 Hagyard Fayette Stakes for three year olds and upward going a distance of 11/8 miles for a purse of  $200,000. This race should be an interesting race. You may want to take who I pick with a grain of salt after the disastrous day I had last week. I know you guys are way too smart to just bet what I say blindly without reading the form for yourselves. I can never guarantee you a winner or a place horse. In fact if I say this horse has a shot just remember so did Abe Lincoln. I like to give you the top three favorites as are laid out in the morning line and then if I see something that I believe to be worthwhile I will mention it. However if I have a dream about any horse I will also relate that to you so you know that it was not a handicap strategy, but more of a mystic or physic pick as was the case with Will Take Charge earlier in the year. That dream came before the Kentucky Derby but it left such a strong impression on me that I touted him until he won.

Willcox InnOk. Let’s get to it. What I like to do is to find the horses that have competed well in graded stakes events. Now that doesn’t mean I disregard the others. It just means that usually horses that have competed well in the graded stakes events will do well again. The first horse we will be looking at is Michael Stidham’s Willcox Inn who is set in at 5/2 in the morning line. He has performed well in graded stakes and is pretty much in the money most of the time. His last win was in the Grade 3 Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park. His speed figures are high and he likes to be close to the front but he comes from out of it too. He is a versatile race horse. He will be ridden by his regular rider James Graham. Next in the ML is Albert Stall’s Lea at 3 to 1. He too likes to compete with graded stakes horses and when he does win he is on or very close to the lead. He will be ridden by Brian Hernandez. His last graded stakes win came last year at Churchill Downs.

Nikki's SandcastleThird choice in the morning line is Dale Romans’ Finnegans Wake. This 4 year old hasn’t won in quite some time but was second last out in the Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap at Belmont back in mid- September. He will be ridden by Robby Albarado and is a staunch closer. My concern with him is that he races exclusively on turf and today’s race in on the All Surface track at Keeneland. Don’t get me wrong here. Most of these horses are turf runners and are going to this surface today. It is just that Finnegans Wake hasn’t shown me anything that leads me to believe that he is proficient on this surface. So who will it be?  As much as I hate to say it, Willcox Inn and Lea look like the two heavies in the race. But you know that I can’t bet favorites. I’m picking Nikki’s Sandcastle to run them down in the stretch with Willcox Inn second and Villandry third. Good Luck Guys and Gals!




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Handicap Horses

Co-lead Author & Admin at Handicap Horse Racing
Mike Lane, Sr is co-lead author and administrator of With over 38 years of experience and a degree in the "School of Hard Knocks" for handicapping, Mike has seen it all when it comes to thoroughbred racing and wants to help other horse players learn how to handicap and avoid the mistakes he has made in the past.

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