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Fayette Stakes Betting - Departing Is The Safe Choice

Posted by on 10/23/2014 10:51:02 PM

The Grade-2 Fayette Stakes has a purse of $200,000 and is one of the more important pre-Breeders' Cup events left on the schedule. It is run at Keeneland with a distance of 1 1/8 miles on a dirt surface. This event is for thoroughbred horses aged three years and up.

Nikki's Sandcastle won't be back to defend the title, which means we will have a new champion on Saturday. There are some interesting shots you could take, but Departing is the best horse in the field and should win it.

What: Horse Betting

When: Saturday, October 25th, post time 5:13 PM ET

Where: Keeneland Race Course, Lexington, KY

Pick: Departing

Call Me George kicked off September with a fourth-place run in his graded-stakes debut at the Grade-3 Greenwood Stakes, then he finished third in the non-graded Homecomig Classic. However, he has run 14 races and the majority of them have been maiden/clearance/allowance events. It'll be interesting to see how Call Me George stacks up against good competition.

Code West is coming off a win at the non-graded Governor's Cup in August, and he did manage to take the Grade-3 Matt Winn in June, so this is a horse that knows the taste of victory. But he did finish fifth at the Grade-2 Jim Dandy Stakes in July, so it might be simply a matter of which Code West takes to the starting line on Saturday.

Coltimus Prime has run just two of his nine starts on dirt, but he did win the non-graded Prince of Wales at Woodbine in his home country of Canada. He followed that up with a second-place run at the non-graded Ontario Derby last month, but some might be scared off this horse as he has finished fifth and ninth in his graded-stakes events, so you will be able to find Coltimus Prime at good odds.

Departing should come into Saturday's race as the favorite after a second-place finish at the Homecomig Classic, but 2014 hasn't been kind to this thoroughbred. Last year, Departing won three graded-stakes races and finished sixth at the Preakness Stakes, but he has finished third and eighth in a pair of graded handicap events this year. On speed alone, Departing is probably the fastest horse in the field, but will he show it this weekend? If he does, he should blow the field away.

Long River has made six straight starts in graded-stakes races, finishing in the top three just twice, but one of those was a third-place run at the Grade-1 Jockey Club Gold Cup last month. That is encouraging for some, and a top-three finish shouldn't be out of Long River's reach in this field. With a few things going his way, this horse could win it all and make some horse bettors very happy.

Mister Marti Gras came in third at the Grade-3 Washington Park Handicap in August, but he hasn't won a graded-stakes race since that same event back in 2011. He also hasn't run on dirt in five starts and that resulted in a ninth-place finish at the Grade-3 Mineshaft Handicap in February, so the odds might not be too high on Mister Marti Gras.

Pick Of The Litter came in fourth at the Homecoming Classic and finished in the same position at the Grade-2 Monmouth Cup three months ago, but 10 of his last 12 starts have been allowance races. Pick Of The Litter will have his saddle full trying to keep up with a solid field of horses, but you never know what will happen in the world of high-stakes thoroughbred horse racing.

Stephanoatsee is the second of two horses in this field that were sired by A.P. Indy, which won the Belmont Stakes in 1992, along with the Breeders' Cup Classic and those two wins powered him to the Three-Year-Old Champion award that year (A.P. Indy's damsire was the great Secretariat). Long River is the other, but Stephanoatsee is intriguing after a fifth-place run at the Grade-1 Woodward in August, then a fourth at the Jockey Club Gold Cup last month. Keep an eye on this horse on Saturday.

How It Will Play Out

Departing is the smart choice for this weekend at Keeneland, but if you want to take a risk, go with Stephanoatsee or Long River, which both have fantastic winning pedigrees and that could be enough to carry them to a famous win in Lexington on Saturday afternoon.

Fayette Stakes Betting Pick: Departing

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