Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Hagyard Fayette Stakes comes our way from Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky this Saturday, October 25. Horses three years old and upward will take to Keeneland's dirt track and race 1 1/8 miles for the winner's share of the $200,000 purse.
A field of eight will take to the track in the Fayette Stakes - race 9 on Keeneland's Saturday card. Post time is 5:13 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all eight combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.
Departing - Albert Stall trained gelding has just four starts in 2014 - a second as favorite last time out in the minor Homecoming Classic at Churchill Downs September 27 followed a disappointing eighth in the Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga August 2, a decent third in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster right behind Will Take Charge June 14 and a nice win in an Allowance Optional Claiming on that same track in April. This followed seven months away. He was great in 2013 winning five of eight starts including the Grade 2 Super Derby, the Grade 1 West Virginia Derby and the Grade 3 Illinois Derby as well - he also raced to an OK sixth in last year's Preakness. Departing now has seven wins, two seconds and two thirds in 13 career starts and will look for his first graded stakes win this year with Robby Albarado in the irons from post 2.
Call Me George - has 19 career starts for trainer Grant Forster with five wins, three seconds and four third place finishes. He enters off an OK third in the minor Homecoming Classic Stakes September 27 after a fourth in his only graded stakes start - the Grade 3 Greenwood Cup Stakes at Parx September 1. Call Me George has nine starts this year with two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes and looks to better Departing in this one. Stewart Elliot will be in charge from post 5.
Long River - Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt entered the Excelsior Stakes in March on a three race win streak - the Evening Attire Stakes January 18 after the Time for a Change Stakes December 1 and then finished a good second behind Romansh in the Grade 3 Excelsior. He hasn't been great since - failing to place in his next four starts. Results include a seventh in the Grade 1 Woodward August 30 after a fifth in the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup July 27, a seventh in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap in June and a fifth in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic in April. Last time out was Long River's best result in a while - a third in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup September 27. He hopes to build on his effort last time out when he leaves from gate 7 with Rosie Napravnik in the irons.
Pick of the Litter - Dale Romans trained colt has two wins, two seconds and a third place finish in eight starts this year - in his career he has four wins, four seconds and two third place finishes. Last time out was a fourth in the minor Homecoming Classic Stakes at Churchill Downs September 27 which followed an Allowance Optional Claiming score and a fourth in the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup in July. He has yet to win in four graded stakes tries but does have a win and two seconds (all Allowance races) in his last five starts overall. Corey Lanerie will be in the saddle from the rail Saturday.
Stephanoatsee - Nick Zito pupil started 2014 with an eighth in the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap and had three straight Allowance starts after that - a second being his best result over that span. Last time out was a fourth in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Keeneland Race Course September 27 which followed a fifth in the Grade 1 Woodward August 30. He was at his best at the end of 2012/beginning of 2013 when he posted a win in the minor Barbaro Stakes, finished third in the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap and was second in the Grade 2 Strub. He has placed in just one of his last 10 starts - not great ahead of this weekend. Julien Leparoux gets the call from agate 3.
Coltimus Prime - three-time stakes-placed colt is coming off a good second in the Grade 3 Ontario Derby at Woodbine September 21 after a nice win over Ami's Holiday in the minor Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie July 29, a disappointing ninth in the Queen's Plate and an Allowance score in June. He raced to a disappointing ninth in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby March 8 and a fifth in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes in April but has looked much better since - two wins and two seconds in his last five starts overall. Coltimus Prime looks to be in decent form ahead of this weekend and will have James Graham aboard from post 4.
Mister Marti Gras - Chris Block trained gelding has 41 career starts with 10 wins, 11 seconds and five third place finishes - a win, a second and a third place finish in six starts this year. He was at his best in 2011 when he won a pair of Grade 3 races and has been OK Since. Last time out was a third in the Grade 3 Washington Park Handicap August 30 after a fifth in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap, an Allowance Optional Claiming score in June and a good second in the Grade 3 Hanshin Cup in May. He has placed in 11 of his last 14 starts overall and will have Florent Geroux guiding him from post 6 Saturday.
Code West - won the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes in June, 2013 and has been up and down since. Last time out was a second in the minor Downs At Albuquerque Handicap September 21 which followed a nice win in the minor Governor's Cup Stakes August 16 and a fifth in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park in July. Before that was consecutive seconds including the minor Majestic Light Stakes in May. He has placed in seven of his last nine starts overall including three wins and hopes to keep the momentum going Saturday. Shaun Bridgmohan rides from the outside post.
Race 9 on Keeneland's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:13 PM.
||Pick of the Litter
||A. Stall, Jr.
||Call Me George
||Mister Marti Gras