2016 Hagyard Fayette Stakes Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - The G2 Hagyard Fayette Stakes is on tap for this Saturday, October 29 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. 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 have been confirmed for the Fayette Stakes - race 9 on Keeneland's Saturday card. Post time is 5:30 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all eight combatants for this G2 stakes.

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2016 Hagyard Fayette Stakes Race Preview at Keeneland Race Course

Noble Bird 6-5 - Mark Casse pupil looked great at the beginning of last summer - he won two Allowance Optional Claiming races, finished second in the G2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs in May, 2015 and went on to win the G1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs in June. He wasn't great after that before a terrific 11 length win three starts back in the G3 Pimlico Special May 20 with a career-best 117 Beyer Speed Figure - a result that was followed by a disappointing sixth in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park June 11 and a fifth in the G1 Whitney Stakes August 6 at Saratoga. Last time out was another win however - in front running fashion in the minor Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs October 1. This year he's also had a last of eight, as favorite in the G2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs May 6, an OK second in the G3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland April 14 and a sixth in an Allowance Optional Claiming in February. Noble Bird has been tough to figure out and will try to gain some traction with Julien Leparoux in the saddle of the 123 pound highweight and overwhelming favorite from gate 2.

Divining Rod 5-1 - has placed in 10 of 11 career starts for trainer Arnaud Delacour - four wins, a second and five third place finishes. 2015 results include a second in the G3 Sam F. Davis Stakes, a third in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby (both at Tampa Bay), a terrific win in the G3 Lexington Stakes here in April and three straight thirds including the Preakness Stakes, the minor Ohio Derby and the G2 Indiana Derby. He ended 2015 with a fifth in the G3 Smarty Jones Stakes in August before being sent to the sidelines for 13 months. Since his return to action Divining Rod has two starts and two more wins - both Allowance Optional Claiming races at Parx with the last coming September 27. Divining Rod has been a factor in every race in his career so far and hopes to be again in his first stakes action in 14 months. Florent Geroux gets the call on the co-second choice from the outside gate 8.

Iron Fist 5-1 - has 12 career starts for trainer Steve Asmussen with three wins, four seconds and a four third place finishes. Last time out was a respectable second in the G3 Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill Downs October 1 after a sixth in an Allowance Optional Claiming, a third ion the G3 Native Diver Stakes and an Allowance Optional Claiming score November 1. Before that was a second in the G2 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx in September, 2015. Iron Fist has quietly placed in three of his last four starts overall and will be after his first stakes score from post 7. Ricardo Santana has been tabbed to ride the other morning line co-second choice.

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Kasaqui 6-1 - Argentinean bred Ignacio Correas trainee has five wins, eight seconds and a third place finish in 21 career starts. He enters off a fifth in the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile here October 8 after a second behind Mondialiste in the G1 Arlington Millions, a win in the G3 Arlington Handicap July 9, a second in the G2 Wise Dan Stakes in June, an unfortunate DNF in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic in May and an Allowance score in April. He won his last two races at home as well (both stakes). Kasaqui had been a factor in every race the last 18 months before a somewhat disappointing effort last time out and will be after a strong bounce back from post 3 with Robby Albarado aboard.

Prayer for Relief 6-1 - raced 11 straight graded stakes races in 2014/2015 for trainer Dale Romans with a second in the G3 Pimlico Special in 2014, a third in the G2 Suburban Handicap that year and a third in the 2015 G3 Hal's Hope Stakes in January, 2015 being the best results. He has spent the last 18 months in Dubai and has been just OK. Last time out was a sixth in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile March 25 after a fourth in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta March 5, a third in a Handicap February 18, a fifth in a Group 2 and a fifth in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge in January. He looks for his first win in nearly three years Saturday in his first North American start since February, 2015 and enters in so-so form. Corey Lanerie has the mount from gate 6.

Hawaakom 8-1 - Wes Hawley trained gelding has seven wins, six seconds and six third place finishes in 29 career starts and enters in decent form. He enters off an OK second behind Noble Bird in the minor Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs October 2 - a race that he earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure. Before that was another respectable second in the G3 Greenwood Cup at Parx September 5, a nice win in the minor West Virginia Governor's Stakes at Mountaineer in August, a sixth in the G3 Cornhusker Handicap in July and an Allowance Optional Claiming score in May. Hawaakom has placed in five of his last six starts overall and will be after his first graded stakes score. Miguel Mena gets the call from the rail.

Mr. Z 10-1 - has just two wins in 21 career starts for trainer D. Wayne Lukas and enters in less-than-spectacular form. Last time out was a sixth in the G3 Ack Ack Handicap October 1 after 11 months away from the track, an eighth in the G1 Clark in November and a sixth in the 2016 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Before that was a fourth in the G2 Pennsylvania Derby September 19 and a seventh place finish in the G1 King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga August 29. He did look good in his previous two starts however- a second in the G2 Indiana Derby July 18, 2015 followed a win in the minor Ohio Derby at Thistletown June 20. He also had a fifth in the 2015 Preakness Stakes and a thirteenth in the Kentucky Derby. Mr. Z hasn't been scared of top but hasn't fared well lately. He tries to hit the board for the first time in six races from gate 4 with James Graham in the reins.

Chocopologie 30-1 - has placed in all 10 career starts for trainer Patrick Devereux - five wins, three seconds and two third place finishes. He enters on a nice three race win streak - the minor Governor's Cup last time out at Remington Park September 25 and two Allowance Optional Claiming races - one in August after 10 months away and the other in October, 2015. His only graded stakes action came in September, 2015 - a second in the G2 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs in September, 2015. Chocopologie hasn't been worse than second in 15 months (eight races) and will be out for his first ever graded stakes score. Colby Hernandez has been tabbed to ride from post 5.

2016 Hagyard Fayette Stakes Entries & Odds

Race 9 on Keeneland's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:30 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Hawaakom 8-1 Miguel Mena Wesley Hawley
2 Noble Bird 6-5 Julien Leparoux Mark Casse
3 Kasaqui (ARG) 6-1 Robby Albarado Ignacio Correas, IV
4 Mr. Z 10-1 James Graham D. Lukas
5 Chocopologie 30-1 Colby Hernandez Patrick Devereux, Jr.
6 Prayer for Relief 6-1 Corey Lanerie Dale Romans
7 Iron Fist 5-1 Ricardo Santana, Jr. Steven Asmussen
8 Divining Rod 5-1 Florent Geroux Arnaud Delacour