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Keeneland trip notes and horses to watch October 4-6

By Noel Michaels

The following are trip notes for horses who had sharp efforts or tough trips at Keeneland during opening weekend, October 4-6, and who figure to improve or run big in their next starts. Add these runners to your horses to watch list, and bet them back next time out if they land in a reasonable spot at Keeneland, Churchill Downs, or elsewhere.

Racing for the week was run under good weather conditions, on a fast main track and firm turf. The turf, in fact, was very firm. Uni, for example, set a course record of 1:32.4 for one mile in the First Lady (G1) on Saturday.

BELLERA: Went down in flames in second for Pletcher after getting bothered at the start and then needing to use early to show tactical speed to move up into contention. Get onboard as the bandwagon clears out a bit.

BORDINI: Got pinched back at the break to begin last in a 10-horse field but recovered to race in the second flight and passed horses throughout the stretch run to win by a half-length but as much the best. Can repeat.

FIGHTING SEABEE: Winner from Saratoga finished fifth in the Bourbon (G3) after showing good interest early and then coming on again late after getting shuffled back badly on the turn and in the stretch.

FORT PECK: Clearly best of the rest when second and at the finish got to within a half-length of a lone speed, wire-to-wire, 9-5 favorite in a solid effort. Just needs a better pace to chase.

IVYETSU: First starter missed the break to start behind a 12-horse field and lose best chance. Showed ability to finish mid-pack and just needs a decent break to show what she’s made of.

LUCKY POLLY: Drew post 12 in turf route attempt and had to send from out there to gain position and got hooked up front in a battle for the lead. Outlasted the other speed to gut it out for second and is knocking on the door vs. maidens.

QUICK QUICK QUICK: No match for a runaway repeat-winning monster, especially after checking in trouble down on the rail with a half-mile to run. Came again to get up for second and it should be her turn next time in a better spot.

TEMPERS RISING: Had a difficult assignment chasing a lone speed horse that had shaken loose up front on a big easy lead. Chased to finish a clear second and is ready to make amends and graduate in next.

URBAN FAIRYTALE: Lost to the one true standout horse in the race, who got loose and went wire-to-wire at even-money, but ran well to be clearly second best in the 12-horse field. It’s his turn next time.

WHOA NELLIE: Swerved out at the break to trail in tough assignment against older horses in return from a 2 1/2-month layoff. Ran well enough for third and will be ready to rebound in second off the layoff.

(Coady Photography)

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