Keeneland All-Stakes Pick 3 for Friday, Oct. 6

October 4th, 2023

A trio of graded stakes events will highlight the much-anticipated opening day of the Keenland Fall Meet on Friday.

Race 7: Phoenix S. (G2)

A total of 11 sprinters will dash six panels in the initial stakes contest. I’ll use a trio of horses in the first leg. #3 Sibelius (12-1) has not been especially sharp since his fine Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) coup in March, but the chestnut is training well and could peak in his third outing since his return. Luis Saez will ride the five-year-old, who was a good fourth in the heat in 2022.

Morning-line choice #7 Bango (5-2) and Wesley Ward’s #8 Nakatomi (4-1) will also be included to kick off the wager.

Race 8: Jessamine S. (G2)

Juvenile fillies will travel 1 1/16 miles on the turf in the deep affair. For value purposes, I’m intrigued by #5 Toupie (20-1), who ran second to the ultra-talented No Nay Mets at Colonial Downs last time out and stretches out on the lawn for the initial time. The Graham Motion pupil would not surprise me with Flavien Prat taking the reins.

#4 Crown Imperial (6-1), Mark Casse’s #2 Time to Dazzle (5-2), and Todd Pletcher’s maiden #9 Appellate (10-1) also merit inclusion in the well-matched cast.

Race 9: Alcibiades S. (G1)

The feature will be run on the main oval and offer a berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) to the winner. I was impressed by the maiden win at first asking by Pletcher’s #3 Candied (6-1) and will use the well-meant daughter of Candy Ride with Luis Saez in the stirrups. She looks to be the type that will improve with the added distance on Saturday.

#5 V V’s Dream (5-2) is arguably the one to beat coming off of a superb score in the Pocahontas S. (G3) at Churchill Downs. The Mitole gray will be tough to hold off with her best performance under the guidance of Brian Hernandez Jr. 

The John Ortiz-trained #7 Brightwork (9-5) is a superb 4-for-4 this campaign, led by a game tally in the Spinaway S. (G1) in her most recent appearance. The Outwork filly finishes her races off like a two-year-old who will handle the distance, but I don’t think she is a sure thing at two turns and could be upended in this spot. Nonetheless, the excellent miss is a must-use with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the controls. 

All Stakes Wager

$1 Pick 3: 3, 7, 8 with 2, 4, 5, 9 with 3, 5, 7 ($36)