Stately Victor tops Fayette

Stately Victor tops Fayette

STATELY VICTOR (Ghostzapper) ran the best race of his career last April at Keeneland, winning a deep edition of the Blue Grass S. (G1) by a convincing 4 1/4 lengths, and the three-year-old colt will be the one to beat in Saturday's $150,000 Fayette S. (G2). The Mike Maker-trained colt will face elders for the first time when he lines up against nine rivals in the 1 1/8-mile event on Polytrack.

Stately Victor was overlooked at 40-1 in the Blue Grass following five straight unplaced finishes, but he'll return to Keeneland in much better form Saturday, winning the September 25 Ontario Derby by 3 1/4 lengths over Woodbine's Polytrack. The bay Kentucky-bred will be reunited with jockey Alan Garcia and breaks from the rail as the 122-pound highweight.

BATTLE OF HASTINGS (GB) (Royal Applause [GB]) is winless in six starts this season, but the multiple Grade 2 veteran has been facing top company all year and merits serious respect in the Fayette. Runner-up by a half-length in the San Diego H. (G2) two back, the four-year-old gelding offered a fine rally for fourth in the Pacific Classic (G1) last time and will be making his first start for new trainer Greg Fox in this spot. Jesus Castanon will pick up the mount.

DUBIOUS MISS (E Dubai) is three-for-three at Keeneland and looms as a logical win contender if ready off the long layoff for Paul McGee. The six-year-old gelding will be making his first start since a sharp 1 1/2-length score in the Ben Ali S. (G3) at Keeneland in April. SUCCESSFUL DAN (Successful Appeal) is another horse for the course to possibly fear. A debut winner over the Polytrack in 2009, the Charles Lopresti trainee improved to two-for-two locally when rolling to a seven-length win over allowance/optional claiming rivals on October 9. The four-year-old will keep Julien Leparoux in the saddle for Saturday's class hike.

The Todd Pletcher-trained EXHI (Maria's Mon) will have to be caught. Second in the West Virginia Derby (G2) two back and fourth in the Pennsylvania Derby (G2) most recently, the three-year-old colt led wire-to-wire when capturing the Lexington S. (G2) at Keeneland in April. Javier Castellano will guide the bay.