New millionaire Willcox Inn will try to score a victory in his second start at the current Keeneland fall meet when he faces an expected field of eight other starters in the $200,000 Hagyard Fayette Stakes (gr. II) Oct. 26.
Lael Stables and All In Stable's Willcox Inn enters Saturday's 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and older on the Polytrack off a third-place finish behind Silver Max and Wise Dan in the Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. I) Oct. 5. That race had been scheduled for the turf but was moved to the main track.
Trained by Mike Stidham, Willcox Inn won the Washington Park Handicap (gr. III) on Polytrack at Arlington Park in his start prior to the Turf Mile. The third-place finish by the 5-year-old son of Harlan's Holiday lifted him past $1 million in career earnings.
Regular rider James Graham has the call on Willcox Inn, who will break from post 7. The consistent Willcox Inn has won or placed in five of his seven previous races, all graded stakes.
Alto Racing's Winning Cause has won three of four starts on the main track including this year's Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. III). His lone Keeneland setback came in the six-furlong Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (gr. III) Oct. 4 when he broke from post position 12.
The only 3-year-old in the field, Winning Cause, by Giant's Causeway , will try to become the 11th 3-year-old to win the Fayette, which started in 1959. The most recent 3-year-old to win the race was Blame in 2009.
Joe Rocco Jr. has the mount on Winning Cause, who will break from post 9 for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Donegal Racing's Finnegans Wake comes into the Fayette off a runner-up finish in the Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT) Sept. 9 at Belmont Park. The Dale Romans trainee had finished fourth in three consecutive grade I events on the Belmont grass prior to that.
$200,000 Hagyard Fayette Stakes (gr. II, race 9, approximate post time 5:21 p.m. EDT) 3 &up, 1 1/8 miles, Polytrack
PP, Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Villandry (KY), J. Castanon, 121, C. LoPresti
2. You Know I Know (KY), E. Castro, 121, J. Sadler
3. Set the Sail (KY), S. Bridgmohan, 121, C. LoPresti
4. Nikki's Sandcastle (KY), L. Goncalves, 121, D. Kassen
5. Ol Army (KY), M. Mena, 121, C. Peery
6. Finnegans Wake (KY), R. Albarado, 121, D. Romans
7. Willcox Inn (KY), J. Graham, 121, M. Stidham
8. Lea (KY), Brian Hernandez Jr., 121, A. Stall Jr.
9. Winning Cause (KY), J. Rocco Jr., 118, T. Pletcher