A field of 12, including six horses that have won over the Keeneland main track, have been lined up for an interesting edition of the $150,000 Fayette Stakes (gr. II) Oct. 29 on closing day of the fall meet.
Favoritism for the 1 1/8-mile Polytrack event could boil down to former Phoenix (gr. III) winner Wise Dan, who gets leading rider Julien Leparoux back, and Mission Impazible, a multiple graded stakes winner looking to rebound from a pair of off-the-board outings in grade I races. But the Fayette is a wide-open race that also includes two-time grade I winner General Quarters, Kentucky Cup (gr. II) winner Future Prospect, and the improving Ioya Bigtime—all with victories at Keeneland. Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runner Decisive Moment—the lone 3-year-old in the race—the consistent Workin for Hops, and Guys Reward, another horse with a win at Keeneland, also add luster to the feature.
Post time for the Fayette is slated for 5:23 p.m. EDT.
Morton Fink’s Wise Dan comes out of the Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) Oct. 8 at Keeneland when finishing a close fourth. Prior to that he won the Sept. 9 Presque isle Downs Mile on Tapeta and the Firecracker Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Churchill Downs turf. The 4-year-old son of Wiseman’s Ferry had a sharp work on the Keeneland main track for trainer Charles Lopresti on Oct. 19. Overall, he has won six of 12 lifetime starts.
Twin Creeks Racing Stable’s Mission Impazible broke his maiden at Keeneland in his debut back in April 2009. He has made it back to the winner’s circle twice since then, taking the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) in 2010 and the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) earlier this year.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Mission Impazible fell a neck short of winning the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) in June, but then failed to factor in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) and Woodward Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga this summer. This will be his first start over a synthetic surface since that maiden win. Javier Castellano will have the mount.
Pletcher will also send out Modern Cowboy for Green Hill Farm. The 4-year-old Tiznow colt was a stakes winner at Mountaineer two starts back.
Tom McCarthy’s General Quarters has not won since the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) in May 2010 but has finished second in four starts this year including the Kentucky Cup in his last try. His biggest win came in the 2009 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland when pulling a 14-1 upset.
A lively pace in the Fayette should be ensured by Decisive Moment breaking from the rail, Future Prospect, and Jimmy Simms, who just missed in the Presque isle Downs Mile after leading most of the way.
$150,000 Fayette Stakes (gr. II, Race 9, 5:23 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Polytrack) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. Decisive Moment (FL), K D Clark, 116, J D Arias
2. Modern Cowboy (KY), R Albarado, 119, T A Pletcher
3. Jimmy Simms (KY), K J Desormeaux, 119, A W Dutrow
4. Eighttofasttocatch (MD), S Russell, 119, T L Keefe
5. General Quarters (KY), J Theriot, 119, T R McCarthy
6. Future Prospect (NY), E S Prado, 123, D H Skaggs
7. Anak Nakal (KY), J L Castanon, 119, T Girten
8. Wise Dan (KY), J R Leparoux, 119, C Lopresti
9. Guys Reward (KY), C J Lanerie, 119, D L Romans
10. Ioya Bigtime (IL), C H Borel, 119, C M Block
11. Workin for Hops (KY), J Graham, 121, M Stidham
12. Mission Impazible (KY), J Castellano, 123, T A Pletcher