The 2020 Grade 2 Haygard Fayette

In perusing the past performances for the weekend, I saw some small fields, some tough chalk, and some unattractive multi-race sequences. This was truer at Belmont and Santa Anita than Keeneland, where it just looked plain hard.

When this happens, I like to look for a one-race play that can make or break the day. On Saturday, I landed in the Grade 2 Fayette at Keeneland for my shot.

The race looks competitive enough on paper, with what I view as a vulnerable favorite looking to get back on track after flopping against slightly tougher. The horse I like is about 10-1 and is on the upswing. I like horses on the improvement and coming to what I think is a peak race.

Another observation for those inclined to pay attention is I loved Mr. Freeze last out. I singled him on some big plays. He didn’t run well at all, and on Saturday will be the favorite referenced earlier, looking to get back on track. Although I loved him last time, I didn’t marry him, and I don’t like him on Saturday. Different day, race, pace, etc.

I’ll take a quick run through the field of 10 expected to go to post.

I almost landed on the horse on the rail, Coastal Defense. He is a lightly raced horse on the improvement and, in my opinion, dangerous and eligible. I have no knock I just like someone else more.

Captivating Moon has had plenty of shots to win a race like this. Maybe one day he will. If it is Saturday, I won’t be on him. He is not overmatched and is second off the layoff, but I think someone almost has to be better than him.

Crafty Dandy beat Captivating Moon last out in a race that came off the turf. I think it looked better than it was, and I’ll take a stand against both of them.
Mirinague did not show me enough in the Pacific Classic, his first start in the US after coming from Argentina.

Title Ready is a hard hitter who likes Keeneland and can win. He’ll need some pace help, and if he gets it, he will be coming late. I’ll be taking someone to get the jump on him.

Mr. Freeze is a likely pacesetter. He likes Keeneland and will be looking to get back on track after facing better. I’m not sold. The distance pushed his limit, and I did not like his last effort.

Rated R Superstar is a tough older guy, but I think slightly over his head in this spot.

Tax is coming off a layoff for a good barn. His best race would be competitive here, but I don’t think we see that on Saturday. I think he will need one to get to this level.

Mo Mosa is another on the improvement. Maker is winning with everything, and this horse figures to like the speed friendly Keeneland track. There are worse shots to take, but I like the bottom horse better.

I think Aurelius Maximus can win this at a generous price. He is going very well since moving to the Asmussen barn and was cut out to be good when he was with Chad Brown earlier. He has won his last two starts and has his confidence coming in. I think Santana can stalk lively splits and get the jump on the closers.

Aurelis Maximus will be my play on top in exactas, triples, and superfectas. If he wins, I think I can take those down. I’ll bet to win just in case.

The multi-race wagers, the pick 4, 5, and 6 look tough and can pay well. If I go into those, I’d use Coastal Defense, Title Ready, and Aurelis Maximus but go back hard and double and triple up on Aurelis Maximus looking for the score.

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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