10/07/2007 11:00PM

Giant Basil figures tough in allowance

EmailLEXINGTON, Ky. - Keeneland fans will be getting a break Wednesday from two things - one they probably wanted, and one they probably didn't.

The weather was supposed to cool off considerably from an opening weekend when temperatures soared into the 90s, among the hottest conditions during a Keeneland meet. The high temperature Wednesday was forecast at just 70, with an overnight low of 44.

But there is another huge dropoff for Wednesday: the stakes action. A $56,000 allowance is the best race on the fourth of 17 fall programs, striking a vivid contrast to the three-day opening weekend, when nine stakes were run.

Giant Basil, one of 11 horses shipped here for the meet by Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, looks like the one to beat in the featured eighth race, which will be run over Polytrack and is governed by a classified three-other-than condition along with an $80,000 claiming option. A 4-year-old Giant's Causeway colt bred and owned by the Live Oak Plantation of Charlotte Weber, Giant Basil most recently was second in the Sept. 13 Steinlen Stakes on the Belmont Park turf and would seem to bring a slight class edge to this seven-furlong race.

Rafael Bejarano, who rode Country Star to win the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades Stakes for Frankel here Friday, has the call on Giant Basil, who is scheduled to break from the outside post in a field of 12.

Other logical contenders in the Wednesday feature include Buddy Got Even, a winner in 2 of 3 tries over the Keeneland Polytrack and a five-time overall winner on synthetic surfaces; City Number, winner of a small stakes in August over the Arlington Polytrack; and Barbican, who exits four straight stakes races.

Two other allowances (races 5 and 7) are on a program that ends with a 1 1/4-mile starter allowance (race 9) on Polytrack. Wednesday marks the first nine-race card of the meet, as 10 races were the standard through opening weekend. First post is 1:15 p.m. Eastern.

Wednesday marks the first day that Keeneland will offer a 50-cent minimum on all trifectas. The track already offers 50-cent minimums on both of its daily pick four wagers and was among the first North American tracks to offer 10-cent superfectas.