10/24/2004 11:00PM

Orpington major player despite rise


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The final four-day stretch of the Keeneland fall meet starts Wednesday, when four allowance races form an interesting lead-in to programs that will include the final few stakes of the stand.

The Wednesday feature, the eighth of nine races, is a $54,000 two-other-than allowance on turf. Trainer Graham Motion and jockey Robby Albarado, who teamed to win the Dowager Stakes here Sunday with Humaita, have one of the main contenders in the 1 1/8-mile race in Orpington, who was sharp in going through her first allowance condition at The Meadowlands in her most recent outing.

In the other allowances Wednesday, Pat Day, as usual, has several live mounts.

Day and trainer D. Wayne Lukas have one of the horses to beat in the seventh race in Come Out Smokin', one of the logical favorites; trainer Ken McPeek will give Day a leg up on Uncontrollable, a major threat in the sixth race; and in the fourth race, Day teams with trainer Nick Zito in trying to win again with Confirmed, who knocked off his first allowance condition here Oct. 10.

First post is 1:15 p.m. Eastern.

After the Wednesday card, Keeneland will offer the $100,000 Jessamine County Stakes on Thursday and the $100,000 Bourbon County Stakes on Friday. For Saturday, closing day, the feature is the Grade 3, $150,000 Fayette Stakes, with Hollywood Gold Cup winner Total Impact the likely favorite. The five-race Saturday card carries a first post of noon Eastern, with the eight Breeders' Cup simulcasts to follow.

Sunday, Churchill Downs opens its fall meet with the $150,000 Ack Ack Handicap.

Day pressing Bejarano

Suddenly the race in Keeneland's jockeys' standings is a tighter than before. Going into the final four-day stretch of the fall meet, Rafael Bejarano's lead atop the standings has shrunk to three wins (22-19) over Day.

Meanwhile, Brian Hernandez Jr. continues to have an outstanding meet. Hernandez, 18, has ridden 15 winners, third-most among all riders. Agent Fred Aime is pushing Hernandez as a candidate for an Eclipse Award for top apprentice in North America.

Jockey Calvin Borel, mired in an extended slump to start the meet, broke out with three winners Sunday.

Lowering sights on pick four guarantees

Don't look for Keeneland to guarantee as much as $300,000 on any of its pick four wagers next spring. For the second time in three attempts, the final pick four on Sunday failed to draw enough handle to cover the guarantee. Only $225,089 was bet.

Keeneland, in conjunction with Television Games Network, had to make up the difference before winning bets were paid, meaning the track shelled out nearly $75,000 to cover the shortage.

* Heavy overnight rain forced the sixth race Sunday to be moved from the turf course to the dirt, reducing an allowance field to five. It was only the fifth time since Keeneland installed its turf course in 1987 that a turf race had to be moved.