10/18/2010 1:21PM

Plenty of contenders in turf allowance


LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 17-day Keeneland fall meet hits its midpoint Wednesday with far less fanfare than it started Oct. 8, but hey, that’s the way it goes. A front-loaded meet necessitated by timing toward the Breeders’ Cup usually lays the Keeneland cupboard bare at some point, and the Wednesday card seems a sampling of that.

Only one allowance – never mind a stakes – is carded for Wednesday, although it can be fairly said it’s a good one as far as wagering prospects go. A full field of 2-year-old fillies lends itself to all sorts of speculation, with maybe a half-dozen standing a decent chance of prevailing and a couple more outsiders casting further shadows on the outcome.

Holidaysatthefarm, a Glen Hill Farm homebred, stands as good a chance as any, even after being assigned post 11 in the $49,000, one-mile turf race governed by a condition of “never won two, life.” Trained by Tom Proctor, Holidaysatthefarm, by Smarty Jones, won a maiden special race on the Belmont Park turf and earned a field-high 76 Beyer Speed Figure in her last start, all of which some fans will find sufficient for backing. Garrett Gomez has the mount.

A Brilliant Idea, with Robby Albarado to ride, looks like the one to beat as trainer Kelly Breen is taking full advantage of the race conditions: the only career win for the filly came in a small stakes, the Aug. 29 Junior Champion at Monmouth Park.

Other logical contenders in the eighth of nine Wednesday races include Lucky Strikes Gold, Cactus Kate, Suave Voir Faire, and Catch That Kitten. Thirteen fillies are entered, but only 12 can start.

Lucky Strikes Gold, a winner of her lone career start at Presque Isle Downs, will by ridden by Julien Leparoux, who after the first eight days of the fall meet owned a commanding lead atop the jockey standings. Leparoux has 15 wins, more than double his closest pursuers, Albarado and John Velazquez, each with 7.

Two maiden special weight events (races 4 and 6) are among the other Wednesday offerings. There is a carryover of $22,326 in the $2 pick six (races 4-9).

A handicapping contest presented by drf.com is held here every Wednesday on races 3-9. Prize money is $2,500 and entry fee is $10.