Updated on 09/16/2011 9:32AM

Tenpins runs his Classic in Fayette


When Don Winfree saddles Tenpins as the favorite Saturday for the $150,000 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland Race Course, he won't have any misgivings about keeping his stable star out of the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Instead, Winfree would be content to watch the highly consistent Tenpins run another strong race when the colt faces four other 4-year-olds in the Grade 3 Fayette, highlight of a seven-race closing-day card at the Lexington, Ky., track.

"They'll have another Breeders' Cup next year," Winfree said Thursday from his Louisville base. "I had every opportunity to go, but my horse has only had eight races his whole life, and he's never been 1 1/4 miles, so I thought it'd be asking too much to try."

The Fayette, a 1 1/8-mile race that long has been the top race for older dirt horses at the Keeneland fall meet, drew a representative cast to oppose Tenpins, a Michigan-bred who won the $400,000 Washington Park Handicap for owner Joe Vitello in his last start. Stern challenges can be expected from Invisible Ink, the 2001 Kentucky Derby runner-up, and Crafty Shaw, who is entered off a sharp victory in the Turfway Park Fall Championship.

Rock Slide and X Country complete the lineup.

Winfree is aware that Crafty Shaw and Invisible Ink are dangerous opponents, but he said, "If my horse shows up, he'll be tough."

Indeed, except for his career debut and a third-place finish in the Stephen Foster Handicap in June, Tenpins has finished first in his other six races, although he was disqualified from the first of those.

Winfree, who winters each year at the Fair Grounds, said he hopes to run Tenpins once more this year, in the Nov. 29 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. "Then I'll give him another little vacation and then get ready for some of the bigger races in New Orleans," he said.

The Fayette closes out the meet as the seventh and last race of the day. The live races will be interspersed to accommodate the Breeders' Cup simulcasts. First post is 12:30 p.m. Eastern.

Action on the Kentucky circuit shifts Sunday to Churchill, where the opener of the five-week fall meet will be highlighted by the $100,000 Ack Ack Stakes.

* Unshaded, winner of the 2000 Travers Stakes, won the Wednesday feature at Keeneland, a turf race restricted to horses that had never won on the turf "other than." Unshaded, a 5-year-old gelding, is owned by Jim Tafel and trained by Carl Nafzger.

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