11/06/2009 12:00AM

Useful clues gleaned from Keeneland


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Here's a look at the last week of Keeneland.

Jockey Robby Albarado won the riding title with 25 wins, five more than Julien Leparoux. Neither of them was profitable for bettors with return on investment figures of $1.69, and $1.34, respectively.

Leandro Goncalves got off to a slow start at Keeneland while riding many longshots, but finished up much better with 5 wins from his last 53 mounts (9 percent), with a solid $2.42 ROI. He is doing even better at Churchill with 3 wins from 19 mounts (nearly 16 percent), and a $3.62 ROI through Thursday.

Trainer Ken McPeek dominated the trainer standings with 17 wins from 66 starts, a shade less than 26 percent, with a $2.49 ROI. There was a gap of 11 wins back to Todd Pletcher in second. McPeek was profitable at $2.49, and Pletcher showed a slight gain at $2.06.

McPeek was most effective when he and Albarado teamed up. That combination won 11 of 28 races, with 5 seconds, and 3 third-place finishes. That's a remarkable 39 percent wins, with a $3.11 ROI.

Track bias

Wednesday, Oct. 28: Four of the six Polytrack sprints were won by horses who were among the first four to the first call. The lone Polytrack route was won by a closer. Both of the turf races, one sprint and one route, were won by the first-call leader.

Thursday, Oct. 29: Six of the seven races at all distances on Polytrack were won by horses who were 3-4-5-6-7 at the first call in fields ranging from 10 to 12 horses. The exception was a front-running winner. The two turf races, one route, and one sprint, were won by horses with tactical speed.

Friday, Oct. 30: All five of the Polytrack sprints were won by horses who were in the front half of their field at the first call. The three Polytrack routes were won by a horse showing tactical speed, a midpack runner, and a closer. The turf sprint and turf route were both won by closers.

Saturday, Oct. 31: Four of the five Polytrack sprint winners were fourth or closer at the first call. The five Polytrack routes were won by horses who were in midpack, or farther back.

Horses to watch

Galientos is a 2-year-old colt who debuted against maiden specials going six furlongs in the sixth race on Oct. 29 for Steve Asmussen. He was in midpack, fifth of 11 early, but was only 1 1/2 lengths behind the leader. He was two lengths back at the top of the stretch, but he was blocked until midstretch when he split horses, and made a nice late run to finish second. Although he was no match for Remand, the comfortable 5 1/4-length winner, Galientos finished 2 3/4 lengths clear of the third horse. He will be a threat to graduate with a better trip next time.

Capt Obvious had run well for trainer Katherine Ball while finishing second, third, second, then first against maiden specials, but he regressed when he finished last against $50,000 optional claimers in his first start against winners. He returned in a seven-furlong, first-level allowance, and was overlooked as a 59-1 longshot. He stumbled badly a couple of strides after the start, and lost about 10 lengths before he and jockey Miguel Mena recovered. He rallied eight wide, altered course when another runner angled out inside of him, and made steady progress to be sixth, 13 1/2 lengths behind the winner. He missed second by 7 3/4 lengths, and might have been able to finish in that spot with a better trip. Given his big odds last time, and a second straight non-threatening finish against winners, an attractive price is likely next time. He can find his way into the exotics in a similar field, and would be formidable with a class drop, or a switch to a softer track.

Wellofaprize is a 5-year-old mare who returned from a 4 1/2-month layoff for trainer Ed Frederick in a 1 1/16-mile, third-level optional $80,000 claiming race. She rallied from eighth to finish second and received an 89 Beyer, tied for the best number she has earned from her last 12 starts. She can improve in the second race of her form cycle, and can beat a comparable field in her next race.