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Fayette Stakes Quick Picks

The $200,000 Fayette Stakes (G2) attracted nine older horses who will contest nine furlongs over the main track on Keeneland’s closing day. The event is billed as race 9 of 10, with post time scheduled for 5:16 p.m. EDT.

Let’s take a quick look at the horses most likely to hit the board.

#1 Sleepy Eyes Todd (3-1)

Sleepy Eyes Todd has Keeneland’s “golden rail” going for him, and he will vie for the lead. He’s the only confirmed frontrunner, so he will try to go gate-to-wire. The Miguel Silva trainee hasn’t raced since August when Art Collector outclassed him in the Charles Town Classic. However, Sleepy Eyes Todd has hit the board in three of five tries at nine furlongs and has won at Keeneland. Win contender.

#7 Code of Honor (3-1)

Code of Honor is the class of the Fayette field; he won the 2019 Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) but has won only twice since then. The Shug McGaughey trainee is winless in five starts at nine furlongs, mostly against Grade 1 company. He gets a class drop in his final career start, and it would be fitting if he goes out a winner. Win contender.

#6 King Fury (9-2)

King Fury is inconsistent. In April, he won the Lexington Stakes (G3) over a sloppy Keeneland track, but he still has to prove that he can handle Grade 2 company. In his last start, the Ken McPeek trainee beat up on lesser types by 13 lengths in the 1 3/16 mile “non-graded” Bourbon Trail Stakes. King Fury has tactical speed yet typically makes one run from the back of the pack. Exotics.

#9 Major Fed (12-1)

Major Fed made some noise on this year’s Kentucky Derby trail in the Risen Star (G2) and Indiana Derby (G3), but he placed tenth after a rough trip in the big race. However, trainer Greg Foley gave Major Fed three confidence boosters against allowance types, and the colt responded with back-to-back victories. Now Major Fed is ready to take on graded competition. He will likely track the speed from the outside and should be fit enough to be a threat. Live longshot.

#4 Night Ops (6-1)

In April, Night Ops was second in Keeneland’s nine-furlong Ben Ali Stakes (G3) over a sloppy track. He’s the king of the “near miss” with a record of four seconds and two thirds in five starts this year. Vote him most likely to finish second or third. Exotics.

Fayette Stakes Analysis

Pace-pressers have won five of the last seven editions of the Fayette Stakes, and favorites won four times. Posts one through six were favored.

Sleepy Eyes Todd could control the pace, but he could feel pressure from Independence Hall. Night Ops, Code of Honor, and Major Fed won’t be too far behind, and King Fury may make his move from the back of the pack.

  • #1 Sleepy Eyes Todd (3-1)
  • #7 Code of Honor (3-1)
  • #4 Night Ops (6-1)
  • #9 Major Fed (12-1)

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