The handicap division takes center stage on Saturday, October 30 at Keeneland, with the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes. The race covers a mile and an eighth over the main track, and offers its runners a $200,000 purse. It is the closing day feature for the fall meet in Lexington.
This year’s edition of the Fayette Stakes drew a talented field of nine horses. Code of Honor, who placed second in the Kentucky Derby in 2019, headlines the group. However, it will not be an easy task, as he will be trying to catch graded stakes winners like Sleepy Eyes Todd, Night Ops, and King Fury, in addition to some intriguing newer faces.
Where to Bet the Fayette Stakes
Before you start handicapping the Fayette Stakes, make sure you know the right place to bet the race online. There are many choices for online sportsbooks, so selecting the right site may seem difficult. Fortunately, our experts are on your site. Read their guide to the best online sportsbooks, which will make your decision an easy one!
All of our recommended sportsbooks have the wagering features you need, such as trusted deposit and cash-out functions, intuitive user interfaces, and real Vegas odds. These sportsbooks also offer great online wagering incentives like deposit bonuses and horse racing rebates.
Different online sportsbooks offer different bonus structures, so the right sportsbook for you varies based on the types of bets you like to make and the stakes at which you plan to wager. Explore your options, select the sportsbooks with the best bonuses for you, and get ready to place your bets on the 2021 Fayette Stakes!
Fayette Stakes Horses and Odds
These are the official entrants for the 2021 Fayette Stakes, along with their post positions, trainers, jockeys, and morning lines:
- Sleepy Eyes Todd (Miguel Silva/Ry Eikleberry)
- Manhattan Up (Robertino Diodoro/Chris Landeros)
- Militarist (Carlo Vaccarezza/Martin Garcia)
- Night Ops (Brad Cox/Florent Geroux)
- Independence Hall (Michael McCarthy/Javier Castellano)
- King Fury (Kenneth McPeek/Brian Hernandez, Jr.)
- Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey/Tyler Gaffalione)
- Fort Peck (Robertino Diodoro/David Cohen)
- Major Fed (Gregory Foley/Ricardo Santana, Jr.)
The morning lines are the track’s best estimation of the betting odds come post-time. However, online sportsbooks offer fixed odds betting that allows you to lock in the odds on the horse you want to bet, instead of having to wait and see how it fluctuates closer to post. You can guarantee that you will get the best odds, and maximize your profit!
|Code of Honor||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|Sleepy Eyes Todd||TBA||TBA||TBA|
Free Fayette Stakes Picks
Now that you have made your account on one or more of the best online sportsbooks, it is the right time to start handicapping the 2021 Fayette Stakes. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday should all be rainy days, meaning the track will likely be sloppy and a horse who likes the mud will be in a good spot.
The Horse to Catch
#1 Sleepy Eyes Todd does not have to go, but he often does show speed, and from the rail, he will likely choose to go. That should serve him well, as there is not a lot of speed in this race and speed holds well on sloppy tracks. Sleepy Eyes Todd has won both of his off-track races, his better form fits this grade nicely, and he shapes as a serious contender.
The horses likely to be closest up is #5 Independence Hall. He is fast enough to get a forward trip, but he typically stalks and does not make the running. Though this is a welcome class drop and it won’t be a bad trip for him, he has yet to prove he can win going this long and others in this field are better proven.
#6 King Fury makes his first attempt against older horses, but he can rise to the challenge. He ran the best race of his career last April in the Lexington (G3) over the Keeneland slop, making a return to that footing appealing. His best races are fast enough to suggest he fits, he is a tactically versatile horse, and he got a good confidence builder. King Fury should be sharp.
#7 Code of Honor, the likely favorite, is another who has strong wet-track form. He has a win and a second-place finish in his two off-track tries. Though he was well beaten in the Woodward (G1) last time, this is a clear class drop. He also gets rider Tyler Gaffalione, the hottest jockey at Keeneland. If he can keep Code of Honor in range, he may not have too much to do late.
More Likely Underneath
#4 Night Ops will probably be an underlay in the win pool; his trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux often take money, but Night Ops always seems to find one or two too good at this grade. Though, if you are attacking deeper exotics? He ran a good second in the Ben Ali (G3) over the Keeneland slop, and a return to that can get him a piece.
Rounding Out the Field
#2 Manhattan Up moves to the Robertino Didoro barn, which may move him up, but he has yet to prove himself on an off track. His stablemate #8 Fort Peck is a strong nine-furlong horse, but is not as potent over an off-track as he is on fast dirt.
#3 Militarist has yet to win on anything but turf, and may not get enough speed to suit his late-running style. #9 Major Fed has the most upside of the rest, with a two-race win streak into this race, but must find a career best in slop, and his jockey Ricardo Santana is 0-for-64 on the meet, leading into its final week.
Fayette Stakes Free Picks
Here are the best bets for Saturday’s 2021 Fayette Stakes:
- $20 to win – #1 Sleepy Eyes Todd
- $1 exacta key – #1 Sleepy Eyes Todd with #6 King Fury and #7 Code of Honor
- $0.50 trifecta key – #1 Sleepy Eyes Todd with #4 Night Ops, #6 King Fury and #7 Code of Honor
Make these bets at top horse racing betting sites.