The last two winners of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) will square off on Sunday at Keeneland in the $500,000 Spinster (G1), the next to last Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” race on the calendar. The winner of the Spinster earns a fee expenses paid trip for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).
This year’s two-day championship event will be held for the first time at Keeneland on Oct.30-31.
The Spinster will be televised live on NBC during a one-hour telecast that gets underway at 5:00 ET. In addition to the Spinster, Sunday’s program will also include coverage of the $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon Stakes (G3), a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).
Both Oaks winners come into the Spinster with questions their connections are hoping to answer. Untapable won the 2014 Kentucky Oaks, one of six wins in seven starts in a championship campaign that ended with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
However, since that win last fall at Santa Anita, the Steve Asmussen trainee has only won one race in five starts. The filly was third last out in the Personal Ensign (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 29.
This year’s Kentucky Oaks winner Lovely Maria has failed to fire in her last two starts, checking in fifth in the Delaware Oaks (G3) and most recently was sixth in the Alabama (G1) at the Spa.
#kyoaks winner LOVELY MARIA @AirdrieStud is really on her toes ahead of tomorrow’s G1 Spinster @keenelandracing pic.twitter.com/YbEwnSPv4E
— Michael Adolphson (@AdolphsonRacing) October 3, 2015
Her trainer Larry Jones said there was a virus running through his barn earlier this summer which might explain the poor performance at Delaware Park, and he thought the 1 1/4 miles of the Alabama was too far for the daughter of Majesticperfection.
Untapable was installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite with Lovely Maria the second choice at 7-2. Oaks winners have not faced each other since 2000 when Silverbulletday (1999) and Keeper Hill (1998) finished fourth and fifth in the Louisville Breeders’ Cup.
The final Breeders’ Cup Challenge race is carded for Wednesday. The $150,000 Jessamine Stakes (G3) at Keeneland is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
Michael’s Best Plays Report for Sunday includes his eight strongest plays from Belmont Park and Keeneland
Let’s head out to Keeneland for Sunday’s featured race of the day:
Keeneland Race 9 The Spinster G1 (Post time5:45 ET)
1 Lovely Maria 7-2
#9 Frivolous 9-2
#3 Untapable 9-5
#4 Got Lucky 7-2
Analysis: Lovely Maria has lost two in a row since taking the Kentucky Oaks (G1) back in May. She won the Ashland (G1) over the main track here at the spring meeting. Her trainer Larry Jones said she may have been feeling the effects of a flu bug going through the barn when she failed to fire in the Delaware Oaks (G3) and last out she faded to finish sixth in the Alabama (G1) at 1 1/4 miles, which looks as if is just too far for her. She cuts back to nine furlongs here and looking for her to rebound on a surface she is proven over.
Frivolous rolled to an eight length win last out in the Locust Grove at Churchill Downs in a good-looking effort. She ran a good second in the Delaware Oaks behind Sheer Drama, who came back to win the Personal Ensign (G1) in her next outing on Aug. 29 at Saratoga. She comes in here in the best form of her career and may end up offering decent value as the two Oaks winners figure to garner most of the attention at the betting windows.
Untapable has lost three in a row now and looks as if she may have lost a step or two from last year where she won six of seven starts including the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). She came up short late last out in a third place finish in the Personal Ensign and was no match for Stopchargingmaria two back in the Shuvee Handicap (G3). This will be her first trip over the main track here. Her best is good enough but her price is going to be on the short side.
WIN: #1 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,9 / 1,3,4,9
TRI: 1,9 / 1,3,4,9 / 1,3,4,6,9
Michael Dempsey’s Breeders’ Cup Report
Michael’s Breeders’ Cup Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for every race on the card from Keeneland on Oc. 30-31.
The Breeders’ Cup offers 12 championship races over two days, bringing together the best top horses, trainers, and jockeys from around the world, this year to compete at Keeneland.
In 2013 on Breeders’ Cup Saturday Mike nailed seven recommended exactas, paying $53.20, $19.00, $23.20, $58.00, $66.60, $107.80, and $33.60!