Horse Racing Picks, Odds, and Best Bets for October 28: Finding Value in Fayette Stakes

There's some highly-quality stakes races taking place at Belmont at The Big A and Keeneland this Saturday. Robert Criscola takes a deep dive into the Mother Goose and the Fayette Stakes to uncover the best value picks and plays.

Oct 27, 2023 • 14:44 ET • 4 min read
Keeneland horse racing
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The final Saturday before the Breeders' Cup odds are decided features no shortage of intriguing graded stakes. The Grade II Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont at The Big A drew a fascinating field of seven distaffers, while a flush field of handicap horses is set to compete in the Grade II Fayette Stakes at Keeneland.

Join me as I analyze both races below and make my best free picks.

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Mother Goose Stakes odds, prediction and best bet

  • Race: Belmont at The Big A Race 8
  • Post time: 3:48 p.m. ET
  • TV: FS2
Post Horse Track odds DraftKings FanDuel bet365
1 Foggy Night 15-1 +1,500 +1,500 +1,500
2 Peak Popularity 20-1 +2,000 +2,000 +2,000
3 Julia Shining 6-1 +600 +600 +600
4 Undervalued Asset 8-1 +800 +800 +800
5 Occult 5-2 +250 +250 +250
6 Xigera 6-5 +120 +120 +120
7 Defining Purpose 5-1 +500 +500 +500

Odds as of October 27, 2023.

I'm not faulting anyone who wants to back No. 6 Xigera (6-5, morning-line favorite) after her highly-rated romp at Churchill Downs last time out, but I think she's far from a sure thing to repeat that effort vs. tougher. I'll toss her as I look for some value in the Mother Goose wagering.

No. 5 Occult (5-2) was an open-length winner in the Grade III Monmouth Oaks two-back before coming up short in the Grade I Cotillion over an extremely sloppy racetrack at Parx last month. The speed figures say she's a major threat in here, and top connections in trainer Chad Brown and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. are in her corner.

No. 7 Defining Purpose (5-1) has been in the deep end of the distaff division pool since winning a minor stake at Oaklawn last New Year's Eve. She scored at a big price in the Grade I Ashland earlier this season but was burned up in a pace duel in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks before hitting the shelf.

The Ken McPeek trainee had a nice Grade III Indiana Oaks win after that, then found 1 1/4 miles to testing in the Grade I Alabama before faltering in the aforementioned Cotillion. She should have no excuses today as Junior Alvarado climbs aboard.

No. 1 Foggy Night (15-1) should not be this long with nine exacta finishes in nine fast-track starts. She won two stakes in three tries prior to her Cotillion flop, albeit she's been no match for Occult to date. Still, the daughter of Khozan is a solid wager underneath at the very least.

Best bet: $2 exacta box 1/5/7, $4 exacta 5/1,7 ($20)

Fayette Stakes odds, prediction and best bet

  • Race: Keeneland Race 9
  • Post time: 5:16 p.m. ET
  • TV: FanDuel TV
Post Horse Track odds DraftKings FanDuel bet365
1 Film Star 6-1 +600 +600 +600
2 Happy American 15-1 +1,500 +1,500 +1,500
3 King Fury 20-1 +2,000 +2,000 +2,000
4 Giant Game 8-1 +800 +800 +800
5 Twilight Blue 15-1 +1,500 +1,500 +1,500
6 Speed Bias 20-1 +2,000 +2,000 +2,000
7 Il Miracolo 6-1 +600 +600 +600
8 Law Professor 8-1 +800 +800 +800
9 O'Connor 5-1 +500 +500 +500
10 Trademark 9-2 +450 +450 +450
11 Dash Attack 8-1 +800 +800 +800
12 Best Actor 10-1 +1,000 +1,000 +1,000
13 Gasoline* 20-1 +2,000 +2,000 +2,000
14 Time for Trouble* 20-1 +2,000 +2,000 +2,000

*horse is an also-eligible.

Odds as of October 27, 2023.

No. 8 Law Professor (8-1) looked like he needed his last race off the bench but was still a solid third in the Grade II Woodward (a race in which he ran second to Life is Good in 2022) while beaten only a neck for second. He won his previous two heats going nine furlongs this year and could be primed for peak performance in the Fayette.

The jockey switch to Florent Geroux is an encouraging one — hopefully, he can keep Law Professor from getting too embroiled in what figures to be a fast pace with No. 11 Dash Attack and No. 12 Best Actor potentially looking to clear from out wide while battling the speedy No. 1 Film Star, among others.

No. 5 Twilight Blue (15-1) also needs to avoid being a victim of a pace meltdown. He typically sets up shop in second, and he won from that spot three times in 2022, including a minor stake at Churchill before going on an extended vacation. His first start back was a loss to Dash Attack, but he should take a step forward here at fair odds. 

No. 2 Happy American (15-1) would be the most likely beneficiary of a pace collapse. He's winless in his last six starts but has been facing slightly tougher while getting less-than-ideal trips. 

Best bet: $2 exacta box 2/5/8, $4 win 5,8 ($20) 

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Road to the Breeders' Cup Classic Schedule

Race Date Track Result
February Stakes* February 19 Tokyo Racecourse (Japan) Lemon Pop
Kentucky Derby May 6 Churchill Downs Mage
Preakness Stakes May 20 Pimlico National Treasure
Belmont Stakes June 10 Belmont Park Arcangelo
Metropolitan Handicap June 10 Belmont Park Cody's Wish
Stephen Foster Stakes* July 1 Ellis Park West Will Power
Haskell Stakes* July 22 Monmouth Park Geaux Rocket Ride
Whitney Stakes* August 5 Saratoga White Abarrio
Juddmonte International Stakes (turf)* August 23 York (UK) Mostahdaf
Travers Stakes August 26 Saratoga Arcangelo
Pacific Classic* September 2 Del Mar Arabian Knight
Jockey Club Gold Cup* September 2 Saratoga Bright Future
Pennsylvania Derby September 23 Parx Saudi Crown
Awesome Again Stakes* September 30 Santa Anita Park Slow Down Andy
Lukas Classic September 30 Churchill Downs Clapton

*denotes "Win & You're In" race for Breeders' Cup Classic

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