July 14, 2024

King Fury takes on elders in Fayette

King Fury
King Fury wins the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland (Photo by Coady Photography)

Fayette S. (G2) — Race 9 (5:16 p.m. ET)

King Fury was dazzling in his most recent start at Churchill Downs, but it was his performance in the Lexington (G3) last spring that could foretell good things for the three-year-old, who faces his elders for the first time in the $200,000 Fayette S. (G2) at Keeneland on Saturday.

The 1 1/8-mile Fayette anchors a 10-race card which is the last of the 2021 Keeneland fall meet. Racing on the Kentucky circuit continues Sunday at Churchill Downs.

King Fury ran himself into Kentucky Derby (G1) contention in the Lexington at Keeneland, effortlessly passing rivals while saving ground, and then exploding late to win by 2 3/4 lengths in the slop in what was his first outing since November.

Unfortunately scratched from the Derby, King Fury had a mostly-down summer. A close second in the Ohio Derby (G3), he was next up the track in the Saratoga Derby (G1) when trying the turf, and then was outclassed in a fifth-place effort in the Travers (G1).

Things turned around for the better more recently for King Fury. A heavy, odds-on choice in the Bourbon Trail S. at Churchill Downs, the son of Curlin ran to expectations with a decisive 13-length romp over 1 3/16 miles.

King Fury is back at the site of his most prominent victory, and could encounter yet another wet track that could dampen the closing days of the Keeneland stand.

Multiple Grade 1 winner Code of Honor won the Aug. 21 Philip H. Iselin (G3) at Monmouth Park well enough, but after a recent fourth in the Woodward (G1), he seems well past his racing peak. He could still win the Fayette, but might be worth standing against at short odds.

Sleepy Eyes Todd, who captured the Lafayette S. on Breeders’ Cup weekend over this track last year, beat all except Art Collector in his title defense of the Charles Town Classic (G2) in late August. He looks dangerous again, especially as inside speed on a potential wet surface.

Independence Hall was a commendable second to Knicks Go in the Lukas Classic (G3) last out, while the Grade 2-placed Major Fed re-enters the stakes fold after back-to-back allowance wins at Churchill earlier this year.

Bryan Station S. — Race 8 (4:44 p.m. ET)

The final grass stakes scheduled in Kentucky this year, the $150,000 Bryan Station S. for three-year-olds at one mile, has attracted a field of 13.

Notables include Scarlett Sky, who captured the Transylvania (G3) over this course last April; Point Me By, who captured the Bruce D. (G1) at Arlington two back; Like the King, the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) victor who placed in the Kent (G3) and Saranac (G3) on turf in his last two; and Yes This Time, the Kent winner who was runner-up in the Dueling Grounds Derby most recently.

Bowman Mill S. — Race 7 (4:12 p.m. ET)

A field of eight two-year-olds will dash six furlongs in the $150,000 Bowman Mill S. The Steve Asmussen-trained Chattalot will look to make it three in a row after maiden and allowance wins, while the Todd Pletcher-trained My Prankster looks to rebound from a distant fourth-place effort in the Champagne (G1).