Only two days left. Grab the picnic basket. Grab the kids. Grab the binoculars. Run as fast as a mare in heat. Keeneland, the famed race course on the outskirts of Lexington, has only two days of live racing left this year and today is one of them.

And, it is supposed to be a beautiful Fall day in Central Kentucky. So, let’s go racing.  Here’s a closer look at today’s card:

1st: 1-1A-7-6-5-2…Both parts of the entry have a shot in the initial race of the day. Royal Holiday (1) is a 2YO gelding by Blame, who will be dropping down from MSW ranks into this high class claimer. Has speed to burn, and unfortunately for him he has burned up himself in the first two tries.  Will try to carry that speed 7Fs today, which is shorter than his earlier two tries. Goes from turf to dirt, and that may help this guy. Ran a game second on debut and may be tough to handle if he likes dirt today. Lindbergh’s Kitten (1A), Ward’s other part of the entry, is shortening up today, as well. This one has tried the dirt before, and figures to be near or close to the lead, as well.  The same rider is named on both, so there is likely to be a scratch of one of these guys. Puertorican Style (7) and Want (6) both have flashed a little speed and talent in previous tries. The former ran up against a whirlwind in Curlins Honor the first time out.  Gets class relief from that. The latter drops down in the MCL ranks for the first time, too and the trainer has clicked at a .33 clip with surface switchers. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then key the 1 over/under all the rest of the numbers.

2nd: 4-6-2-7-5…Butter Up Katie (4) drops from the MSW ranks into high-end claimers in this one, too. She nearly won her last out, and a similar effort may put her in the circle today for trainer Brendan Walsh, who got off the “duck” here yesterday with a victory. Has been training well at Churchill Downs and gets Corey Lanerie back in the saddle.  Adding up. Ettalusive (6) is one that I have tried before, and she is a dead closer who will like the bit of extra distance in here. Is getting better for trainer Rusty Arnold, who is having a super meet. Lil Miss Blue Eyes (2) ran out of gas on the lead in her last out here on Oct. 8.  Gets a dry surface today and that may help this one, who has finished in the money in 5 of 6 lifetime starts. Trainer normally takes his time with the babies and she may be ready to pop now. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 choices in the exacta.

3rd: 4-7-8-6-3…Lucky Lotto (4) may make it back-to-back #4s (or, as we like to call it, the “Hard Eight”). Top claiming trainer will put the saddle back on this one today, and gets a nice rider change to a Central Kentucky newcomer having a good meet. This one drops a notch in class, but, more importantly, should get a better trip today than the last couple — when hung wide in each of the last four. A better trip could help this one end up on top.  Spirit Grabber (7) is all speed and picks up Lanerie for the first time today. That should help, as he is a master of managing speed. Solitary Ranger (8) is yet another speed merchant in here, but gets a significant class drop for this one today. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 choices in the exacta.

4th: 1-6-3-2-4…Thirstforlife (1) has run against some real good ones in his life, like the likes of Gunnevera and Not This Time.  He finds himself in his second straight claiming race after nearly pulling off the win last time out.  Looks to be waking back up at this level, and has 6 ITM finishes out of 10 lifetime starts. Could prevail on the lead in this one. Stapleton (6) has been a horse I’ve watched all Spring and Summer. Ran a super nice third to Action Everyday and Giant Payday at Tampa back in January and then caught the super talented Excitations here in April. Another one who likes the front end, and picks up BJ Hernandez in the saddle again. Sir Ballantine (3) had four straight in the money finishes until he ran into the hills at KY Downs. Throw that one out, as many don’t take to that course or that 15/16-mile distance. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the top three choices in the exacta.

5th: 9-10-1-8-12-7-4-5…Daddy Is a Legend (9) gets my first Best Bet of the Day selections. This one ran a huge one against the ultra-talented Rushing Fall in her last at Belmont. Rushing Fall rolled in here and ran away with a huge Stakes victory.  Daddy is a Legend is trained a a real good turf conditioner, who flies under the radar. This is a daughter of Scat Daddy, whose progeny have had a great meet here this Fall and many love this turf course. Gentle Ruler (10) nearly pulled off the upset at odds of 42-1 in her last out at Churchill, going a mile. She tired in that one and now must negotiate 11/8-miles under a rider who has but one third placing in 17 rides so far. But the trainer is a good one and he sends out runners. Alert Kitten (1) is 8-1 ML and I think has a big shot in her second career start for Mike Maker, whose numbers go way up with MSW second timers — especially on the grass. I bet the 9 to win/place/show and then key the 1 over/under all the rest of the numbers in here. I take a smaller 9-10-1 box.

6th: 2-8-1-5-6-10-7…Hunka Burning Love (2) gets a nice class drop here after a very tough trip in the last when he was steadied right in the middle of his run.  Has hit the board in half of his starts to date and should make a nice closing move in this one. Whateverybodyants (8) nearly won his last out here on Oct. 15 and wheels right back for a top claiming trainer. Faces tougher today, though. Reckling (1) gets a class drop and is Stakes placed this year. Hit the board in 5 of 6 races in a row before the last two outs. Likes fast dirt tracks and gets one today. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 choices.

7th: 6-4-9-7-11-2…A key race for me and my second Best Bet of the Day. I love Douglas Road (6). I featured this one earlier this year in my segment “Pedigree of the Day.” And, he has never run a bad one. Gets the blinkers today for a trainer that does well with that equipment change, too. He had a chance in each of the last two, but seemed to shy late.  Perhaps the new equipment gets him past that hurdle. Rate for Me (4) goes for George Weaver and stretches out to a mile for this one. Trainer does well on the move, and will be a bit closer to the front today.  One Last Strike (9) moves up in class after breaking his maiden in the last try, but has hit the board in 3 of 4 and looks to really be good now with the addition of blinkers. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then key over/under all the rest.

8th: 9-10-1-8-4-3-6-7…Clearwater (9) goes for a trainer who has shipped here with what appears to be a nice runner. Shortens up for this one after a real good effort in PA. Miss Devine (10) is a first timer for a trainer having a nice meet with just 3 starters to date. Has a win and a third in those tries and this one is training well and he picks up the meet’s leading rider. Bootsy’s Hadenough (1) should run better on her second out, and she was bet down to 4-1 odds in the debut. Never made much of a run in that one, but I have to figure that she is better than what she showed then. I bet the 9 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 choices.

9th: 3-6-9-1-2-4-8-5…Proud Reunion (3) goes for my top man, Tom Proctor — who is kicking butt and taking names this meet. He has started 3 horses and has 2 wins and a second — most at good odds. Made not get the big payoff today, but this 3YO daughter of Proud Citizen looks like she has a nice lick to her and has 4 ITM finishes in the first 7 outs. Made a nice closing rush in the G3 last time out and now returns to allowance company. Watch out. This is my third Best Bet of the Day selection. Brooks House (6) is a deep closer who has run well at both Del Mar and Ky Downs in her last two.  Those are far different racetracks and, to me, it shows that she is doing very well right now. Burma Road (9) has a good turn of foot and will show it early for trainer Ian Wilkes. Lot of speed in this 1-mile test, but if she can holster that energy and save some for late, she will be tough.  Has a win and a second in two starts over this grass and that is key here. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the to 3 choices.

Rest to come