Ellis Park Picks & Betting Analysis for August 7: Kentucky Downs Preview Day

Brad Cox is right at home at Ellis Park, as he puts on a turf show on Saturday, as it is Kentucky Downs Preview Day ... some excellent races are coming your way on the grass! Take a look below ...
Brad Cox is right at home at Ellis Park, as he puts on a turf show on Saturday, as it is Kentucky Downs Preview Day ... some excellent races are coming your way on the grass! Take a look below ...

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Ellis Park is hosting a Kentucky Downs Preview Day, and if you are a fan of the pear-shaped September-running track, the you will not want to miss these selections. Ellis is one of the best kept secrets in all of racing, as both its 2-yr-old contests, and grass course are both impressive this time of year.

Here at Horseracing.net/us, we have you covered, as our turf-man takes a look at it all! Have a gander below ...

If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country this Saturday be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.

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Horse Racing Picks

Race 4: Dirt, 1 Mile, Tri-State Overnight S. $60k, 3+

Here is a fairly short field of 6, and it looks as though this is really a contest between the Godolphin homebred, Shared Sense #6, trained by Brad Cox, and the Brisset Barn’s Beau Luminarie #5, out of I Want Revenge. Not to dissuade you from betting Exulting #1 for Mike Maker. That runner has experience in these types of races, and he beat Brisset’s charge last out. Still, I think that Cox has the major edge in here when it comes to class. The 4-yr-old out of Street Sense had nothing in the tank at Indiana Grand in that 85k “Non-G.” It can be forgiven, especially considering that was his 2021 debut. I would expect Cox to make the proper adjustments. He is not an Eclipse Award-winning conditioner for nothing. If you think you could live with odds of 7/5, then it might be the right price.

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager, WPS #6 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)

 

Race 5: Turf, 1 1/8th, KY Downs TVG Preview Dueling Grounds Derby, $100k, 3

This view of what is to come next month at Kentucky Downs is a peek into some potentially super 3-yr-olds. Going 1 1/16th on the grass at Ellis one has to think that we have a fight between Cox (once again), and Mike Stidham’s entry. Cox’s Royal Prince #6 last won down at Sam Houston in a similar back in April, and since then he has been up against some way tougher company. Some class relief from running against the likes of Du Jour, Cellist, and Next should be quite welcome.

As for Stidham’s Gershwin #7, this colt out of Distorted Humor has a good pedigree, but no prior turf experience whatsoever. Still, being up against First Captain and Fortuity, should offer him some strength. Mitch Murrill is not riding as well as he was back at the Fair Grounds, but I think Stidham’s experience can win out in this situation. It will be a squeaker for sure, but the nod goes to Cox.Wagering Recommendation: $2 Exacta Cold, 6 w 7

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Race 7: Turf, 1 1/16th, KY Downs TVG Preview Dueling Grounds Oaks, $100k, 3F

After dispensing with the 3-year-old colt race, it is now time to turn our attention to the 3-yr-old ladies. This time Brad Cox has a pair of stout favorites in here that will both take some money. Including them in any exotic wagering is a must. Caldee #3 and Adventuring #4 have strong class lines. The former is a Shortleaf Stable homebred that was just second last time at Delaware Park in a 75k “Non-G.” She gets Martin Garcia, and should be pretty game as she ships into Ellis. As for the latter, Godolphin owns this homebred, and she is loaded with a strong turf pedigree. I would expect James Graham to rate her closely, just off, and that should put her in a good spot to score.

My top pick does not include either of these runners. I like instead Kenny McPeek’s Oliviaofthedesert #5. I have kept an eye on this one for some time, and even though she has not run on the grass of late, I think she has the skills to compete. Brian Hernandez can be an able lawn jock. I am hoping for a juicy price, and maybe, just maybe, she will drift up from 9/2. If you scroll through some of that competition, she was in at Oaklawn, Turfway, and Pimlico, it speaks to class and thus respect. Her conditioner has had a very rough beginning these past weeks at Saratoga, so a win elsewhere would be a pleasing phenomenon in the face of utter adversity. If there is anyone who can handle it … it is Kenny McPeek.

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Trifecta Box, 3/4/5

 

Race 8: Turf, 5½F, KY Downs TVG Preview Turf Sprint S. $100k, 3+

This field of 11 is probably one of the best races on the whole card this Saturday. We all know that turf sprints are more than difficult, and so you have to apply some hard and fast rules in order to notch a winner.

Towards the top the tote will certainly be My Boanerges #6 from the barn of Dallas Keen. This one was down at Lone Star grooving to their paddock and post parade music. The gelding out of Diabolical rattled off a pair of wins in a couple of nice “Non-Gs.” One was on the turf while the other one was off. If he can get to the lead with Brian Hernandez on board, he can be a dangerous threat. The other logical one in here comes from Steve Asmussen’s midst. Yesterday, the HOF trainer tied for the all-time record in wins, with a score at Ellis. He sends another speedster there on Saturday in Archdust #11. He was 2nd to Keen’s #6 in that last race at Lone Star, so trying to run him down again will once again be the plan for David Cabrera. That will not be easy, but if anyone can do it, it is this jock.

When it comes to a top selection, I am after some value. Looking up and down this lineup, I like the look of Adam Beschizza’s mount, Born Great #9 for Brendan Walsh. Here is a seasoned sprinter out of Scat Daddy who has run in some interesting turf races in the past. In 2021, he was down at the Fair Grounds for a form cycle, before shipping to Churchill for a high-end OC80k grass go. Even though he failed as a short-priced favorite that day (2nd), I thought he showed promise. With some good works under his training saddle at Keeneland of late, he could be a solid bet in here, if you could get around 8/1. Bet ‘em …

Wagering Recommendation: $25/$50 WP #9

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Enjoy some action from Ellis Park! The tradition at August racing on the Kentucky-Indiana border continues …

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