By Sean Morris

Kentucky Downs Late Pick-5 Picks & Analysis for September 16

By Sean Morris
It is closing day of the Kentucky Downs meet this Wednesday
It is closing day of the Kentucky Downs meet this Wednesday

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The turf meet at Kentucky Downs has been thoroughly enjoyable and our in-house handicapper takes a look at the Late Pick-5 on the closing day. His selections are below coupled with all his analysis...

Kentucky Downs Late Pick-5 Picks - Wednesday 16 September 2020
  • Race 6
  • Race 7
  • Race 8
  • Race 9
  • Race 10

Race 6

  • Main: 4
  • Backup: 5,8
  • Order of preference: 4-8-5-3

Race 7

  • Main: 7
  • Order of preference: 7-1a-2-4
  • Backup: 1,2

Race 8

  • Main: 7,9
  • Backup: 1,3,8
  • Order of preference: 7-9-1-8

Race 9

  • Main: 3,8,9
  • Backup (priority): 1,2,6,10,11,13
  • Order of preference: 8-9-3-6

Race 10

  • Main: 7,9
  • Backup: 1,5,10
  • Order of preference: 9-7-1-10

Race 6

Jakarta (#4) was my top pick in last Saturday’s G3 Ladies Sprint, so of course I’m going to love her chances in this much easier spot. She has major excuses for poor performances in the G3 Vagrancy and G3 Intercontinental, and she’s actually won at a mile on dirt this year, so this distance isn’t going to be an issue for her. Her trainer is Kentucky Downs mainstay Mike Maker, she’s the class of this field, and she also figures to be left alone on the field. She’s probably going to be too much for this field.

Jakarta’s main challenger is the in-form Dance Rhythms (#5), but I’ve never been a big fan of this mare. I might like her more if she had some experience over this course, however I don’t think she’s in the same league as Jakarta, so I hope the morning-line odds are accurate in this case as there’s not much of a difference in price between the two. I slightly prefer Jakarta’s stablemate Flora Fantasy (#8) as an underneath option. She’s yet to run a good race on turf but is bred strongly for the surface and is going first off the claim for Maker; she may finally run to her breeding here.

Main:  4     Backup:  5,8

Order of preference:  4-8-5-3

 

Race 7

Muggsamatic (#7) is another Mike Maker favorite I don’t see much point in playing against. Initially I was a little concerned as to whether or not he’d be able to maintain the form he displayed for his previous trainer Jason Servis, however it hasn’t been an issue in two starts with Maker as he won a Florida-bred stakes race and then finished a decent fifth in the G1 United Nations last out. The only unknown with this horse is that he’s yet to run over this turf course, which I go on ad nauseum about as being a big factor, but I trust Maker to have him ready to fire a good race on it.

Like Jakarta a race earlier, Muggsamatic just doesn’t have much to deal with in this spot. Patriot Drive (#4) nearly won this same race a year ago, but it looks like he’s a shell of his former self at this point and he’s gotten a significant downgrade in trainer in the meantime. Rijeka (#5) has seemingly been running fast enough to win but he’s probably better at longer distances and I don’t have much faith in his trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. at this venue. Muggsamatic’s stablemate Apreciado (#2) will probably be the second choice in the wagering, however he seems to excel at marathon distances and didn’t run all that well over this course last year.

My preferred second option is the consistent Don’task Don’ttell (#1a), though I wish he wasn’t coupled because I have no interest in his entrymate. This horse is just an honest performer on turf and has gotten back on track this year at Lone Star Park. I don’t think he’s on the level of Muggsamatic, but I have more confidence in him than the other challengers.

Main:  7     Backup:  1,2

Order of preference:  7-1a-2-4

 

Race 8

Unsurprisingly, the two I like best in this race are the two with experience over this course. Rogue Too (#7) and Aife (#9) ran in this same race last year and were separated by two lengths on the wire. Aife got the better of Rogue Too, but I don’t think the difference between the two is all that stark and there should be a considerable divide in price, which is why Rogue Too is my top pick in this race. Both are in good form right now and hold a significant edge on their eight rivals, all of whom are making their first venture to Kentucky Downs.

Sugar Fix (#3) and Foxtail (#4) are shipping in from Saratoga, where they each had productive meets, but I don’t trust either of them to replicate their recent form here. Sugar Fix ran well first off the claim for Saffie Joseph, Jr. in the G3 Lake George, but this is a whole different animal and that race feels a bit like an aberration for now. Foxtail, meanwhile, took advantage of some soft off-the-turf spots at the Spa and is probably better suited to dirt racing.

I don’t love the layoff, but Dutch Treat (#1) should not be discounted after beating a solid group of 40k claimers in her last start at Churchill Downs. She’s only gotten two opportunities to run on turf but has performed well on both occasions. If she’s ready to fire off the layoff she’s not without a shot.

Main:  7,9     Backup:  1,3,8

Order of preference:  7-9-1-8

 

Race 9

A few uninteresting, formful-looking races have given way to a complete jigsaw puzzle in the G3 Franklin Simpson, primarily because I don’t trust morning-line favorite Turned Aside (#1). He clearly has the best turf sprint form of anyone in this race, but he was scratched out of the Mahony at Saratoga late last month and his trainer Linda Rice has yet to saddle a runner at this track. He can win, but he’s going to be an underlay.

I have slightly more faith in Maven (#3) bouncing back after an inexplicably poor effort in the Mahony, in which he finished a well beaten sixth, however I wouldn’t feel safe leaning on him at a relatively short price given that performance. His prior start at Keeneland was legitimately very good and his trainer Wesley Ward has been having a sensational meet, though, so it’s probably a good idea to anticipate him rebounding.

My two price ideas in this race are Guildsman (#8) and Embolden (#9). The former looks too slow to win this race on paper, however he ran better than it looks three back at Churchill Downs with significant trouble and last out when he won the Tom Ridge at Presque Isle over a tricky synthetic surface. Last year he performed well at a few different venues in Europe and he strikes me as a type that will appreciate this turf course.

It appears as if Embolden hasn’t progressed from 2 to 3, however losing to the older and more talented Largent in his sophomore debut is no disgrace and last out he caught a “soft” turf course at Saratoga that he may not have cared for. He has some solid turf sprint form dating back to last year, and we should get a true gauge of his ability in this spot.

Main:  3,8,9     Backup (priority):  1,2,6,10,11,13

Order of preference:  8-9-3-6

 

Race 10

Given the conditions of this race I would’ve thought it would be a lot more wide open, which would have been a far more emblematic way to close out the Kentucky Downs meet. Instead, I’m siding with the two horses who finished first and third in this same event last year, Peekacho (#7) and Marv’s Magic (#9), who are going to be the top two choices in the wagering. They’re both in good form at the moment and Marv’s Magic actually ran well earlier in the meet at a mile without getting much pace to run at. I give him the slight edge because he has recency and is going to be a more appealing price, but Peekacho is probably better suited to this distance.

Beyond these two there’s not much else to latch onto. Much Macho Bets (#1) has the best turf form but is completely unproven at this distance; Take Charge d’Oro (#5) does actually have an affinity for marathon distances but is more of a dirt runner; and because it is Kentucky Downs I’m actually going to use Pappy On the Rocks (#10) as a zany longshot, though he’s little more than a dart throw. Once upon a time his trainer sent out a live runner here at 100-1 and this guy has a similar look to him after a failed jumps career. Crazier things have happened here.

Main:  7,9     Backup:  1,5,10

Order of preference:  9-7-1-10

 

Most Likely Winner:  Jakarta (Race 6)

Best Value:  Guildsman (Race 9)

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