The pear-shaped European-style track located near Franklin, KY is a regular stop on the Thoroughbred calendar for the top trainers and jockeys in North America ... Kentucky Downs only lasts a total of 6 days, and already ... we are down to 4! The watch phrase is ... enjoy it while it lasts! As we handicap and offer our selections, there will be some excellent grass contests headed your way, including a $750k race ... nice purse!
A reminder ... at HorseRacing.net/us, we will be with you every step of the way for all the action! Today, we find ourselves in the midst of a 10-race card that is sure to bring some major value at windows. Have a look at all of our selections, a 50-cent Late Pick 4 ticket, and a targeted analysis by our resident turf-man, J.N. Campbell. Be sure to check the weather conditions, as they could have a major effect on the turf.
If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country this Wednesday be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.
With a day off from Kentucky Downs on Tuesday, we are back in action mid-week … after today’s card we will officially be halfway through this turf festival. Already we have witnessed rain, some live long shots, and some impressive jockeying by one Joel Rosario (5 wins on Labor Day). Looking into another Late Pick 4 on Wednesday, we start with your garden variety OC62.5k contest going a mile. At most tracks in North America this would be a 2-turn affair, but this is KD … so, 1-turn is the course.
We have a mix of fillies and mares in this one, and normally I like to steer clear of the 3-yr-olds because they have less experience. Of course, being interested in Brad Cox’s Jezebel’s Kitten #2 makes a ton of sense … not only because you get Rosario, but her class in OC races is pretty standard. Out of Kitten’s Joy, she has continued to be competitive since the excellent conditioner took over for Bill Mott. I would expect her to be a gamer in here.
One other entry that I want to use besides her is Eddie Kenneally’s Curly Ruth #5. This daughter of Curlin has a nice price on the M/L at 10/1, and with Adam Beschizza riding, she is sure to receive a solid trip. She held 2nd last time out at Ellis, and certainly remember her presence at Tampa earlier in the year when she was a member of Arnaud Delacour’s outfit. Including her seems like a must.
Our next couple races in the sequence are 2-sides of the same coin … a split division. First up, is this 10-horse field, and most of the cash will flow into the coffers of Mike Maker’s entry, the talented frontrunning Forty Under #9. The gelding out of Uncle Mo was strong on the lead the whole way at Saratoga last time in an OC80k 1 1/8th route. He held the line before the wire, and Tyler Gaffalione was superb regulating the temperature up there. There is no reason to knock this Three Diamonds grass specialist, except to say that this configuration is night-day compared to where he is coming from.
For that reason alone, I want to look elsewhere in hopes of scoring a better price. If you are on the hunt for some value, then you need to consider Vicky Oliver’s Kentucky Ghost #4 and Paulo Lobo’s In Love #5. Both will be near double-digits, and they have the ability to increase their grass output in this spot. The former was scratched the other day, in order to enter this race. That tells me that Oliver thinks her chances are much better this time around.
As for Lobo, he is a trainer who does not have a ton of notoriety outside of the Bluegrass, but he certainly deserves respect. This gelding by way of Argentina has some quality races under his saddle stateside. I like the fact that he won on yielding turf last time up at Arlington, and will get fitted for “blinks.” Let’s put both of them in …
As for 2 others that should cover us, do not leave Shea Stuart’s Tut’s Revenge #6 or Bill Mott’s South Bend #7 off your tickets. Both of these have contested some tough “Non-G” races in the past, and I would not count them out because they both have aggressive riders on their backs in David Cabrera and Joel Rosario. Those selections should help round out the ticket!
LP4 Leg 2: 4/5/6/7/9 (5-Deep)
Wagering Recommendation: $2 Trifecta Wheel, 4/9 w 4/5/6/7/9 w 4/5/6/7/9
Race 9: Turf, 1 Mile 70yds., CT TVG S. $400k, 3+
The other half of the TVG $400k “focal point” of the afternoon is another contest at the same distance as before. I found this race to have more legitimate longer-priced runners who could sweep in for the score. That will necessitate us going deeper in order to take advantage of this possibility.
I am sure most ‘cappers will seriously consider backing Steve Asmussen’s Snapper Sinclair #8 from the fabulous ownership group of Bloom Racing. They do it right, and continue to impress with solid runners across the divisions. I do not know that these connections are necessarily “known” for turf racing, but certainly this 6-yr-old out of City Zip appears ready for more. We haven’t seen him since he finished 2nd at Churchill in a “Non-G” 130k event at Churchill during KYD147 week. Before that, the team took a shot at the Godolphin Mile on Dubai World Cup Night … finishing 4th in the end. Much to like here class-wise, as Julien Leparoux rides. He had a nice weekend riding War Like Goddess at Saratoga. Coming to KD, he already made his presence known.
I am not sure 5/2 is a price I want to take, and I do not see this runner as a “Single.” Instead, I am much more interested in Chris Hartman’s Necker Island #6. The Hard Spun colt can handle the grass based on his pedigree. Most of all, he was well-backed at the windows as he contested the preview for this race, 100k affair back at Ellis Park on 8th August. Hitting the board was solid, especially considering he had never tried the green. The former Kentucky Derby alum from last year’s Labor Day go has Mitch Murrill in the saddle, and he knows this one quite well.
A few others that make this race extremely difficult to figure include Neil Drysdale’s SoCal invader, Majestic Eagle #7, Bill Mott’s Penalty #10, and Joe Sharp’s Midnight Tea Time #11. Each of these is pretty well-versed in “Non-G” Co., and I like their barn’s ability to ship into tight spots. Rosario rides the #7 … Mott’s #10 was up against some tough comps in the Poker (G3) @BEL … and Sharp, well is just downright hot as we speak, and could be on the threshold of a monster Meet. Let’s include all of these …
LP4 Leg 3: 6/7/8/10/11 (5-Deep)
Wagering Recommendation: $2 Exacta Wheel, 6/10 w 6/7/8/10/11
Race 10: Turf, 1 Mile, MSW135k, 2F
We learned a couple of truisms over the first 2 days of the KD Meet … 1) horses that liked to come from off-the-pace had a tough time, and 2) favorites won quite a bit. We will see if those trends continue on Wednesday, as it is entirely conceivable that could flip. In this tough MSW challenge, you could take the easy route … save some cash … and simply pick Godolphin’s coupled entry of Already Charming #1 and Soft Touch #1A. Brad Cox and Mike Stidham are “Big Blue” mainstays with the international outfit, and each of these runners is well-bred for the turf. If they do in fact both “get in,” I think it will be very tough to beat either of them. Each got their debut out of the way, and they have the ability to take a step forward. Surveying the rest of the field, I do not see many others that you could make a case for, except Cailin Diana #9. The Brendan Walsh-trainee already has a couple of these MSW Co. races under her belt, and she made progress in the 2nd one at Ellis Park. She draws Tyler Gaffalione, and with More Than Ready in her background, that could prove enough to take on Team Godolphin. I think 2-deep should be sufficient to get this ticket home.
LP4 Leg 4: 1/1A/9 (2-Deep)
Total Ticket Cost LP4/.50: $50.00
Wagering Recommendation: $25/$50 WP #9
The Kentucky Downs 6-day Meet is here! Enjoy some fabulous turf racing while it lasts …