How to bet the Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

September 10th, 2020

Top turf stayer Zulu Alpha will lead an overflow field of 16 to the gate in Saturday’s $1 million Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) at Kentucky Downs.

Turf Cup Analysis

#6 Postulation ran well on the front end last time and will be in the mix early on in the Turf Cup, with #9 American Tattoo also being forwardly placed. The tempo will not be swift.

Turf Cup Contenders

#1 CHANGI (50-1) -- Longshot finished fifth with state-bred foes on the lawn at Arlington most recently, and the colt looks overmatched in this deep field.

#2 RED KNIGHT (12-1) -- Gelded son of Pure Prize makes his debut on the course as a live contender for Bill Mott. Chestnut ran evenly in his seasonal bow and figures to improve with Luis Saez riding. New York-bred is very playable at a generous price.

#3 GRAND JOURNEY (15-1) -- Son of Giant’s Causeway makes his second showing following a claim by the ever-dangerous Maker. The 5-year-old is a question mark in his first try at the distance, but he’s in a sharp barn and also has Irad in the silks, so he will be in my exotics plays.

#4 EONS (20-1) -- Grade 3 victor from the Delacour shedrow has not been sharp in his first pair of engagements as a 4-year-old, and he also showed little in his lone voyage similar to this distance, so he would be a surprise beneath Prat.

#5 ARKLOW (9-2) -- Grade 1 winner was a solid runner-up in the race in 2019 for conditioner Brad Cox. Arch 6-year-old is winless from four starts this season but puts the hood on today to try and turn things around. Obvious contender will have fine turf pilot Geroux in the stirrups.

#6 POSTULATION (8-1) -- Dangerous pace contender came home a strong second in the Elkhorn (G2) at Keeneland in his most recent venture. Matz-trained 8-year-old comes in fresh with room for improvement in his second start since November, and the son of Harlan’s Holiday was second in his lone previous attempt at Kentucky Downs as well. Leparoux takes the call.

#7 HE’S NO LEMON (10-1) -- Lemon Drop Kid gelding was a game allowance winner at Saratoga last out and rates a top-three chance with a forward move on Saturday. Motion pupil has a huge turn of foot and will be doing his best work inside the final furlong under Castellano.

#8 BUNDIBUNAN (30-1) -- Son of Ghostzapper should appreciate the added ground to work with in the Turf Cup, but he has yet to prove capable of toppling a field of this stature. James Graham will ride the potential exotics threat.

#9 AMERICAN TATTOO (30-1) -- Group-1 winning 5-year-old has run on the lawn just once in his career, and I can’t envision him being more than a pace player.

#10 ZULU ALPHA (7-5) -- Defending champ and one to beat continues to run big for Maker, with a trio of graded wins and a narrow defeat from four outings this campaign. Street Cry gelding is proven locally and has never been better as an imposing foe in the lucrative event. Tyler Gaffalione will pilot the Grade 1 star.

#11 STANDARD DEVIATION (12-1) -- Curlin colt was a non-factor in the United Nations (G1) last time out and adds blinkers for this endeavor. Motion trainee will need vast improvement with the equipment change to challenge this cast late.

#12 HIERARCHY (10-1) -- Peaking son of Point of Entry comes off a strong runner-up performance in the Turf Cup Preview S. at Ellis Park for Sharp. Gelding is still a mystery at the distance and class level, and I will let him beat me on Saturday.

#13 CELERITY (50-1) -- First on the also-eligible list has not hit the board from a handful of races since November and looks to be in deep against these.

#14 TINTORETTO (30-1) -- German import has failed to impress in two starts since coming to the States, and he will have to show me that he can challenge this kind before I get in his corner.

#15 PERFECT TAPATINO (50-1) -- French-bred was outrun in a recent allowance tilt at Woodbine and will need a big step forward to get a piece if he draws into the field.

#16 SURPRISE TWIST (30-1) -- Elusive Quality gelding was soundly defeated in his most recent graded stakes run for Delacour, and I don’t see him beating this group from the widest post.

Turf Cup Wagers

  • 10-cent Superfecta: 2,3,7,10 with 2,3,7,10 with 2,3,5,6,7,10 with all ($43.20)
  • 50-cent Trifecta: 10 with 2,3,7 with all ($15)