Kentucky Downs Saturday undercard plays & all-stakes Pick 4

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

September 9th, 2017

Crazy as it sounds, Saturday will mark my first ever trip to the increasingly popular Kentucky Downs. While happy for it to be installed at #29 on my list of U.S. Thoroughbred tracks visited, I'll be even more thrilled to cash a few tickets during the course of what is expected to be wonderful day. Here are horses of interest in both the undercard and in the all-stakes Pick 4.

Race 1

#11 CASH OUT (10-1) was meant to debut on the turf at Saratoga, but the race was washed off and this filly weakened in the final quarter-mile after showing tactical foot. Dam, a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner and producer Clear Mandate, has thrown three turf winners including Kentucky Downs maiden winner and stakes-placed Pretty Fancy.

Race 2

Morning line favorite #3 BIG DOLLAR BILL (3-1) handled the grass well enough in his August 11 comeback from a five-month layoff and figures to be in stronger shape this time while getting more ground to work with for a barn that's started the meet three-for-nine.

Race 3

#4 RICHMOND STREET (4-1) has been stuck behind slow paces before, but the most recent at Saratoga was absurdly so with an opening half in :52 1/5 on firm ground. A repeat of his try from May 11 would make him tough here.

Race 4

Arguably one of the more interesting betting races on the card as several first-time starters might have the talent to hang with the more experienced fillies. #6 BRIELLE'S APPEAL (5-1) is an English Channel half-sister to Grade 2 winner Authenticity and hails from a strong first-out barn.

Trainer Dan Peitz doesn't win very much with debuters, but #11 U. S. CURRENCY (15-1) might be able to run a little. Has several appealing works on her tab, she's by Exchange Rate (13% first turf sire) and dam is a half to Grade 2 winners Posse and Green Fee.

Race 5

Claimed in early June by Mike Maker, #3 FLASHY CHELSEY (4-1) wasn't beaten much in either the Stars and Stripes (G3) or the $50,000 Cliff Guilliams H. against better fields than this. Has won over this course before and addition of blinkers may help him reach the winner's circle for the first time in a year.

Race 6

The turf debut by #7 FACTION CAT (6-1) last March was not without incident. Favored despite being off nearly 10 months, he was bumped leaving the gate and proved only third best behind two next-out winners, both of whom have developed into solid allowance-class turf sprinters. It still took a while for this guy to subsequently graduate and he's suffered from seconditis throughout his career, but think the surface switch will prove most agreeable.


$1 Pick 4

Race 7

#4 ZIPESSA (7-2) could prove tough to catch on the front end. Her last two in the Dick Memorial (G3) and Beverly D (G1) were both very solid efforts, and she should enjoy the shortening up to a mile just as much as #5 MISS TEMPLE CITY (1-1), who's the obvious class of the field.

Race 8

#2 FAIR POINT (7-2) hasn't been quite as productive this season as last, but perhaps this step up in trip will prove favorable for this Grade 3-winning veteran. #5 LULL (5-1) was a stakes winner here last year and has been fairly sharp in two starts following a dull season opener. Good second in the one-mile San Clemente (G2) after setting an honest pace.

Race 9

#1 COMMEND (4-1) has won two of his last three, and no disgrace losing to Green Mask in the Highlander (G2) in between. Strong four-furlong drill before his departure from Saratoga. #5 BONDURANT (7-2) looks a threat shortening up for Wilkes. Rough trip the last time he ran over this course and can fare better. #10 HOGY (5-2) goes first time off the claim for Maker and is an obvious threat after missing by a neck in this last year.

Race 10

I'm going four deep in the Kentucky Turf Cup (G3): #1 POSTULATION (9-2), #3 MUQTASER (6-1), #4 OSCAR NOMINATED (7-2), and #7 ENTERPRISING (3-1).

Here's the ticket: 4,5 with 2,5 with 1,5,10 with 1,3,4,7 = $48

Good luck!