Kentucky Downs Scouting Report for Sept. 12
Despite the rails being set at 0 feet and two to three paths of fresh grass on the inside, outside and off the pace runners once again dominated the Saturday Kentucky Downs card. There were no gate-to-wire winners and only two inside trip winners.
With his second consecutive riding triple, Tyler Gaffalione is now a clear second in the standings with seven scores. Joel Ro$ario, who was shut out on Saturday, leads with 13.
On the trainer’s side, betting on Brendan Walsh was a profitable situation, as he scored three wins on Saturday at odds of 18-1, 8-1, and 9-1 respectively. Rusty Arnold won two races, including the Turf Sprint (G3) with Gear Jockey, who set new track record, as did Turf Cup (G2) winner Imperador for Paulo Lobo. The trainer’s title is up for grabs entering closing day with Steve Asmussen holding a 4-3 advantage over six others.
1st Race – Pick Five starts here
This is a tough call. Several well-bred first time starters are asked to travel a mile first out of the box, so I opted for a horse with experience on top in #3 Daisy Bee. She got a practice run sprinting at Saratoga, and the pedigree suggests she should much prefer routing on the lawn.
A – 2, 3, 8, 10
B – 4, 7
C – 5
2nd Race – Pick Four starts here
#4 Star Command finished a respectable third in a Kentucky Downs maiden sprint, and she most recently held her own in a restricted stakes at Saratoga. The cutback should work in her favor here.
A – 4
B – 5
C – 2, 3, 7, 9, 11
#4 Hawk of War has won two of his last four starts, and he had excuses for the other two. In his most recent turf start at Ellis, he broke slowly, was five-wide on the turn and then rallied for second behind a solid winner. He should appreciate the cutback here.
A – 4, 6, 9
B – 7
4th Race – Pick Four starts here
#7 Lubna finished a deceivingly good third over a yielding course here last week, and horses who return on short rest at Kentucky Downs often perform well. She should offer some value in what appears to be a wide open race on paper.
A – 7, 8, 11
B – 1, 6
C – 9, 10
Bet down to 7-5 in her career debut at Colonial, #12 Street Tapper broke slowly but closed strongly to win going away. She has the look of a filly who should relish even more ground to work with.
A – 7, 12
B – 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 13
6th Race – Pick Five starts here
Confidently ridden in his career debut, #8 Faithful Ruler flashed sharp speed. He had a clear lead at the top of the stretch, only to get run down late by an impressive winner while finishing clearly second best. He’s bred to go long, and Gaffalione is employed to get the job done here.
A – 1, 8, 13, 15
B – 2, 3, 9, 11, 14
C – 4, 5, 7
7th Race – Pick Four starts here
Sent off at odds of 9-2 against nine rivals in her career debut at Monmouth, #2 Koala Princess absolutely crushed her competition. Ro$ario doesn’t ride a lot for this barn, but it looks like he has landed on a live one.
A – 2, 9, 12
B – 7, 8
C – 5, 11, 13
#5 Navratilova has been hit or miss during her young career. Not sure what happened in the Lake George (G3) last out at Saratoga, and I’m banking she’ll return to the form she showed prior. She won the Tepin S. at Churchill over a mile and was very competitive in sprints prior to that. Today’s 6 1/2-furlong distance should suit her well.
A – 1, 5, 6, 11
B – 7, 8
C – 4, 9, 10, 13
#7 Family Way overcame major trouble to win over nine furlongs in May at Churchill. Her form was darkened by her poor run in the Modesty (G3) at Arlington two starts back, but she finished a good third over 10 furlongs against the boys last out. With her A-game she should be a major factor today, and that 10-1 ML was too good to pass up.
A – 5, 7
B – 4, 10, 11
C – 3, 6
The winner of a $10K maiden claimer at Ellis last summer, #10 Yamato narrowly missed at Kentucky Downs in his follow-up start. The 4-year-old gelding has held his turf form very well since, and he enters this assignment off a solid fourth at Gulfstream in a race he was expected to need.
A – 10, 12
B – 3
C – 1, 2, 6, 8, 13
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