Kentucky Downs Selections – September 12, 2018

Profile Picture: Joe Kristufek

September 11th, 2018


Despite being rated “good” on Saturday, the turf seemed closer to firm than yielding -- I walked it myself. The races played out exactly to profile. Of the seven sprints, three were won by pace pressers, three by stalkers and one by a closer. Closers won all three routes.

Rain washed away the Sunday Kentucky Downs card, and it was brought back without a re-draw for Wednesday. The course took a ton of rain on Sunday, and despite the recent pleasant conditions, there should be some give in the ground. These selections were tailored to fit the course profile.

With the top pick listed first, “A” horses are in order or preference.

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1ST RACE – Pick 5 starts here

A game runner-up in his career debut sprinting over the Arlington Park Polytrack, Bizzee Channel (#5) (3-1 ML) stretches out on turf for the first time here. By English Channel, he’s certainly bred to mow the lawn, and the debut loss came to a nice horse in Manny Wah, who has since returned to run a good third in the Ellis Park Juvenile. Purchased privately by top Chicago connections, they attempt to recoup a chunk of their investment today.

A – 5
B – 3,6
C – 1

2ND RACE – Pick 4 starts here

Silla Manila (#5) (5-1) appears to be very well intended off brief freshening, and the cut back should allow her to settle and finish. Bred for turf, La Dam Blanche (#14) (6-1) finally got on grass in her fifth career start last out, and she won for fun. Wesley Ward seemingly has a pair of live wires here in Pocket Book (#1) (5-1) and Ultima D (#3) (6-1).

A – 5,1,3
B – 9,10,12
C – 2,7,8


Maniacal (#1) (7-5) is sharp as a tack right now, is proven at the trip, fits the starter allowance conditions to a tee and you get two for the price of one with his capable stablemate Belgian. Depending on budget and how deep you’re spreading in the other races, he may be worth singling, although I do believe that upstart Judah (#3) (6-1) and ultra-consistent Bushrod (#5) (9-5) rate an upset chance.

A – 1
B – 3,5

4TH RACE – Jockey 7 starts here

It’s tough to come up with a Jockey 7 recommendation prior to scratches, so I’ll save any potential opinions for Twitter @joeydakracing.

Aquaphobia (#10) (5-2) looks like an absolute standout here. From the West Coast to the East, he’s run big on every turf course, more than holding his own against salty company along the way. He’ll be a single on the majority of my multi-race tickets.

A – 10
B – 2,8
C – 7


Starter allowance conditions often breed standouts and Peru (#9) (2-1) is a good example. Claimed for $25K in July of 2017, she’s held her own in a few stakes since. Most recently she smoked a solid field of second-level optional claiming allowance foes at Churchill and this field isn’t as tough as that one. If she holds her form, the rest of these will be forced to compete for minor awards.

A – 9
C – 7,8

6TH RACE – Pick 5 starts here

Unlike some of the other starters run today, this race appears to be wide open. Zaphical (#6) (10-1) won a turf dash two back at Arlington and last out she upset an odds-on foe over the Polytrack. Her arrow is pointing up and the price will be right. Also invading from Chicago is the Illinois-bred Go Lady Jay (#13) (12-1). She held her own in a stakes caliber turf optional claiming allowance last out and enters this assignment in the best form of her career. Sanity (#3) (6-1) loves to win and she rates a fighting chance here, but she exits some slow races and there’s a chance she might be slightly over bet. Honey Bunny (#12) (4-1) was out of her element around two turns on dirt against stiff competition last out at Ellis. She took is competitive and proven at this trip.

A – 6,13,3,12,1

7TH RACE – Pick 4 starts here

Equally good on turf and dirt, Summer Luck (#3) (7-2) ran a pair of huge races over the Churchill Downs main track this past spring and I’m not going to hold a recent even finish in a minor stakes at Indiana Grand against her. Off slowly, she was hung three-to-four paths wide throughout behind a pedestrian pace over a racetrack that favored front running types. May Lily (#12) (9-2) is a versatile and talented turf filly and the outside post could work to her advantage.

A – 3,12
B – 11
C – 1,7,8


Live on the toteboard in the Pucker Up (G3) at Arlington, #3 Pamina (3-1) ran a winning race, only to finish second. Hung five-wide on the turn for home, she put her head in front in the stretch, only to get run over late by a sharp winner. Trained by Jonathan Thomas of Catholic Boy fame, #1 Osare (8-1) appears to have a bright future. She’s improved with every start and was most recently a clear second behind Lady Montdore at Saratoga, and that talented filly returned to wire the Glen Falls (G3) in her next start. #8 Princess Warrior (6-1) has had her ups and downs, but she appears to be headed back in the right direction. She displayed a serious turn of foot in the Pucker Up to finish third and a similar effort would make her dangerous in the stretch here.

A – 3,1,8
B – 4,11
C – 6,12


He’s not the morning line choice, but I’m guessing Channel Cat (#9) (7-2) will be the defined favorite at post time. Against some of the top horses in the division, he finished a better than it looks fourth in the Belmont Derby (G1), and last out in a second-level optional claiming allowance against older horses, he just missed behind Focus Group, who has since returned to win the John’s Call Stakes. The Secretariat (G1) was actually run a full second faster than the Arlington Million (G1) and Bandua (#6) (4-1) finished a very respectable and game third in his first run American turf try.

A – 9,6
B – 4,7


Purchased for $850,000 as a two-year-old in training, Praetorian (#11) (12-1) ran two decent races sprinting on dirt last fall. Transferred to Steve Asmussen, he debuts on grass off a forward series of works and appears to be very well intended.

A – 11
B – 1,5,6
C – 10,12