Kentucky Downs Selections – September 13, 2018
Kentucky Downs (c) Jamie Newell/Horsephotos.com
by Joe Kristufek
Seven of the 10 races at Kentucky Downs on Wednesday were run over at least a mile and outside stalkers/closers one the majority of them, although there was a gate-to-wire victory mixed in. Two of the sprints were won by stalkers, the other by a pace presser. The turf played fairly, although with the lone run in to the wire, losing ground doesn’t seem to hurt those with the stamina and/or turn of foot to make up for it.
With another warm and dry day in store, the grass should be firmer than firm for closing day, which means speed should hold even better, particularly in the sprints.
With the top pick listed first, “A” horses are in order or preference.
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1ST RACE – Pick 5 starts here
The sprint distance on September 1 was too short for One Mean Man (#4) (8-1 ML). He drops to the lowest level of his career and may be in position to end a long losing streak. The classy Chocolate Ride (#12) (5-2) has run well of late, but he’s been eating a lot of short money and his two runs at Kentucky Downs have not been up to par. Patrick’s Day (#13) (4-1) has run some big races on grass and he should be on edge for a top effort today. Granny’s Kitten (#5) (3-1) gets major class relief off the bench and you have to give a second look to everything Mike “Money” Maker sends out this meet.
A – 4, 12, 13, 5
C – 1, 10, 11, 14
2ND RACE – Pick 4 starts here
There are several potentially live debuters here, but the one I’m most intrigued by is Team Valor’s Proud as Punch (#11) (10-1). By Animal Kingdom, his Brazilian-bred dam has several Group 1-winning siblings, and the works leading up to this are sneaky good for Kenny McPeek.
A – 11
B – 1, 3, 5
C – 12
Commute (#2) (2-1) swings back off a strong runner-up performance behind Vici two weeks ago, and that foe returned on short rest to finish a solid third in the Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint (G3). Mike “Money” Maker cuts back Hembree (#4) (3-1) off a pair of strong turf route efforts in New York. A seven-furlong turf race at Kentucky Downs might suit him to a tee.
A – 2, 4
C – 1, 6, 7, 9
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.
$335,000 seems like a lot of money for a daughter of Fed Biz, who stands for $10,000, but Les Biz (#8) (5-1) did finish a solid third as the betting favorite in her debut on the dirt at Ellis Park, and based on her pedigree, the move to turf could work in her favor. The horse who won that race returned to take down the Arlington-Washington Lassie. Boxwood (#9) (4-1) finished a game third over a yielding Indiana Grand turf in her first try and there’s no reason to think she won’t run another big race today.
A – 8, 9
B – 5, 7
C – 3, 12, 14
In his career debut at Churchill Downs in June, Peter’s Kitten (#11) (5-2) flashed natural speed and settled for second behind a legit winner. She closed well to just miss seven weeks later on the Saratoga green and appears to be learning lessons well. Seemingly ignored a bit in the wagering in the career debut on Ellis turf six weeks ago, Paigely (#10) (3-1) would finish a big second at 7-1, but a closer look reveals that she was beaten that day by her Brad Cox-trained stablemate Pachinko, who was the 4-5 chalk. In addition, the filly who ran third that day, Kallio, returned to win impressively at Kentucky Downs last week.
A – 11, 10
B – 2, 4, 7
C – 3
6TH RACE – Pick 5 starts here
In this first leg of the Late Pick 5, I’ll be employing a “spread and hope for a price” strategy. Some will take more action than others, but they all kind of look like similar win candidates to me.
A – 8, 7, 5, 6, 3, 9, 10, 12
C -- 1
7TH RACE – Pick 4 starts here
I’ve got four first timers rated somewhat equally, but the lean goes to Zalia (#10) (7-2) for Brad Cox. By Scat Daddy, her dam Vino Per Lei was Grade 2-placed on grass and this gal appears to be on edge off the works. A homebred by Medaglia d’Oro, Backflash (#6) (5-1) is the first foal of the unraced mare Time to Tap, who is a half to both Paddy O’Prado and Untapable. By Eskendereya, Lady Leah (#7) (5-1) is out of the unraced dam Leah’s Kitten, who hails from a very productive turf family. She’s So Savvy (#11) (6-1) is a half to $315,000 Stella Mark and $130,000 Word Association.
A – 10, 6, 7
B -- 11
Honorable Treasure (#12) (9-2) ran poorly in his only previous turf try, but that was a two-turn race in his career debut and his only start without Lasix. Adding blinkers for the first time last out, he ran a monster race at Saratoga. He’s well posted here and may relish the trip. Angaston (#10) (7-2) ran huge in a trio of consecutive turf dashes at Churchill, but he fell a bit flat in his most recent run at Ellis. A return to the A-game makes him the horse to beat here. The speedy Battle Station (#6) (4-1) is certainly on the improve and you must respect the connections.
A – 12, 10, 6
B – 3, 5
C – 1
For the past 10 months, Mom’s On Strike (#1) (7-2) has been a win machine on turf. She was fourth in the New York (G2) two back, but just behind three of the top grass females in training, that try took her legitimacy to a new level. Lottie (#2) (6-1) has held her own with some classy lawnmowers the last 14 months, with a better than it looks run against the boys mixed in there. This will be just her third run this season, and she has every right to take a huge step forward for a formidable team. Tricky Escape (#4) (4-1) didn’t beat much in the Dick Memorial (G3) two back on Delaware grass, but it was the way she did it that impressed me. She ran second behind the favorite in last year’s Ramsey Farm’s Stakes, so she’s already proven over the Kentucky Downs green.
A – 1, 2, 4
C – 7, 9, 11
1 1/2 miles for starter allowance ($10,000) horses in the meet’s finale. Obviously, stamina is the key here and I think three horses have an equal chance to win. If somebody else gets their picture taken, I lose. Stratton (#3) (4-1) is proven over marathon distances on grass and he held his own in a minor stakes race last out. Purely Boy (#9) (3-1) has 20 wins on his resume, 11 on turf, and “the Biscuit” is sure to keep his mind on business late. Altito (#6) (7-2) has only run on grass once in a 27-race career, but on paper, he’s faster than the rest of these.
A – 9, 6, 3