Kentucky Downs Spot Plays for Sept. 6

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

September 5th, 2021

Not only will two-year-olds be in focus at Saratoga and Del Mar on Labor Day, but Kentucky Downs will also have a pair of sprint stakes for juveniles on its 11-race program.

Here are several horses of interest sprinkled across a card that begins at 1:20 p.m. ET.

Race 2 -- Allowance (1:53 p.m. ET)

#3 ROYAL CONNECTION (9-2) showed notable improvement second out for Steve Asmussen on July 19, convincingly winning an early-season maiden around two turns at Indiana Grand by a widening 3 3/4 lengths. This son of first-crop sire Connect is a half-brother to Royal Approval, who set a course record for this 6 1/2-furlong distance while breaking her maiden at last year's Kentucky Downs meet. She later captured the Matron (G3). If Royal Connection takes to the grass as well as his sister did, he can threaten.

Race 4 -- Maiden (3:01 p.m. ET)

#2 ENGRAVE (8-1) proved a little too fresh in his return from a very long layoff on July 17, setting a quick pace before throwing in the towel in the final furlong at Ellis Park. A half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Beach Patrol, he should find the return to turf more to his liking. Note, too, that he was second-best in his turf debut at Belmont last fall to Scarlett Sky, who went on to capture the Transylvania S. (G3) at Keeneland last spring.

Race 11 -- Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile (6:58 p.m. ET)

Fourth to subsequent Saratoga Special (G2) runner-up Gunite in his debut on dirt, #4 PLAY ACTION PASS (20-1) adapted well to newer surroundings when taking his two-turn turf debut at Ellis Park. Saving ground behind a moderate pace until the turn for home, he was switched for a three-wide bid and mowed down the opposition to win by three parts of a length. The form was flattered when the third- and fourth-placed horses both graduated on Sunday's Kentucky Downs card. A half-brother to Grade 2 turf heroine Laura's Light and the stakes-winning Barry Lee, Play Action Pass looms a threat for a share or more at a potentially big price.