Kristufek's Kentucky Downs Scouting Report for Sept. 10

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September 9th, 2020

With the rail 40 feet out and a run-up of at least 240 feet, the distances of Wednesday's races were considerably further than advertised. For some perspective, imagine running nearly the length of an entire football field before the timer even starts. 

It was a banner day for the jockey/trainer combination of Gerrardo Corrales and Wesley Ward. The winner of the opener paid off at 32-1 and there was a 14-1 winner mid-card (Shackleford's Joy, whom we had as our top A selection), but the other eight winners all fell between odds of 2-1 and 8-1. There was only one gate-to-wire winner, but even in the longer races, it helped to be inside and forward. The wide swooping moves off the turn fell short. 

There has been no rain leading into Thursday’s card and the forecast calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the high 80s. I will favor horses with forward speed in sprints and an off the pace style in routes.

With the top pick listed first, “A” horses are in order or preference. Remember, the takeout on Pick 4 and Pick 5 wagers at Kentucky Downs is only 14%, so take advantage!

1st Race – Pick 5 starts here

It’s tough to separate the top contenders in this one. #2 Flat Meadow and #6 Domonette have both enjoyed prior success sprinting on turf, and #10 Santino must be considered dangerous on the class drop. The sleeper is #7 Shasta Star. The recent race in the mud darkens her form and if she can convert her synthetics races over the turf, she’s as good as anybody in here.

  • A – 2, 6, 7, 10
  • C – 1, 4

2nd Race – Pick 4 starts here

#5 Clear for Action looks like a bit of a standout here. He possesses route speed and should have plenty of finishing punch over the 7-furlong distance.

  • A – 5
  • B – 8, 9, 11
  • C – 7

3rd Race

#6 Custion de Tiempo has done all of her recent work sprinting on turf, but if you look deeper into his past performances, you’ll find several strong route efforts. #9 Secretary At War has a recent class edge and his two efforts since the claim are even better than they look on paper. #8 Artie’s Rumor has been a model of consistency on grass and he should get the right trip.

  • A – 6, 9, 8
  • B – 1
  • C – 2, 3

4th Race

#1 Wildlife ran second in the Dueling Grounds Oaks last year, and she hinted at a return to top form last out at Ellis. #4 Sorrentina Lemon improved with every start last year and she’s run the fastest race in the field. Christophe Clement is very successful at Kentucky Downs, but the layoff lines are a bit of a concern. #6 Summer in Saratoga looked awesome in her Churchill triumph two back, winning despite the flow being against her. Her recent start was a mild disappointment, but a recent bullet work signals readiness.

  • A – 1, 4, 6
  • B – 9
  • C -- 3

5th Race

#10 Mantra has been knocking on the door at this level, and he should a sweet, stalking trip behind the speed.

  • A – 10
  • B – 6, 12
  • C – 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13    

6th Race – Pick 5 starts here

This race is crazy wide open. #12 Choate Bridge showed quite a bit of promise last year, but we haven’t seen her in 15 months. Brendan Walsh is good off the bench. #4 Love Beach is better than she looks on paper and the price should be right. #5 Envied just missed last out at Ellis, and she was eliminated in the first turn in the race prior. Her arrow is pointing up. #3 Loving Moment had trouble in her last two starts and I like her chances to make an impact at boxcar odds. #11 Devious Charm has a win over this course and you can count on her to run her race.

  • A – 12, 4, 5, 3, 11
  • B – 1, 7, 9, 10
  • C – 2, 6, 8

7th Race – Pick 4 starts here

The Wayne Catalano-trained first time starter #6 Red Hot Babe is bred for grass on the dam’s side and she appears to be very well intended for the debut. #5 Sequin just missed breaking her maiden here as a 2-year-old, and there’s no reason to think she won’t run another big race today. #7 Ship’s Creek exits a couple of key turf sprints at Ellis and she continues to improve. 

  • A – 6, 5, 7
  • B – 2, 8
  • C – 3, 4, 12   

8th Race

#9 Harvey’s Lil Goil has already won a tough stakes on grass and she’s also proven over distance. Neither #5 Stunning Sky nor #8 Micheline had the greatest of trips behind “Goil” in their previous encounter. Both have maintained solid form and are capable of turning the tables.

  • A – 9, 5, 8
  • B – 7
  • C – 2, 6, 12, 15   

9th Race

#11 Bama Breeze has held his own against the top horses in the division and he finds a breakthrough spot here. #9 Kinenos possesses a serious late kick. The added distance and the long Kentucky Downs stretch should work in his favor.

  • A – 11, 9
  • B – 2, 13
  • C – 4, 5, 7, 10, 15      

10th Race

#12 Unitedandresolute has run two big races against solid competition already and that experience should serve him well. #5 Majestic Summer is bred to sprint on grass and he has some sneaky good workouts leading up to the debut. He’s better than he looks on paper and the addition of blinkers should put #7 Habitus closer to the early pace. #6 Trade Deal just missed on debut and you have to respect the team.

  • A – 12, 5, 7, 6
  • B – 9, 11
  • C – 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 15