Kristufek's closing-day Kentucky Downs Scouting Report

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September 16th, 2020

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

With the Sunday card moved to Tuesday due to heavy rains over the weekend, the turf was rated good and the rail was out 20 feet. With a pair of wire jobs, a trio of closers and several pressing and stalking winners mixed in, the course played fairly. Four of the 11 winners paid out at double-digit odds, and four others closed between 9-2 and 7-1.

Irad Ortiz Jr. bagged the only double of the day and he enters Wednesday’s closing day action two behind Tyler Gaffalione (8-6) in the riders’ race. Both jockeys are named in seven of the 10 races. Mike Maker, who scored a win on Tuesday, leads Wesley Ward 7-6 on the trainers’ side. He is represented in eight of the closing day races, while Ward is slated to participate in four.

Wednesday’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80’s.

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

Severely compromised at the start of the “no contest” on opening day, #7 Hard Ry Guy did run on nicely late. It’s not like trainer Ian Wilkes to run a horse back so quickly (not once in the last five years), and this race doesn’t appear to be nearly as tough as the one he just ran in.

  • A – 7
  • B – 5, 6, 4, 3
  • C – 9

2nd Race – Pick 4 starts here

Claimed out of a second place run here eight days ago, #9 Knights Key stretches out to a marathon distance for leading trainer Mike Maker. He’s never run this far, but he is in fantastic form and the pedigree suggests he should handle it.

  • A – 9, 1, 2
  • B -- 8
  • C – 7

3rd Race

With works dating back to April, #8 Tiz Spendid News appears to be a very well-intended Ward debuter. Watch the toteboard for clues.

  • A – 8
  • B – 1, 5, 2
  • C – 9, 4

4th Race

#10 Juggernaut has improved significantly since moving over to the turf. He narrowly lost to a horse who returned to win a Grade 2 last out, and today’s trip should suit him to a tee. The California invaders have fared well this meet, and #5 Phast Pharoah is intriguing. He stepped up his game when adding blinkers this winter, and ran really fast in his grassy dash win at Santa Anita. The work tab indicates he’s ready to fire fresh. #6 Elusive d’Oro showed plenty of promise as a 2-year-old and this looks like as good a spot as any for his return.

  • A – 10, 5, 6
  • B -- 1
  • C – 3, 4, 7, 11

5th Race

Trainer Mike Stidham has unveiled two first timers at Kentucky Downs over the past five years, and he hit the board with both. His #2 Comply has lots of green blood on the dam’s side of the pedigree, and he appears to be very well prepared for this. #5 Dinner Bell has some sneaky fast works and he’s bred to dash on the grass.

  • A – 2, 5
  • B – 9, 6, 7
  • C – 1, 4, 10

6th Race -- Pick 5 starts here

It looks like #4 Jakarta will find herself loose on the lead with #5 Dance Rhythms the most likely to do the catching. Any other horse winning would be a surprise.

  • A – 4, 5
  • C – 8

7th Race – Pick 4 starts here

Maker looks to have a stranglehold on this race, but I like #7 Muggsamatic slightly better than #2 Apreciado.

  • A – 7
  • B -- 2
  • C – 4, 5, 1a

8th Race

When #9 Aife isn’t entered over her head she’s often tough to beat, and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan has made the most of his opportunities this meet.

  • A – 9
  • B – 7, 3, 1
  • C – 4, 8, 10

9th Race

Troubled trips at shorter distances have proven to be #14 Race Driver’s undoing in recent starts. He’s better than he looks on paper, and this trip should suit him to a tee. #1 Turned Aside is versatile, he’s been a model of consistency and the arrow is pointing up.

  • A – 14, 1
  • B – 13, 11
  • C – 3, 6, 9, 10

10th Race

#7 Peekacho won his only previous start over this course, but is he as good now as he was then? #9 Marv’s Magic has the sort of grinding style that should suit him well over the marathon distance and stamina certainly isn’t an issue for #5 Take Charge d’Oro.

  • A – 7, 9, 5