Scully's Kentucky Downs selections for Sept. 11

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September 10th, 2021

Saturday’s penultimate 11-race program at Kentucky Downs is the centerpiece of the six-day meet at the all-turf venue in Franklin, Kentucky.

A whopping $3.95 million in purse money will be offered over five competitive stakes, as well as a pair of “Win & You’re In” berths for November’s Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar, and I’ve tabbed three runners of interest.

Race 7: Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf S. (G3), 4:34 p.m. ET

With a step up in class for the Aug. 8 De La Rose S. at Saratoga, #6 Shifty She gained valuable experience, with a close third, behind seven-time stakes winner Regal Glory, who captured last year’s Ladies Turf.

Shifty She has worked three times in the 34-day interim for trainer Saffie Joseph, and the 6-1 fourth choice on the morning line figures to receive the right setup in a field that lacks pace.

The five-year-old mare has progressed in every start since she returned from a 14-month layoff in April, and jockey Irad Ortiz will look to coax her speed the entire way.

Race 8: Turf Sprint S. (G3), 5:09 p.m. ET

A dynamite field is signed on for this six-furlong event, and #3 Bombard looks like the speed of the speed.

Unraced since he led all the way in the Daytona S. (G3) in May, the Richard Mandella-trained gelding showed an affinity for the undulating Kentucky Downs course when he recorded a head second in last year’s Turf Sprint, and Bombard drilled a recent six-furlong bullet work in preparation.

An attractive 10-1 on the morning line, the wire-to-wire selection will retain the services of jockey Flavien Prat.

Race 10: Franklin-Simpson S., 6:18 p.m. ET

Listed as the 5-1 third choice on the morning line, #6 Next should relish the cutback to 6 1/2 furlongs.

The Wesley Ward-trained sophomore recorded a sharp maiden win over the course and distance last year, and he is well drawn to the outside of the speedy Into the Sunrise.

Next showed his versatility in his last two outings at a mile. He easily won the War Chant S. at Churchill Downs and finishing fourth in the Hall of Fame S. (G2) at Saratoga.

The classy gray colt will continue to show more at a one-turn distance Saturday.