Third start at Kentucky Downs could be the charm in Old Friends

Profile Picture: James Scully

September 6th, 2018

Kentucky Downs (c) Bob Newell/

The $250,000 Old Friends heads a nice 10-race program from Kentucky Downs on Thursday and there appears to be plenty of speed in the 12-horse field.

Parlor (#10) packs a solid turn of foot, registering BRIS Late Pace ratings as high as 105, and recorded a couple of nice efforts when returning this year at Churchill Downs. The gelding didn’t fire his best effort most recently in an Ellis Park stakes but he’s eligible to show much more over a course he likes.

The third time could be the charm as the Eddie Kenneally trainee has just missed in a pair of Kentucky Downs stakes races the last two years, finishing second in the 2016 Juvenile and 2017 Dueling Grounds Derby. Brian Hernandez knows how to pilot the unorthodox layout, winning three races locally last year, and the Old Friends should set up nicely for Parlor’s late kick.

I like his progression at age four and Parlor appears to be sitting on a stakes win in this spot.

Carded as Race 9, the Old Friends has a scheduled post time of 6:25 p.m. (ET).

Here are a couple of other horses of interest today:

Race 4: Honovi (#3) (12-1) raced up close and finished best of all to win an entry-level allowance last year over the course, scoring at 27-1. The five-year-old gelding promises to be overlooked once again and returns off a couple of sneaky third-place efforts at this level. I liked the tactical speed he displayed in those efforts and the Brendan Walsh trainee should be well-positioned early under Declan Cannon, an underrated turf rider (16 percent win). I’ll give Honovi the edge in a contentious field.

Race 6: Mike Maker points toward the five-day session at Kentucky Downs and has won more than twice as many races as any other trainer the last two years. He’s leading the way once again after posting a couple of victories on Saturday’s opener and not all his winners are short-priced.

Necessary (#9) (10-1) is rated as the sixth choice on the morning line among 12 rivals in an entry-level allowance tilt today but the three-year-old filly may prove to be the controlling speed, recording her lone win wire-to-wire at Keeneland. She’s bred to relish the added ground, shows a bullet work in preparation and gets the services of Jose Ortiz; I’ll tab the front-running miss.

Good luck!

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