Turf Stakes Spot Plays for Ellis Park on Aug 7
The last four races on the Sunday card at Ellis Park are black-type races on the green with some competitive fields set to go postward.
Race 6 – Twin Spires Turf Sprint
A total of 10 will vie in the 5 1/2-furlong dash. #1 Totally Boss (9-2) might be rounding back into his best form following a fine allowance coup at Churchill last time out. The Rusty Arnold charge was a sharp stakes winner on the surface last season and will be tough to hold off with his top performance. Brian Hernandez Jr. will be up.
Race 7 – Centennial Distaff Turf Mile
#9 Demodog (5-1) gets the nod. American Pharoah filly was a decent third over a yielding course here in her first race off an 11-month absence, and I expect a nice move forward in this affair for conditioner Brendan Walsh and pilot Vincent Cheminaud. A contested early tempo will aid the four-year-old's stretch kick.
Race 8 – Laguna Distaff Turf Sprint
A total of 10 fillies and mares will speed 5 1/2 panels. Eddie Kenneally’s #3 Brokke Marie (5-1) is the one for me at what I believe to be a generous price. Winner of the Monrovia S. (G2) at Santa Anita two back, the six-year-old daughter of Lemon Drop Kid is consistently very good on the lawn, and the mare also has room for improvement being lightly raced. Rafael Bejarano will take the reins.
Race 9 – Evan Williams Turf Mile
The finale attracted an overflow field of 14 in a tough handicapping assignment. The closer features numerous legitimate contenders. I have to take a shot with #1 Kittansett (15-1) in his turf debut for trainer Paulo Lobo. Bay son of American Pharoah was a $1.4 million yearling purchase who looks to be coming into his own while going 2-for-2 this campaign, and is bred to like the lawn, too. The rail post could be tricky, but I can’t pass up the price on the Kentucky-bred with Alex Achard in the stirrups.