Wesley Ward and Kitten’s Joy are the key to chasing Jan. 28 carryovers at Turfway Park

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

January 28th, 2021

If your life depended on winning a Pick 6 or Super Hi 5 wager this Thursday… you probably wouldn’t want to take aim at the monstrously difficult sequences on tap at Turfway Park.

If, however, you’re simply looking for some competitive races to handicap, then by all means check out the action at the Florence, Kentucky racetrack. The jackpot-style Single 6 wager (spanning Race 3 through Race 8) features a carryover of $16,091 and contains 80 entries. Meanwhile, the Super Hi 5 (with a carryover of $2,210) is up for grabs in Race 8, which attracted 14 entries.

Narrowing down the fields is bound to be difficult, unless you’re willing to place your faith in trainer Wesley Ward and stallion Kitten’s Joy. Ward led all trainers during the 2020 winter meet at Turfway, and Kitten’s Joy is a two-time leading sire known for his success siring turf and synthetic runners.

Both Ward and Kitten’s Joy will be strongly represented during Thursday’s card, and between them they could well win two or three races. Let’s highlight their contenders in each of the Single 6 races:

Race 3: $30,000-$20,000 Maiden Claiming (6 furlongs, 7:16 p.m. ET)

Wesley Ward saddles the morning line favorite #5 Casanova Kitten (5-2), a son of Kitten’s Joy who has been freshened and gelded since finishing fifth in a Sept. 12 maiden special weight at Kentucky Downs. Dropping in class and switching to Tapeta stamps Casanova Kitten as the runner to beat under leading jockey Gerardo Corrales.

Race 4: $5,000 Claiming (1 mile, post time 7:46 p.m. ET)

Ward and Corrales will team up again with #1 Sunday Scheming (5-2), who finished sixth for a $15,000 tag at Turfway last month. The daughter of hot sire Constitution has posted Brisnet Speed ratings fast enough to win at the $5,000 level, and take note, Ward strikes at a lofty 37% rate with runners dropping down two or more class levels.

Race 5: $7,500 Maiden Claiming (1 mile, 8:16 p.m. ET)

Speaking of fillies dropping in class, #2 Ninja Kitten (1-1) looks formidable for hot trainer Brad Cox, who has gone 5-for-20 (25%) at Turfway this winter. A daughter of Kitten’s Joy’s champion son Big Blue Kitten, Ninja Kitten wasn’t disgraced in a $25,000 maiden claiming race over the Gulfstream Park turf course last month, carving out the pace before weakening to finish seventh.

Ninja Kitten will be tough to deny while facing $7,500 rivals at Turfway, though #7 Stolen Kitten (15-1) and #11 Sweet Kathern (6-1) are also worth considering. Stolen Kitten is a daughter of Kitten’s Joy who finished ninth for a $30,000 tag on turf at Ellis Park last summer, while Sweet Kathern is a maiden special weight alumna dropping blinkers for Ward and Corrales.

Race 6: $7,500 Claiming (6 1/2 furlongs, 8:46 p.m. ET)

#4 Amani’s Kitten (20-1) won’t be favored, but he ran evenly to finish third in a $5,000 claiming sprint at Turfway last month, earning a respectable 77 Brisnet Speed rating. He matched the figure three starts back when rallying to victory in a $15,000 claiming race over the Belterra Park turf course, suggesting the son of Kitten’s Joy has an outside chance to win on Thursday at a big price.

Race 7: $12,500-$10,500 Claiming (1 1/16 miles, 9:16 p.m. ET)

Kitten’s Joy will be represented once again by #10 Miracle Mountain (15-1). Although he never fired in a starter optional claiming race over this track and distance on Jan. 21, two starts back he dominated a $5,000 claiming race at Turfway by 4 1/2 lengths, earning a strong 89 Brisnet Speed rating. A fast pace would benefit this live longshot.

Race 8: $15,000-$10,000 Maiden Claiming (6 1/2 furlongs, 9:46 p.m. ET)

Wesley Ward returns to the fray with #6 Faded Rose (8-5), who adds Lasix and drops blinkers for her first start since July. The daughter of Munnings endured a troubled trip when facing maiden special weight rivals over the Keeneland turf course, so a clean journey while dropping significantly in class can send Faded Rose to the winner’s circle under Corrales. She looks like a filly to count on in both the Single 6 and the Super Hi 5.

Good luck!