With Churchill Downs coming off perhaps their strongest spring meet in history, the horses based in Kentucky should perform even better than they have in years past. Chances are, in many cases, they won’t get the respect they deserve. There is value to be had. That’s what I’m here for. For the entirety of the Saratoga meet, I will provide “scouting reports” for the Kentucky-based horses – good, bad and indifferent. Horses are listed in order of preference, with a short comment playability notation in the wrap. There aren’t many Churchill invaders on Wednesday and Thursday, so I have combined both days into one report. Wednesday, July 31 Race 1 #4 Joy of Treasure On paper, she ran the best race of her life last out, but there are reasons for that. First of all, she enjoyed a clean trip behind a hot pace, and secondly, it wasn’t the strongest race for the level. Comment: She fits very well under starter allowance conditions on turf and it looks like she’ll have an honest pace to kick at. Looks like a must use, but tough to lean on. Race 9 #3 Awestruck She’s always been a tough gal to get a handle on. On May 3, she inherited the lead in the slop over a racetrack that slightly favored speed and she sealed the deal late. On June 22, she was stuck in tight between horses early, was shuffled out and then checked on the turn. It was a hot pace up front and the track did favor outside closers. On June 22, she enjoyed a clear rail trip behind a hotly contested pace and finished well to get up for place over the favorite Covfefe, who melted down late. Race winner Mia Mischief disappointed in her follow-up start, finishing fourth as the 6-5 favorite in the Honorable Miss (G2). Comment: She doesn’t get to run seven furlongs very often, but it might be her best distance. This is a restricted stake, and it didn’t come up very strong. With her A-game, she looks to be as good as any, but it would tough to take a short price. Race 10 #9 Going to Temple After losing roughly four lengths at the start of her debut, she did manage to pass tired horses in the stretch. She closed into an honest pace that day, but does have a right to improve off a that lesson learning debut. Comment: You would think one of the likely favorites would get the job done here, but if they don’t, this race could absolutely blow up. Useable if you’re willing to spread deep. #11 Lady Trish’s Dream Closed into a slow pace over a turf course that favored off the pace types on May 4. After breaking three lengths slow over a yielding course seven weeks later, she failed to run a step. She does drop in for a tag for the first time off that needed race, Julien Leparoux stays aboard and Kenny McPeek is super dangerous when dropping horses in from maiden special weight to claiming. Comment: If you’re against the favorites and are willing to spread in multi-race wagers, I wouldn’t be completely against using her. Thursday, August 1 Race 6 #3 Gray Nile On May 10 over a one-turn mile, he enjoyed a clear trip over a fair playing racetrack, but could only manage to pass beaten rivals. Stretched out to two turns on turf on June 1, he enjoyed a dream run from the catbird’s seat behind a soft pace, but finished evenly. Back on the main track for a route try on June 28, he broke two lengths slow, was three-wide on the first turn, was in the clear thereafter, but faded badly. Comment: He takes a big drop into a soft spot and his only start over nine furlongs produced a victory. If the barn wanted to dump him, you think he’d be running even cheaper at Ellis. Dale would like nothing better than to win a race at Saratoga for Frank Jones, even if it’s at a lower level.   (c) Coglianese Photography