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. Race 1 #6 Go Get That Fifth in all three of his career starts against $50,000 maiden claimers, he takes a needed drop in for $20,000 here. Sprinting on dirt two back, he broke alertly, pressed a fast pace, and evened out. Trying two turns on turf for the first time last out, he lost ground when bothered into the first turn, but raced evenly thereafter. Comment: If you’re willing to oppose the class dropping Justice of War, then this guy is usable in a short, very average field. Race 5 #6 Chief Know It All Overcame a world of trouble to win a $16,000 claimer over a one-turn mile two back, but failed miserably despite enjoying an advantageous, pocket trip in the follow-up start for double the price. He takes a sizeable drop a notch off the claim as a first time reported gelding for an operation that must be respected. Comment: This barn isn’t afraid to drop to win and this horse did win his only previous start over nine furlongs. A few others look better on paper, but those horses aren’t easy to trust either. Tough call. Race 7 #6 Limonite Closed into an honest pace over a sloppy track that favored off the pace types on May 4 at Churchill, but failed to make an impact over a fast surface in the Matt Winn (G3). Ran into a legit 3-year-old in Mr. Money that day and the pace was moderate, but he did enjoy a ground saving trip at the rail and simply didn’t fire. Comment: Has turf influences on both sides of the pedigree and finally gets his first try on that surface. Faces some seasoned lawnmowers here and needs an honest pace to kick at. A win isn’t impossible, but more likely to be an underneath type. Race 8 #2 Tom’s d’Etat Over a racetrack that slightly favored speed, he ran a good second behind McKinzie, one of the best horses in training, in the Alysheba (G2). Second early, he circled that rival to take over, but proved to be no match for him late. That being said, he did finish in front of Seeking the Soul, who would turn the tables on him in the Stephen Foster (G2). Over a fair playing racetrack, he battled the lead through tepid fractions before giving way very late to be third. Comment: He fits like a glove under the “non-winners of a sweepstake in 2019” condition, is in excellent form and he’s perfect from two starts at Saratoga. Does his best work when able to stalk from just off the early pace, which should be the case here. He’s a must use and a possible single, if you’re operating on a limited budget or want to get bold.   (c) Coglianese Photography