The 50-cent “All-Turf Stakes” Late Pick 5 wager at Ellis Park on Sunday’s Kentucky Downs Preview Day offers a wonderful wagering opportunity. Based on the forecast, the turf should be super firm, and thus forward, particularly in the sprint races. Let’s dive in! RACE 6 – Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Sprint Surrender Now (#9) (8-5) looks like a standout and thus a potential single. Two back at Churchill Downs she finished second behind Morticia, one of the top turf sprint females in the country, and last out over the Ellis Park turf course she won for fun. She’s cozily drawn outside with good speed. The best alternative is clearly La Dame Blanche (#3) (4-1). She held her own in tough turf sprint stakes at both Fair Grounds and Keeneland this past winter/spring and appears on edge to fire fresh. She’s often in position to win late, but unless much the best, she usually doesn’t get it done. A – 9 B – 3 C – 1, 6 RACE 7 – Kentucky Downs Preview Tourist Mile The lightly raced Alkhaatam (#3) (15-1) finds the perfect spot for his turf debut. Off dominating dirt wins at Oaklawn Park and Churchill Downs, he tested deep waters in the Stephen Foster Stakes (G2). Off slowly losing three lengths, he was in very tight on the first turn and then failed to compete thereafter. He has speed and some grass influences in the pedigree and will likely fly under the radar here. Mr Cub (#7) (9-2) hasn’t run since February, but with his A-game, he’s as good as any of these. He’s run well fresh in the past, and trainer Ian Wilkes appears to have him sitting on go here. Hot Springs (#2) (8-1) enjoyed a sensational three-year-old campaign, but he’s found the competition against elder rivals to be much more difficult. I could have easily put him in the A column, but the lack of early speed pushed him back to a B. That being said, the 8-1 morning line is entirely too high. The likely favorite Mr. Misunderstood (#10) (2-1) is likely to be over-utilized for Pick 5 purposes. He gutted out a win in this race last year, but is he the same horse? He didn’t have the greatest trip, but he was a little flat in the return run on June 27. A – 3, 7 B – 2, 10 C – 6, 11 Race 8 – Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Sprint After scoring consecutive turf sprint victories, Totally Boss (#6) (3-1) was much the best in the stakes caliber allowance at Churchill Downs on June 29, but he circumstantially lost by a nose to the classy favorite Om. In tight between horses early, he checked hard on the turn and nearly lost the rider. He surged deep stretch, but just missed. With a fair trip, if he holds his form, the rest of these are running for second money. A – 6 C – 3, 5, 9, 10. 11 Race 9 – Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Turf Hanalei Moon (#8) (3-1) ran huge when winning at Fair Grounds on December 15. She followed up with a respectable third in a turf stakes and then subsequently took six months off. She resurfaced at Indiana Grand last out and closed strongly for place behind a sharp winner. I think she still has some upside. Peru (#1) (10-1) has been a disappointment of late, but there are reasons to believe she’ll bounce back in a big way. In the paddock June 23 to run on turf, the race was taken off last minute following a flash storm. The two races prior to that were at 1 1/2 miles, a distance I’m not sure she wants. She gets Corey Lanerie here and might not get the respect she deserves. Stave (#2) (7-2) might enjoy the winning trip and Smart Shot (#9) (5-1) is better than she ran last out. A run back to her second behind Mom’s On Strike two back would make her a major player here. Pinched out at the start losing seven lengths, she made a huge middle move and sustained it to the wire. A – 1, 8 B – 2, 9 C – 3, 5, 6, 7 Race 10 – Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup Hello Don Julio (#3) (9-2) is a proven commodity over a distance on turf. Off to an awkward start in his return from a nine-month layoff last out at Indiana Grand, he chased Real Story all the way around the turf and finished a good second. That race should serve as a perfect springboard to this assignment. The class of the field, Bigger Picture (#7) (2-1) is a must use. He’s extremely consistent, in excellent form, and the distance suits him to a tee. If you’re looking for a bomb, Zero Gravity (#8) (20-1) and My Boy Jack (#2) (15-1) might fit the bill. They closed strongly into a super slow pace in a June 28 allowance at Churchill Downs, and both horses have a right to take a solid step forward here. Nessy (#1) (6-1) doesn’t win as often as he should, but he’s proven over distance and is very well drawn on the rail with the right kind of rider aboard. A – 3, 7 B – 1, 2, 8 C – 5, 6, 9 TICKETS Tiny budget (all A’s) 9 with 3, 7 with 6 with 1, 8 with 3, 7 = $3 Medium budget (all A’s and B’s) 3, 9 with 2, 3, 7, 10 with 6 with 1, 2, 8, 9 with 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 = $48 Focused/Spread Big Budget ticket (two strongest A’s with B’s and C’s) 9 with 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11 with 6 with 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 with 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 = $192 PHOTO: Ellis Park (c) Coady Photography/Ellis Park