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, but on the flipside, some of the Kentucky invaders might not be as good as they look on paper.
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 – LIBERTY’S PURSUIT (#5) (12-1)
Intended to run on turf in his second career start, this big ticket son of Curlin did improve considerably off the debut. Placed in a stalking position over the sloppy main track, he made a bid on the turn but could not go with the top pair late.
Comment: Based mostly on the $850,000 sales price, the connections hope this guy can at least run a positive race off an eight-plus month layoff. He certainly looks to be up against it here.
Race 2 – DONTBLAMEROCKET (#2) (4-1)
Chased the even pace of a talented winner on April 27 and finished with energy without posing a serious threat. Enjoyed a ground-saving trip on May 24, split rivals late and then evened out a bit. Did have the advantage of being able to close into a hot pace that day.
Comment: He fits very well under the starter allowance conditions, should enjoy a ground-saving trip from the rail, and one would think that he can handle the nine-furlong distance successfully. The presence of Mo Maverick (#8) (8-5) assures an honest pace. I’d certainly lean towards using him.
Race 10 – SANDY LANE KITTEN (#4) (5-1)
Forwardly placed over a firm turf that certainly had some moisture in it and favored off-the-pace types on May 19, he was stuck in tight between horses and raced evenly thereafter.
Comment: Through Thursday’s action, Ken and Sarah Ramsey had one win from seven starts at the current Saratoga stand and you know Danny Gargan would love to get them another one. This lightly-raced four-year-old colt drops in off a 10-week layoff and adds blinkers. It’s go time. Must use.
PHOTO: Saratoga scenic (c) NYRA/Coglianese Photography