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 2 – SUGAR CUBE (#4) (8-1) On May 23 over a wet fast track at Churchill, she enjoyed a clear trip in the two-path behind a hot pace over a one-turn mile, was moving on the turn in hand before being hung five-wide, she had aim on the leaders, but evened out to finish third. In the follow-up start on June 7 over a more preferred 1 1/16 miles, she was in tight between horses early behind a slow pace, was covered up on the rail, and then failed to fire. Comment: Eight-year-old mare has won 17 races and now adds blinkers for the first time in what will be her 57th start. Seven furlongs is not her best game, but she fits at the level against a suspect group of foes. Lean towards fading her, but could go either way. Race 4 – EAST MOON (#8) (8-1) In her most recent start at Churchill, she broke alertly, stalked a controlled pace from the pocket, and ran on late to finish second behind the 2-1 favorite. Comment: A career hanger on dirt, she’s actually been more competitive in her limited starts on turf. Worth using only if you’re against Coffee Crush (#6) (2-1), but I’d prefer the German invader Matida (#4) (7-5) and the speedy riser Pugilist (#3) (5-2) over her. Race 8 – JOY OF TREASURE (#6) (7-2) 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 – SKEPTIC (#6) (15-1) This filly has had plenty of ups and downs in her career. When she fits, she often runs well. When it appears that she’s overmatched on paper, she usually runs that way. Her last two starts are a perfect example. On June 15, she lost two lengths at the start but enjoyed a perfect, pressing trip thereafter. In hand off the turn, she drew off as much the best. Last out in the Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2), she led through pedestrian fractions but gave way once headed. Comment: A win looks like a very tough ask, but her speed is important to the pace scenario. Can’t see using her for multi-race purposes, only as a filler at the back end of the tri or super. PHOTO: Saratoga (c) Horsephotos.com