This Saturday is the third and perhaps best day of the annual Kentucky Downs five-day boutique race meet. The 10-race card features five stakes races worth $3.2 million in purses, and the five stakes races will encompass an All-Stakes Late Pick 5.
On a day of great races and big fields, perhaps the most bettable race on the card will be Race 6 – the race that starts Pick 5 sequence – the $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint. The 6 1/2-furlong race for two-year-olds will feature a full wide-open field of 12 that is prime for a big payoff in the exacta.
Here are four horses to use in all of your Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint exotics plays:
KENTUCKY DOWNS RACE 6, KENTUCKY DOWNS JUVENILE TURF SPRINT EXOTICS PICKS:
CAMBRIA (#4) (12-1) goes out for win-early two-year-old trainer Wesley Ward, who also excels in turf sprints. Cambria is one of only two horses in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint field with two wins. Both victories were on a synthetic track at Presque Isle Downs, but the horse has been drilling bullets on dirt at Keeneland and is also bred to be good on the grass. Races for the right connections, has a powerful finish in shorter sprints which indicates this 6 1/2-furlong distance will be right up his alley, and will be dangerous if able to produce the expected improvement with the switch to the turf.
PRINCE OF THIEVES (#8) (10-1) won at first asking in a turf sprint at Ellis Park with a strong run from the back half of the field in a 5 1/2-furlong dash that indicates he’ll be even better at this 6 1/2-furlong distance. Trainer Mark Casse has become one of Kentucky Downs’ top trainers the last couple years, and although they are sometimes overlooked in favor of flashier horses, invaders from Ellis Park win more races at Kentucky Downs than from any track other than Saratoga.
CHIMNEY ROCK (#9) (7-2) comes out of his maiden win at Saratoga in what was his third career try but first try ever in a turf sprint. Looked impressive winning from off the pace at The Spa and earned a strong BRIS Speed figure for that performance which is the top figure in this field. Kentucky Downs’ leading connections, trainer Mike Maker and jockey Jose Ortiz – who was the leading rider at Saratoga and rode this horse’s win there – add to the appeal here.
AXIOMO (#12) (8-1) began his career back in June with a very good turf sprint win at Churchill Downs over next-out winner Field Pass, and then won again in his second start in a dirt allowance race at Indiana Grand, making him one of the two two-time winners in this race along with Cambria. No dice last time in the Ellis Park Juvenile on dirt, but now gets back on the grass for the first time since his winning career debut, and is now more mature, more experienced, and should be even better than when last seen on the turf. Races for lower-profile connections that are unlikely to get bet, but has a legit chance in this race nonetheless.
Bet Cambria (#4) (12-1), Prince of Thieves (#8) (10-1), Chimney Rock (#9) (7-2) and Axiomo (#12) (8-1) in exacta boxes, and you will have a good mix of live longshots on your ticket along with the solid morning-line favorite. In such a big wide open field of 12 horses with several legit contenders, the exacta in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint should offer a solid return. Best of luck!
TOURIST MILE (FOUR-HORSE) EXOTICS WAGERS:
$2 Exacta Box 4, 8, 9, 12 = $24
PHOTO: Kentucky Downs (c) Coady Photography/Kentucky Downs