A pair of lucrative stakes races on the lawn will highlight the Thursday card at Kentucky Downs.

Dueling Grounds Derby

The $750,000 event will be contested at 1 5/16 miles and attracted a field of a dozen sophomores. 2019 Bourbon (G3) victor #6 Peace Achieved (9-2) had a useful prep for Thursday when an even fourth in the Caesars S. at Indiana Grand in his 3-year-old bow. Declaration of War colt was a daylight winner of the Juvenile S. on this course last campaign, and I will side with the bay at a fair price with Florent Geroux taking the reins.

Wagers:

  • $20 Win and Place: #6 Peace Achieved ($40)
  • $1 Exacta: 6 with all ($11)

Dueling Grounds Oaks

The 3-year-old fillies will get their turn in a $500,000 affair at 1 5/16 miles. A total of 15 are entered (three are on the also-eligible list) in a race that could come down to the pair of favorites.

I prefer #5 Stunning Sky (3-1) for Mike Maker. Daughter of Declaration of War comes off a pair of fantastic tries on the Saratoga turf when runner-up in both the Lake Placid (G2) and Saratoga Oaks. Bay filly has knocked on the door on a few occasions in the stakes ranks and seems poised for a breakthrough on Thursday. Irad has the call.

Bill Mott’s #9 Harvey’s Lil Goil (9-5) was game on the Churchill Downs lawn when eclipsing the Regret (G3) two back, and the American Pharoah lass was last seen finishing a good third in the Alabama (G1) on the dirt, as well. Classy and versatile filly makes a lot of sense in this spot with Jose Ortiz riding. 

Wagers:

  • $20 Win: #5 Stunning Sky ($20)
  • $.50-cent Trifecta: 5,9 with 5,9 with all ($10)
  • $.50-cent Trifecta: 5,9 with all with 5,9 ($10)