A challenging all-stakes Pick 5 at Kentucky Downs features big fields and a 14% takeout. I did not land on a single in the sequence, and will play against several potentially vulnerable favorites on the morning line.
Race 7 – Ladies Turf (G3)
#3 Tapit Today is my top choice. Listed at 5-1, the 5-year-old mare makes her second start back from a freshening following a solid fourth in the Matchmaker (G3) in which she threatened to win before coming up 1 3/4 lengths short. The Chad Brown trainee has showed improved tactical speed in both starts this season and should receive the right up-close trip with Javier Castellano.
I will try to beat probable favorite Regal Glory, who has lost ground in the stretch of both starts this year after even trips, but turf debuter #7 Lady Apple will be added to the ticket. A sibling to three turf winners, Lady Apple appears to be training forwardly for Steve Asmussen, and the multiple graded scorer fits well in this spot if she runs to her breeding.
Race 8 – Ladies Sprint (G3)
Willing to fade Got Stormy, who has lost all five starts this year and hung last time after rallying to even terms in upper stretch of the Fourstardave (G1). She doesn’t appear to have the same interest in racing.
#10 Jakarta was transferred to Mike Maker this year and after a couple of disappointing efforts in June, the 5-year-old mare rebounded with a good second in the Aug. 1 Caress S. at Saratoga. Luis Saez retains the mount on the early 10-1 shot, and Jakarta is eligible to keep moving forward with a front-running victory. With Kimari scratching, #2 I’llhandlethecash will be added. The 4-year-old filly posted a nice stakes win over Dalika two back and I’ll look for an improved effort after a troubled sixth last time.
Race 9 – Juvenile Turf Sprint S.
#9 Outadore made a fine impression when graduating with authority in his debut for Wesley Ward, recording a widening 2 3/4-length decision at Saratoga. The Outlook colt rates as the one to beat on the front end here with Irad Ortiz Jr.
#6 Bodenheimer won at first asking by 11 lengths on Canterbury Park’s turf, and the Washington-bred son of Atta Boy Roy exits a game win in a Prairie Meadows stakes on dirt. Trainer Valorie Lund knows how to ship in for stakes, taking the 2010 Churchill Downs Sprint (G2) with Turf Paradise invader Atta Boy Roy at 10-1, and I’ll include the undefeated colt with the possible favorite.
Race 10 – Kentucky Turf Cup (G3)
A full field of 12 is set for the $1 million event, and defending champ #10 Zulu Alpha will take some beating. The confirmed closer will be used at short odds, but the 7-year-old gelding must avoid leaving himself too much to do with his run style.
#6 Postulation is my top pick. The 8-year-old gelding returned from a near eight-month layoff with a sharp front-running effort in the July 12 Elkhorn (G2) at Keeneland, leading until being caught by Zulu Alpha in deep stretch, and has won a stakes race in the second start off the layoff previously. A head second in the 2017 Kentucky Turf Cup, Postulation has shown an affinity for the course and should be forward from the start in a field lacking pace. #5 Arklow captured the 2018 edition and adds blinkers off a short freshening for Brad Cox. He’s eligible to sit a good trip just off the early leaders.
Race 11 – Turf Sprint (G3)
#3 Front Run the Fed has been freshened off a sharp win over a stakes-quality allowance field at Belmont in early July, with runner-up Delaware going favored in the King Edward (G2) next out and third-placer Chewing Gum being favored in the Troy (G3). Brown probably didn’t want to run the improving turf sprinter over 5 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga, and Front Run the Fed has proven that he runs well off a short rest. I like the 4-year-old’s chances with Castellano.
#9 Imprimis will also be used after proving much the best in the Aug. 8 Troy (disqualified by stewards), his first start since November. The 6-year-old possesses good tactical speed and can show more after finishing fourth as the favorite in this race last year.
50-cent All-Stakes Pick 5 ticket (races 7-11)
3,9 with 2,10 with 6,9 with 5,6,10 with 3,9
Ticket Cost = $24