Tuesday, September 15, 2020

With the rail at 0 feet Saturday for the first time this meet, it looked like we’d have a paved expressway down on the inside when 30-1 longshot Tia Flor went gate-to-wire in the opener, but then the showers hit, and it continued to rain throughout the remainder of the 11-race card. The course certainly needed it, but by the end of race day, the kickback was quite noticeable.

Even with the yielding then soft turf conditions, the results were very formful. Eight of the winners were 7-2 or less, with a 5-1 and 8-1 mixed in. Mike Maker won four consecutive races (2-5) and Wesley Ward answered with a win of his own. They are currently tied at six apiece with two days to play. The Ortiz brothers combined for six wins with Irad bagging four of those. Tyler Gaffalione, who had a riding double of his own on Saturday, still tops the standings with an 8-for-31 mark. Irad Ortiz moved up into second (5 for 18).

It rained quite a bit on Sunday, and the decision to back up the card to Tuesday was undoubtedly a good one. Monday was beautiful and the forecast for Tuesday is exceptional, but some give in course will likely remain. I’ll walk the course prior to the races and post a Twitter video @JoeyDaKRacing, so stay tuned.

With the top pick listed first, “A” horses are in order or preference. Remember, the takeout on Pick 4 and Pick 5 wagers at Kentucky Downs is only 14%, so take advantage!

1st Race – Pick 5 starts here

Washed off the turf for his second career start, #2 Treasury showed plenty of heart in a runner-up performance. #7 Telephone Talker just missed in his lone turf try, and his human team has been lethal this meet.

  • A – 2, 7
  • B — 4
  • C – 5

2nd Race – Pick 4 starts here

#6 Gamblin Train ran some big races as a 3-year-old, but her form tailed off as the season wore on, and her 2020 debut was uninspiring. The class drop should awaken her.

  • A – 6
  • B — 8
  • C – 1, 4, 3, 7

3rd Race

With a turf pedigree, sharp works and a solid team, #10 Golden Glow looks like a live wire here. Of those who have raced, #9 Becca’s Rocket stands out off a pair of solid runner-up performances, the first of which came on turf.

  • A – 10, 9
  • B – 3, 5
  • C – 8, 1, 6, 2

4th Race

In what doesn’t appear to be a very strong race for the level, #5 Zero to Sixty is a bit of a standout. She won her debut in very professional fashion and has posted a trio of works since.

  • A – 5
  • B — 8
  • C – 7, 1, 6

5th Race

The veteran #2 Kurilov has put together a nice career, but the way he ran on turf two back, he should probably stay on the surface. If he runs back to that race against lesser competition here, he’ll be tough to beat.

  • A – 2
  • B – 1, 5
  • C – 6, 8, 9

6th Race

Perhaps best known for being Mine That Bird’s baby brother, the house horse #6 Copper King has run some solid races without breaking his maiden. He drops in fresh to face the softest group of his career in the turf debut. The pedigree says he should handle the surface just fine.

  • A – 6
  • B — 2
  • C – 5, 8

7th Race – Pick 5 starts here

Second behind a sharp winner here on opening day, #7 Power End returns on short rest for trainer Steve Asmussen. He was successful with this move at Kentucky Downs a couple years ago and is 9 for 38 (24%) with this type over the last five years. #4 Hay Dakota is the most accomplished horse in the field. His most recent run was mildly disappointing, but he’s obviously more than capable at this level.

  • A – 7, 4
  • B – 1, 5

8th Race — Pick 4 starts here

#2 Bee Fast is by English Channel and her dam is a full sister to the classy lawnmower Ritzy A. P. Third sprinting on dirt in the debut, she should take a huge step forward over what should be her preferred surface here. #7 Momentous Miss is the sleeper. Her dam was graded stakes-placed on grass and there are several other turf influences on that side of the family. Both Mike Maker runners – #9 Palm Court and #10 Point of Infinity – must obviously be considered.

  • A – 2, 7, 9, 10
  • C – 5, 4, 3

9th Race

The 6-year-old mare #4 English Affair ran one of the best races of her career last out at Ellis. Perhaps she was aided by the soft turf, or maybe we can take it at face value. I’m leaning towards the latter. #3 Mrs. Sippy just missed behind Sistercharlie last year when she was on top of her game, and in her lone start this year she nearly overcame big-time trouble to score.

  • A – 4, 3
  • C – 6

10th Race

#3 Red Ghost romped in an “off the turf” sprint in her career debut at Saratoga. She’s bred for grass on the dam’s side, and Ward is enjoying a fantastic run at Kentucky Downs. Bet down to 3-1 favoritism in a field of 12 in her career debut at Ellis Park, #8 Lady Edith set fast fractions and kept going. There’s no reason to think she won’t run another big race today.

  • A – 3, 8
  • B — 1
  • C – 11, 10, 9, 5

11th Race

One of the top contenders on the Kentucky Oaks (G1) trail earlier this spring, #8 Finite was given an opportunity to regroup following a disappointing run in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2). It’s easy to forget that she actually broke her maiden in stylish fashion over the Kentucky Downs turf course, and you know the connections are going to have this “house” horse ready to fire a big shot off the bench. #10 Kimari has an amazing turn of foot and this deep closer has trained like the beast she hopes to prove herself to be leading up to this. 

  • A – 8, 10
  • B — 5
  • C – 1, 4, 6