Catching My Eye: Rail Down at Kentucky Downs

September 14th, 2022

Saturday, September 10

The rail was down last weekend at Kentucky Downs and that set up some big runs from horses able to stay tight throughout, while further flattering a few who were able to overcome the track profile to get the win.

Give me Arrest Me Red out of the Grade 2 Turf Sprint. The winner and place-finisher had much better trips over a course that favored runners on the rail. Winner Bran and the favorite Arrest Me Red ran near each other throughout but with every fork in their path, Bran was able to cut inside while Arrest Me Red took the high road. Coming for home, he didn't run comfortably, instead of extending his stride it grew more compact and tentative. This is the type of thing we want to notice when dealing with what is basically an entirely different surface at Kentucky Downs.

Graded Stakes winner Red Knight is back. Since transferring over from Bill Mott’s care, the speed figures in his two races out of the Michael Maker barn might not stack up compared to who he’ll face in the Breeders’ Cup this November. But all the better for his backers. Let’s look closer and see why. 

Winning the Grade 2 Turf Cup Stakes at Kentucky Downs on Saturday, he broke from the rail but ended up traveling wide throughout, covering more ground and over the worse going than Gufo and Another Mystery. His race prior at Colonial Downs, he lost four lengths and all his momentum when a horse went down in front of him. Still he was able to win. Maker does fantastic work with older long-distance turf horses, and I give him every shot in the 1 1/2 miles Breeders’ Cup Turf against the US turf entrants … we’ll just have to see about the formidability of the Euros who ship over. 

After Saturday's win in the Grade 3 Ladies Sprint Stakes, I am officially a Campanelle (IRE) convert. Traveling wide and against the track profile she was able to take on a formful field that included many fillies who have had success over Kentucky Downs' tricky course. This is a versatile Wesley Ward four-year-old who has traveled back and forth overseas, winning at various sprint distances and on all sorts of going. 

Monday, September 5

Real Money and Real News are two I am tabbing coming out of the Race 1, a $50,000 claiming sprint on Monday. Both have had their successes at shorter sprint distances, but both regressed in terms of speed figure at Kentucky Downs. I think this effort will tee up a big run in their next outing.

Real Money broke sharp and ran in the hunt early while going downhill but as soon as the final uphill bend came, this runner said no thanks and finished 5th. He wants shorter, and should be ready to strut his stuff for Mark Casse next out.

Real News also broke well and was in good early position, showing a nice stride downhill and surging some coming home. Even though this guy ran like a horse praying for the wire, he still kept finding in the final stages, finishing in third. Next up will be his second-start for Eddie Kenneally, and he’ll be live.

I’m a big fan of Arlyne’s Crown. From the debut with Joe Duhon to the next four races with Jeff Hiles, this three-year-old filly is 5-for-5 in the money. She rockets out of the gate, has a beautiful rhythm to her stride, and never folds late. 

At Kentucky Downs, she was on the lead and pressured throughout. You could see her searching for better ground late, not loving the uphill challenge, but she was figuring it out as she went and regained her composure to just get beat to the wire by a stalker who took advantage of the pace set-up. Fit and ready to run through the wire next outing.