Ellis Park Pick 3 featuring the Dueling Grounds Derby Preview

August 4th, 2023

Ellis Park will host a trio of $200,000 stakes on Saturday, including the Ladies Turf Sprint, Dueling Grounds Derby Preview, and Turf Mile as part of Kentucky Downs Preview Days.

Below we look at the three stakes, which make up the final three races (7-9) on the card, and provide spot plays as well as a Pick 3 ticket.

$1 Pick 3: 1, 10 with 7, 10 with 4, 9, 11 ($12)

Race 7: Ladies Turf Sprint S., 5 1/2 furlongs (turf), fillies and mares 3yo and up

#10 Quaria Comet (4-1) could be dangerous while moving up in class for Paulo Lobo, who’s 17-6-2-0 this meet. The Shackleford filly last romped to a three-length victory in a $100K allowance optional claimer at Churchill on May 27 while recording a 93 Brisnet Speed figure, the highest last race speed rating among the field. The four-year-old will return off a two-month layoff and has posted a number of sharp four-furlong workouts ahead of this event.

In the first leg of our Pick 3 ticket, we'll also include #1 Bay Storm (8-5), who failed as the favorite to Poppy Flower when a one-length fourth in the six-furlong Intercontinental (G3) at Belmont last out, and was second to next-out Jaipur S. (G1) winner Caravel two back in the Unbridled Sidney S. at Churchill on May 5. Trained by Jonathan Thomas, the five-year-old is eligible to improve off a two-month layoff. She’ll pick up hot jockey Florent Geroux, a 42% winner to start the Ellis meet.

Race 8: Dueling Grounds Derby Preview, 1 1/8 miles (turf), 3yos

#10 Wadsworth (8-5) is a nose shy of a 2-for-2 record since switching to turf and got up to win by a length in the 1 1/16-mile American Derby at Ellis July 1. The Brad Cox pupil flashed a 91 BRIS figure last out and beat today’s race rival and third-place finisher Desert Duke by three lengths. Geroux (5-for-12 this meet) will stay in the saddle, while Cox is a 44% winner this meet as well as a 30% winner with horses that won their last race.

Wadsworth is a viable single but we'll also play intriguing longshot #7 Anglophile (12-1). The English Channel colt won last out in a 1 1/4-mile allowance at Ellis while recording a 97 BRIS figure and 101 Late Pace rating. Trainer Brian Lynch is a 20% winner this meet and a 23% winner in non-graded stakes. Rider Declan Cannon has also been red hot, going 21-7-3-3 at the track, and Anglophile is 2-for-3 at Ellis.

Race 9: Mint Millions Turf Mile, one mile (turf), 3yo and up

Morning line favorite #7 Fuerteventura (5-2) got up to win by a nose when facing five rivals in the Brooks Fields Mile at Canterbury last out and will go for his third straight win for Jonathan Thomas, a 23% winner in non-graded stakes. The Summer Front gelding will retain the services of Geroux in his first start in 45 days, but we’ll try to beat the four-year-old with #4 Gray’s Fable (3-1), who flashed a 94 BRIS figure when a length second to Camp Hope in an allowance optional claimer at Churchill on June 1.

The Gio Ponti eight-year-old has not won in six starts, but his most recent win came at Ellis Park when winning the Turf Mile last August, and he'll pick up Cannon, who's 11-for-28 at Ellis. 

In the final leg of our Pick 3 ticket, we'll include #9 Play Action Pass (8-1), who may improve third start off the layoff for Robert Medina, a 22% winner in non-graded stakes. The Cairo Prince colt will drop in class after finishing eighth in the Wise Dan (G2) and finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Gray’s Fable two back at Churchill. Joseph Ramos, a 25% winner on turf, will pick up the mount on the gray four-year-old, who’s 2-for-3 at Ellis.

Let's also add #11 Underdressed (15-1), a versatile Keen Ice gelding who was nailed at the wire by a nose in the 1 1/16-mile Jonathan B. Schuster Memorial S. at Horseshoe Indianapolis after winning a one-mile allowance optional claimer at the same track. Three back, he posted a career-best 95 BRIS figure in an allowance taken off the turf at Horseshoe, and will make for an excellent play should Saturday's forecast of rain result in a surface switch at Ellis as well. The four-year-old is 3-for-4 at today's distance, and he'll retain the services of jockey Orlando Mojica.