Gun Runner S. and Kentucky Downs spot plays for Sept. 14

September 14th, 2022

The Juvenile Mile will kick off an all-stakes Pick 3 including the Gun Runner S. and One Dreamer S. in the ninth through 11th races on closing day at Kentucky Downs on Wed., Sept. 14.

The Gun Runner drew an overflow field of 14, while the Juvenile Mile features 10 two-year-olds, and the One Dreamer S. involves 13 fillies and mares, with one on the also-eligible list.

Below we provide our top picks for each turf race and build a Pick 3 ticket covering the trio of stakes.

Race 9: Juvenile Mile, one mile, two-year-olds (5:57 p.m. ET)

#2 Really Good (5-2) won on debut by 1 1/2 lengths in a maiden special weight at 1 1/16 miles on July 23 at Saratoga. The Mike Maker pupil will make his second career start coming off a 53-day layoff and switches to Kentucky Downs' leading jockey Tyler Gaffalione, a 19% winner this meet who is 12 4-2-1 when paired up with Maker over the last 14 days.

Really Good beat fourth-place finisher #8 Reckoning Force (5-1), who re-opposes here, by 4 1/4 lengths in that race. The Hard Spun colt's main competition looks to be #5 Castleknock (9-2), who won his turf debut at one mile in a maiden special weight at Del Mar for trainer Peter Miller, a 24% winner in non-graded stakes and 23% winner with horses making their second start on grass.

Bernardini son #9 Laver (8-1), out of a Smart Strike mare, is also intriguing from a pedigree standpoint. He'll make his second start after finishing second behind #1 Mayfield Strong (4-1) in a maiden special weight at one mile. Conditioner Rusty Arnold is a 22% winner with horses running their second career race, and Laver's sharp, four-furlong workout at Keeneland on Sept. 5 shows promise.

Race 10: Gun Runner S., one mile, three-year-olds (6:31 p.m. ET)

#6 Fuerteventura (9-2) finished second to multiple stakes winner Annapolis in the 1 1/16-mile Saranac (G3) at Saratoga on Sept. 3 and will cut back to a mile, a distance from which the Summer Front gelding is 1-for-1. He will also get a rider change to hot jockey Gaffalione in his second start off the layoff for Jonathan Thomas, a 32% winner in second starts off a break and a 26% winner with shippers.

Fuerteventura is our top pick, while #12 American Mayhem (4-1) is another strong contender who won a one-mile allowance at Ellis Park on Aug. 26 by 3 3/4 lengths and will move up in class for James DiVito, a 19% winner with horses that won their last race. Jockey Gabriel Saez will retain the mount as American Mayhem goes for his third straight win at today's distance.

Race 11: One Dreamer S., one mile and 70 yards, fillies and mares three years old and up (7:05 p.m. ET)

#8 Navratilova (5-1) was last seen in the 1 1/16-mile Indiana General Assembly Distaff at Horseshoe Indianapolis, where the Medaglia d'Oro four-year-old gained a short lead with an eighth to go before weakening to fifth. A cutback to one mile 70 yards can help the Rusty Arnold trainee get to the winner's circle in her fourth race of the season.

The filly will gain the services of Martin Garcia, a 21% winner on turf, and she has posted a number of fast workouts at Keeneland in preparation of her second career start at Kentucky Downs.

For the Pick 3, we'll add morning line favorite #7 Alms (7-2), who finished a neck second in the 1 1/16-mile Old Nelson S. at Colonial Downs on Aug. 16, and Bill Mott's #10 Poca Mucha (8-1), who flashed a 100 Late Pace rating to close strongly and win a 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claimer at Saratoga on Aug. 3. #2 Burning Ambition (6-1) may also be dangerous in his first try at today's distance while dropping in class for trainer Brad Cox.

50-cent Pick 3: 2,5,9 with 6,12 with 2,7,8,10 ($12)