Tapit Stakes and Kentucky Downs spot plays for Sept. 1

September 1st, 2022

A competitive field of 12, with three also-eligibles, will compete in the $400,000 Tapit S. on Thursday, the opening day of Kentucky Downs’ seven-day meet.

Below we examine the one-mile-and-70-yard turf event for three-year-olds and offer our top picks in a handful of other races on the opening-day card.

Race 4: one mile, $150,000 maiden special weight

There's a lot to like about #11 Margaret Burbidge (3-1) in her second career start for trainer Wesley Ward. While the Twirling Candy filly finished fourth in the five-furlong Colleen S. at Monmouth Park in her debut, she has a chance to break her maiden in her first try at a route distance.

Ward is a 20% winner with horses making their second career start, an 18% winner with first-time route runners, and a 33% winner with horses running their second race on grass, while hot jockey Gerardo Corrales (12-4-1-1 in the last seven days) is picking up the mount.

Margaret Burbidge's pedigree also suggests she'll enjoy the stretch-out in distance, making her a logical choice against a number of first-time starters.

Race 7: one mile, $180,000 allowance

#1 Therapist (7-2) is listed as a slight favorite among a 12-horse field, but drew an unfavorable spot along the rail. #7 Accredit (10-1) is an intriguing longshot who wired the 1 5/16-mile Dueling Grounds Derby a year ago at this track and can best the favorite with the right trip.

Today will be the four-year-old's first start since his win, but he's posted a number of sharp workouts in the lead-up to his 2022 debut, and trainer Pavel Matejka is a 19% winner with horses coming off long layoffs, as well as a 17% winner on turf.

Rafael Bejarano will pick up the mount.

Race 8: 6 1/2 furlongs, $160,000 allowance

Brad Cox and Florent Geroux are a dangerous combo on turf, making #8 Shannon (3-1) an enticing play in this sprint for fillies and mares. The Nyquist four-year-old will make her second start for Cox after finishing second by a half-length in a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint at Ellis Park with Joe Talamo aboard.

The rider switch to Flo, a 30% winner with Cox in his last 20 rides, is likely the winning formula for Shannon. Cox is also a 28% winner with horses making their second start off a layoff and a 31% winner with horses beaten as the favorite last out.

Race 9: Tapit S., one mile and 70 yards

Morning-line favorite #12 In Love (7-2) makes a drop in class for trainer Paulo Lobo after finishing eighth in the Manhattan (G1) at Belmont on June 11. The six-year-old gelding has not won since his 1 1/2-length triumph in the Keeneland Turf Mile (G1) in October 2021, and will make his first start in 82 days.

In Love can be beaten by Bill Mott trainee #6 Floriform (9-2), who finished second by a nose last out in a one-mile optional claimer at Saratoga. The Into Mischief colt bested race rival #5 Atone (4-1), who was cross-entered in Saturday's Mint Million and opted for the latter race.

Mike Maker pupil #11 Megacity (5-1) is another potential value play who showed good speed when winning the 1 1/8-mile Texas Turf Classic and may appreciate the cutback to today's distance, where the seven-year-old City Zip gelding is 11-4-0-2 lifetime.