Saturday, September 14
Suntracer and Najjaar, the second- and third-place finishers from the American St Leger, and Arlington Million fifth-placer Temeraine are among the top draws in the Grade 3, $400,000 Kentucky Turf Cup, one of five turf stakes on Saturday’s Kentucky Downs Million Day program.
The G3 Kentucky Turf Cup is run at the 1 1/2-mile distance used for the Breeders’ Cup Turf — and annuallly attracts competitors from some of the most respected connections in racing — from owners to trainers to jockeys.
Joining the Kentucky Turf Cup on Saturday will be Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies, Kentucky Downs Juvenile, Kentucky Downs Turf Dash, and Franklin-Simpson Mile when total purses for the 10 race card will reach $1,374,000
The $150,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies kicks off the stakes action with a field of nine two-year-old fillies at seven furlongs. La Mejor Fiesta rates as a top contender following her runner-up effort in the July 13 Tippett at Colonial Downs for Wesley Ward, and Lien on Kitten figures to be well-supported following a nice debut victory on Arlington’s turf for Ken and Sarah Ramsey and Wayne Catalano. J J Julep is another maiden winner of note, scoring by 6 1/4 lengths when trying turf at Ellis Park last out.
The $150,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile features eight youngsters over seven panels and marks the U.S. return of Here’s Johnny, who exits a close fourth versus stakes foes in Deauville, France, on August 15. The Ward charge easily won at first asking on Churchill Downs’ turf on June 14. Catalano appears well-represented by a pair of uncoupled maiden winners in Mister Special and School on a Hill. Tom Amoss will send out Sweet Daddy, who closed strongly to break his maiden on the weeds at Indiana Downs, and Dale Romans is responsible for Pure Luxury, who did not disappoint when taking his first career outing as the favorite at Ellis.
The $150,000 Kentucky Downs Turf Dash has attracted an overflow of 13, including an also-eligible, and Good Lord will make a title defense in the six-furlong affair. The six-year-old gelding registered his first turf success when posting a 2 1/4-length victory last year and returns in good form for trainer Forest Kaelin, easily winning the July 20 Don Bernhardt at Ellis last out. Top rivals include multiple Grade 3 winner Havelock, 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint hero Regally Ready, multiple stakes victor Saint Leon and the classy turf-sprinting mare Sweet Cassiopeia.
A well-matched field of 11 is set for the $150,000 Franklin-Simpson Mile. Depeche Chat surprised at 13-1 when running off to a 6 1/2-length decision in the one-mile affair last year and could be overlooked once again after recording a dull fifth versus allowance rivals in his 2013 bow at Indiana Downs on July 19. The Pizza Man will cut back in trip following a fast-closing third in the Stars and Stripes and Coalport enters in good form, winning three of his last four starts. Other runners of note include Ol Army, Trend and Utley.
Bet the Kentucky Turf Cup and Kentucky Downs horse racing online with TwinSpires.com and watch it live on TwinSpiresTV.
Kentucky Downs Wagering
With low takeout rates and full fields of horses expected to compete in its lucrative races, Kentucky Downs will present enticing wagering opportunities during its 21st season of racing on Sept. 7, 11, 14, 18 and 25.
The $18.25% takeout on Exacta wagers on Kentucky Downs’ races is the lowest in North America. The track will have a low 14% takeout on its new Pick 5 bet. The takeout on Win, Place and Show wagering is 16% and is 19% on the remaining exotic wagers.
“Kentucky Downs offers some of the best betting value anywhere,” said Jeff Platt, President of the Horseplayers Association of North America (HANA), an organization which promotes issues important to racing fans. “Exacta takeout is the lowest in North America. Combine that with a 19% takeout on other exotic bets and great average field size, and I am not surprised that the handle trend is up.”
“HANA’s recognition of our product offering means a great deal, because we want Kentucky Downs to be known as the ‘Horseplayers’ Racetrack,’” Kentucky Downs President Corey Johnsen said. “Providing value to the betting public drives every decision we make.
Our goal is to present quality racing run over a safe, consistent race course with an attractive takeout structure and wagering menu.”
In addition to $2 Win, Place and Show wagering, Kentucky Downs will offer $1 Exacta wagers
and $1 Rolling Doubles, while minimum wagers of 50 cents will be available on the Trifecta, Pick 3, Superfecta, Pick 4, Pick 5 and Super Hi-5.
Kentucky Turf Cup Past Winners
Past winners of the Kentucky Turf Cup have come from the barns of some of the most respected trainers in racing and have been ridden by jockeys whose names and records are very familiar to fans of Thoroughbred racing.
|2012||Ioya Bigtime||Jeffrey Sanchez||Chris Block||Team Block||2:30.06|
|2011||Rahystrada||Greta Kuntzweiler||Byron “Scooter” Hughes||Robert Courtney Jr.||2:32.40|
|2010||Rezif||Greta Kuntzweiler||Matthew Jacobsen||Sexton/Jacobson/Baughman||2:44.74|
|2009||Cloudy’s Knight||Rosemary Homeister, Jr.||Jonathan E. Sheppard||S J Stables LLC||2:33.96|
|2008||Rumor Has It||Eddie Perez||David H. Hinsley||W. Patterson/J. Glenn||2:28.27|
|2007||General Jumbo||Jeremy Rose||H. Graham Motion||Thomas Conway||2:26.98|
|2006||Embossed||Larry Melancon||Niall O’Callaghan||Gary A. Tanaka||2:36.92|
|2005||Silverfoot||Rafael Bejarano||Dallas Stewart||Chrysalis Stables||2:30.30|
|2004||Sabiango||Brice Blanc||Tim Yakteen||Monty Roberts||2:33.70|
|2003||Rochester||Eddie Martin, Jr.||Jonathan Sheppard||Augustine Stable||2:31.39|
|2002||Rochester||Eddie Martin, Jr.||Jonathan Sheppard||Augustine Stable||2:38.28|
|2001||Chorwon||Jon Court||Hal R. Wiggins||Thomas C. Mueller||2:28.68|
|2000||Down The Aisle||Robby Albarado||William I. Mott||Charles H. Deters||2:27.70|
|1999||Fahris||Shane Sellers||Kiaran McLaughlin||Sabine Stable||2:29.60|
|1998||Yaqthan||Brian Peck||Anthony Reinstedler||Merdonmar Stable||2:27.60|
|1995||Lassigny||Pat Day||William I. Mott||Saud al Kabeer||2:30.60|
|1994||Lindon Lime||Shane Sellers||W. Elliott Walden||F. Mansell||2:31.40|
|1993||Know Heights||Kent Desormeaux||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||M. Sloan||2:25.60|
|1992||Drummer Boy||Garrett Gomez||Dennis W. Ebert||E. Ebert||2:28.40|
|1991||Silver Medallion||Craig Perret Philip||M. Hauswald||John A. Franks||2:31.30|
About Kentucky Downs
Located near the Kentucky – Tennessee border on Interstate 65 and 35 miles north of Nashville, Kentucky Downs is a year round entertainment center that offers live racing in September, simulcasting seven days a week, pari-mutuel wagering on histor
ical horse races, charitable gaming, dining and other events. Horses compete on the unique 1 5/16-mile European style turf course, which features subtle elevation changes, a sweeping turn into the stretch run and a quarter-mile run from the end of the final turn to the finish line.