It’s a short meet, but loaded with high quality, big money races. You may not have heard of Kentucky Downs, but it’s the center of the horse racing world this weekend. The track located on the Tennessee/Kentucky border is different than most other US oval shaped course. It looks more like a carabiner shaped key chain with undulations with uphill and downhill sections with all races on turf. The idea was to emulate European style races.
Saturday’s card offers six stakes races with a pair of $1 million races with automatic bids into this year’s Breeders’ Cup. They are all deep, competitive fields and offer horseplayers great chances to find some nice tickets.
Kentucky Downs Betting Picks
FanDuel Turf Sprint Stakes
It’s a distance (6 furlongs) that should slightly favor horses that stalk or close, but you cannot count out the speed types. The winner gets an automatic bid into the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
FAST BOAT (PP: 2 ML 10-1) posted the highest, last race speed figure for this field as was a number that would likely win here too. The same race should equal the same result, but he could be even better in his second start after a layoff. A 21% winner for trainer Joe Sharp.
GOT STORMY (PP: 9 ML 9/2) is taking on the boys and will need to repeat her last race or maybe be a little better to take the trophy here. She has one trip across the course, a 3 ¼ length win where she left the competition in her dust late
BORN GREAT (PP: 5 ML 15-1) is undefeated in a pair of Kentucky Downs races. The five-year-old has finished in the money seven of his nine starts, all on grass, and should be one of the fastest horses late. He’s closed ground on the field in seven of the nine races.
IMPRIMIS (PP: 12 ML 6-1) is another that will likely save his best for last. He knows the way to the winners’ circle, visiting it nine times in 20 races. He hasn’t won in his last three outings. A bullet workout on August 24th suggests the losing streak could end.
Win: #2 FAST BOAT
Exacta Box: 2 FAST BOAT, #5 BORN GREAT, #9 GOT STORMY and #12 IMPRIMIS
Calumet Turf Cup Stakes
It’s a long one, 1 ½ miles on turf, of course. They’ve run four at the distance during the current meet with three of the winners coming from behind to capture the flag. The winner here moves on to the Breeders’ Cup Longines Turf.
CHANNEL CAT (PP: 3 ML 9/2) is a fast cat relative to the rest of the field. Although closers should be where horseplayers normally look for a winner here, CHANNEL CAT could be lone speed, which can be dangerous and hard to beat if he can control the tempo from start to finish.
ARKLOW (PP: 5 ML 3-1) owns the best numbers at the distance by a decent margin. However, he has not looked the part in his last two races. The last time he ran two stinkers in a row, he followed it up with a win in this race last year. Can history repeat or rhyme?
TIDE OF THE SEA (PP: 4 ML 6-1) could ride co-pilot or maybe be in charge if CHANNEL CAT has any issues getting out of the gate in a hurry. Again, pace will be key. Jockey Luis Saez will have to be careful not to get into a speed duel. If they run the right fractions, CHANNEL CAT and TIDE OF THE SEA can run one-two all the way around the track.
GLYNN COUNTRY (PP: 9 ML 15-1) could be the horse that has the most energy late. He’s run some of the strongest, late pace numbers in this field and looks like a horse that is getting better race by race as his speed figures have increased in three consecutive outings.
Win: #3 CHANNEL CAT
Exacta Box: 3 CHANNEL CAT, #4 TIDE OF THE SEA, #5 ARKLOW and #9 GLYNN COUNTRY
Thirteen stalkers/closers have won 13 of the 24 races at 6 ½ furlongs during the current meets. It’s really close to 50/50. That means pace will make the race and the horse that gets the best trip based on their running style should be the winner.
NEXT (PP: 6 ML 5-1) either wins or doesn’t show up. He’s stopped by the winners’ circle in three of seven career outings. The start is normally the key. If he gets off to a good start and is in the lead coming into the stretch, he’s sealed the deal in three of four. When he gets off to a slow start, then he is in trouble.
POINT ME BY (PP: 10 ML 7/2) is a lightly raced horse with just three trips on his resume, winning two and finishing fourth by just ¼ lengths in the other. His speed numbers have dropped from race to race to race in the first three, expecting him to bounce upwards in the fourth start.
INTO THE SUNRISE (PP: 1 ML 12-1) finished third as the public’s choice in his last start. Trainer Wesley Ward rebounds at 33% with beaten favorites. He draws the one post, which has won 25% of the races at the distance and has two sharp workouts coming into this race. He should be ready to go.
COUNTY FINAL (PP: 3 ML 8-1) ran the highest, last race speed figure and should improve off that effort in his second start after nearly eight-months in the barn. Trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Joel Rosario don’t team up that often but have won two of six together.
Win: #6 NEXT
Exacta Box: 1 INTO THE SUNRISE, #3 COUNTY FINAL, #6 NEXT and #10 POINT ME BY
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