The Sunday card is highlighted by the Grade 1 Juddmonte Spinster, featuring the excellent mare, Letruska. There’s also the Castle and Key Bourbon Stakes today, which, like the Spinster, is a Win and You’re In Race for the Breeders’ Cup next month. Yesterday’s all stakes Pick-5 paid over $2,700 with two heavy favorites winning the first two legs. I think there’s a similar scenario that could be developing on this card with the Late Pick-5 sequence today.
|6||3,4,8||10,13||DBL, PK3, PK5,
|7||8||6||7||DBL, PK3, PK4|
Race 6: Top Pick: 3
The Turf Pick-3 and the Late Pick-5 start with this wide open N1X allowance race for fillies and mares going 1 Mile and 1/8 on the turf course. I’m not sold on two of the shorter prices, Longpants Required (1) and morning line favorite, I Hear You (12). I’m going to make a case for a bomb here, making Ice Queen (3) my top pick at 20-1 on the morning line. She ran a big race in her second start of 2021 when she broke her maiden at Ellis two starts back. She met a few of these in a 1 Mile and 5/16 race at this level last out at Kentucky Downs, where she had a miserable trip. She seemed to get a little keen on the downhill part of the course on the backside. She was steadied out at the bottom of the hill and relegated to the back of the pack. She made another move in the stretch before taking a bad step when she was levelling off. She is not nearly as bad as her last race and I’m thinking she’ll almost certainly offer some value. Tammany (4) could be a gate to wire candidate in this race and another one that could pay well, starting off at 10-1 on the morning line. Three of the four winners in turf races on yesterday’s card led every step of the way. She has a good post and very little speed inside of her, and very little speed to contend with in general. She struggled at long odds in the TVG Stakes last out at Kentucky Downs, but that was a very deep field. She gets significant class relief in this spot and s yet another live runner in here. Suki (8) is the one shorter priced horse that makes a lot of sense to me in this spot. She ships in from Del Mar, beating $50K starter allowance foes last out. She’s never run a bad race in her five starts on grass, winning twice, and never finishing more than a length and a half behind the winner. This is a step up in class, but it’s not the deepest field for the condition. Social Dilemma (10) comes back to two turn racing after running an even effort in a 6 and ½ Furlong sprint at Kentucky Downs last out. She was second or third in her four previous tries at this level. She also makes some sense in here. Charges Dropped (13) is one to upgrade if she draws in off the AE list. She’ll need to work out a trip if she does get to compete, but she’s been very good in most of her starts, including a game third place finish last out at Kentucky Downs. Kentucky Downs participants have been running very well again on the grass at this meet.
Race 7: Top Pick: 8
Two year old fillies go one mile in this optional claiming/N1X allowance race. Longshots ran very well in the race on yesterday’s card for the male counterparts however, I think the shorter priced horses make a lot of sense in this race. Code for Success (8) was 4th behind Hidden Connection, who was absolutely devastating in the Pocohontas. She has the two turn experience and gets class relief in this race today. Manasota Sunset (6) adds blinkers after finishing third in stakes company last out at Ellis. I like horses sired by Outwork going to two turn races. Joe Sharp does well going from sprint to routes, winning 19% of the time since 2020. Let’s Be Clear (7) was second in a scratch depleted edition of the PG Johnson Stakes at Saratoga that was taken off the turf and run on the main track. She’s never finished worse than second in three starts, but even though she’s coming out of a stakes race, she feels like a horse that’s moving up in class.
Race 8: The $200K Indian Summer Stakes Presented by Keeneland Select: Top Pick: 7
Wesley Ward sends out a pair of fillies to take on the two year old boys in this stakes race that serves as a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint on the Future Stars Friday card. Averly Jane (7) is the one I want making her turf debut. While I don’t love taking short prices on horses trying new things, she looks like she is faster than these. She has beaten the boys handily in her last two stakes races on the dirt, winning the Kentucky Juvenile Stakes back in April and the off the turf Skidmore at Saratoga in August. She looked like a much stronger horse this summer, when she embarrassed her eight rivals that day. She’s worked well enough on the turf to think that her form will translate just fine to the grass. I’ll also use Diamond City (10) on the outside, as the proven commodity on the grass. He broke his maiden last month in the Ontario Racing Stakes at Woodbine for Mark Casse. He was much more relaxed in that race in the early going compared to his debut when he was chasing the leaders instead of stalking them. Even though he didn’t beat a great group in Canada, I think that race was very educational, and it’s definitely an effort that he can build off of.
Race 9: The Grade 1 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes: Top Pick: 4
Trainer Fausto Gutierrez has done a tremendous job campaigning the five year old mare, Letruska (4) this year. Her only loss this year was a narrow defeat to Kentucky Oaks winner, Shedaresthedevil back in March in the Azeri. Since then, she’s won four in a row, including three Grade 1 wins. She beat Monomoy Girl on the square in the Apple Blossom. She dominated the Fleur de Lis and the Odgen Phipps this summer. Her most recent race with a half length victory over Bonny South (2) in the Personal Ensign at Saratoga. She has a distinct pace advantage in this race over both Bonny South and Dunbar Road (1), who appear to be the main threats. Bonny South showed she was getting closer to the favorite last time out. If you draw a line through her non-effort in the Delaware Handicap, she’s had a very good four year old campaign. Dunbar Road has had several gaps in her starts and has been winless since her score in the Delaware Handicap last year. She ran a big race last time out to be 4th, less than a half length behind Letruska. She was running her best races when she was sitting closer to the pace, and he hasn’t shown that tactical speed in her last few starts. If she can get herself a little closer to the pace in the early stages, I think she’ll have a better chance.
Race 10: The Grade 2 Castle & Key Bourbon Stakes: Top Pick: 10
The day ends with a 14 horse scramble in this Win and You’re In Race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. This is a wide open race where there are some blue-blooded six figure purchases, facing some more modestly priced two year olds. Red Danger (10), who was purchased for $17K at the Keeneland November Sale in 2019, has already produced great value for his connections, earning $350K+ by winning his first two turf starts. He won his second career start with maiden special weight company at Saratoga, which was his first race on the grass. He followed that effort up by winning the Juvenile Turf Sprint at Kentucky Downs last month. Luis Saez has ridden him brilliantly in both starts, getting this son of Orb to relax kindly off the early leaders before surging to the lead in the stretch. His pedigree suggest that he’ll continue to improve while going longer distances. Tiz the Bomb (12) is one of the more expensive purchases in here, costing his owners $330K at the Fasig-Tipton Select Sale in 2020. He’s earned most of that back in his last two starts, breaking his maiden in an off the turf contest at one mile and Ellis and winning the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile in his first race on the grass. His sire, Hit It a Bomb, won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on this course when breaking from post 14 back in 2015. He’ll need to pull off a similar effort to win this race from Post 12, but the ability sure looks like it’s there. Rocket One (5) is one that could be picking up the pieces late in this race. He ran on well from far behind to break his maiden at Kentucky Downs last month. He showed significant improvement from his turf debut at Ellis in his previous try. He’s a $600K son of Into Mischief that certainly is eligible to take another step forward. On deeper tickets, Martini’nmoonshine (4) had a fairly easy trip when he upset a maiden special weight at Saratoga on Travers Day when he was sent off at 11-1. He clearly prefers the turf to the dirt at this point in his career though, and he showed enough speed to be able to grab the early lead in this race. If he can shake free on a loose lead, he could prove to be dangerous. On the other hand, if this race falls apart, perhaps give a look to the Indiana Grand invader, Brit’s Wit (1). He was slow into stride in his only start, but he was rolling late, making up 17 lengths in the second part of the 7 and ½ Furlong race. He’s bred to get better with added distance, and if there is a pace meltdown, which could be a viable scenario with such a large field, he could be the one flying late again.
Late Pick 5 Tickets ($0.50 base wager)
Four A’s/1 C