The penultimate card in the Kentucky Downs racing season is on the docket for Sunday with eleven betting opportunities including three lucrative stakes races. For more coverage, PTF hosted me and Ken Kirchner, the Director of Wagering and Simulcasting at Kentucky Downs, for a look at the late Pick Five. Give the podcast a listen here.
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- Race 1: 5-11-12-2
- Race 2: 10-13-8-7
- Race 3: 1-2-3-12
- Race 4: 4-12-6-9
- Race 5: 11-10-2-4
- Race 6: 1-9-10-4
- Race 7: 7-2-4-9
- Race 8: 2-4-8-1
- Race 9: 4-11-8-1
- Race 10: 1-8-4-5
- Race 11: 7-12-3-11
Kentucky Downs Race 1: Napa Sprit (Ire) (#5)
Let’s see if we can start the Sunday card out the same way as yesterday’s with a nice-priced Brendan Walsh trained top pick winner. I landed on Napa Spirit (IRE) (#5) who comes in second off the layoff after a speed and fade try in a salty claiming race at Saratoga last time. He flashed some talent in his juvenile season before something went amiss and a 431-day layoff ensued. His last effort fits with the numbers being run by the shorter prices in the market and I wonder if he can get loose on the lead here. The 6.5f is a question mark, but he’s bred to get at least that far as sire Invincible Spirit (Ire) hits with 13% of turf routers and his dam dropped a winner on turf going 9.5f. Hopefully, he’ll have increased stamina second time off the bench and can lead them on a merry chase.
Kentucky Downs Race 7: Outadore (#7)
The pick five sequence kicks off with a wide-open allowance event going the tricky 6.5f distance. I’m not too thrilled taking either of two shortest prices on the morning line in Newsworthy (#9) and Rustler (#10). The former has to overcome a long layoff and his win over the course was aided by a huge pace setup. The latter goes out for low profile connections and I would need a much better price to be interested especially since he doesn’t possess any sort of figure edge. I think Maxwell Esquire (#2) is a huge player going second time for Mike Maker who has been dominating this meet. I think this distance suits him as he’s always been a “tweener” stuck between sprints and routes on the NYRA circuit. If Mike Maker moves him up even the slightest bit, he’s dangerous to win under Tyler Gaffalione. Outadore (#7) has a win over the course and distance as a juvenile and did so with a little give in the ground. While he’s never really delivered on the promise he showed in his first two starts, I think his last effort over the Woodbine poly was better than it looks as the pace in that 13-horse affair completely incinerated. I think he can pull the same stalk and pounce trip he got winning over the course and distance two years ago. It doesn’t hurt to have Irad Ortiz Jr and Wesley Ward in your camp, but that ensures we won’t be getting anything close to the 15-1 on the ML, though anything above 5-1 would be fair.
Kentucky Downs Race 10: Adventuring (#1)
The G3-Ladies Marathon Stakes features a very formidable favorite in Family Way (#8) as she looks to take down this race for the second consecutive year. She checks a lot of boxes when it comes to this race as she has top connections in her corner, possesses that positive experience over the course and distance and has been in fine form this year. There’s no disgrace in losing to Dalika and Princess Grace last time on a speed-favoring turf course at a distance short of her best. Prior to that, she nearly pulled an upset in a G1 getting run down at the line by the talented Bleeker Street. I think she’s an “A” in all the multi-race tickets, but because she’ll be such a short price on the win end, I decided to go with the other filly with a win over this 11.5f strip. Adventuring (#1) went wire-to-wire in the Dueling Grounds Oaks last year over a yielding Kentucky Downs turf course. She looks to be as clear as she wants to be on the front end again today and with the rails down on the turf course this weekend that can be a huge advantage. While the favorite likely won’t let her get too far out of her sights, I think it’s worth the gamble that Adventuring can wire this field at 4-5 times the price.
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