Let’s try this again, why don’t we?!? Kentucky Downs canceled Sunday’s card after just two races, but the remaining nine are being brought back today. Luckily, for horseplayers, the handicapping was not all for naught as they fields were not redrawn. That means the podcast PTF hosted me and Ken Kirchner on looking at the late Pick Five is still applicable. Give the podcast a listen here.
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- Race 1: 1-2-3-12
- Race 2: 4-12-6-9
- Race 3: 11-10-2-4
- Race 4: 1-9-10-4
- Race 5: 6-7-2-4-9
- Race 6: 2-4-8-1
- Race 7: 4-11-8-1-3
- Race 8: 1-8-4-5
- Race 9: 7-12-3-11
Kentucky Downs Race 5: Bakers Bay (#6)/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. Baker’s Bay (#6) was announced as a scratch for the Sunday edition of this card, but would be my top pick if connections change their mind. In addition to the reasons I mentioned on the podcast, Shug is also a ridiculous 8/18 (44%, $4.31 ROI) with non-stakes runners @ Kentucky Downs in the L5Y.
Kentucky Downs Race 8: 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.
Kentucky Downs Race 9: Psychedelic (#7)
The nightcap features a full field of two-year-old fillies going long on the turf trying to break their maidens. I think it’s worth noting that any of the four also eligibles would be in with a huge chance if they drew into the body of the race. When scratches were announced on Sunday, they were all out, but things could have changed in the last 48 hours. Of the inside 12 horses, I think there are three interesting players worth mentioning. Mad Madame Mim (IRE) (#3) didn’t do much running in her synthetic debut down at Gulfstream, but maybe she either needed the race or didn’t handle the surface since this pedigree is all turf. Saffie Joseph sent out a similar looking runner named Axthelm off a lackluster synthetic debut to win the nightcap on Opening Day and this gal looks too similar not to want to have on my tickets, especially with Tyler Gaffalione aboard. The key bit of form in a race without much of it is the Colonial maiden race on August 3rd. Sabalenka (#12) ran really well on debut for a low-profile barn and figures to take money today based on that performance. She made a wide bid around the turn following the eventual winner who came back to run in a stakes race at Kentucky Downs earlier this meet. She’s had the look of a well meant runner going all the way back to her OBS Sales breeze. Plus, Jose Ortiz jumps aboard for a barn he’s never once ridden for which gets my antenna raised. However, when I look at that 8/3 maiden race, I can’t help but think Psychedelic (#7) ran as well if not better than the ML favorite. She endured an ugly stumble at the start and was forced to make her rally in the stretch inside of horses which is never easy for a first-time-starter. Kelsey Danner has scored with winners of 9-2 and 22-1 from her three starters at the meet with the latter of the two also being a two-year-old coming out of a maiden race at Colonial.
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