The racing continues at Kentucky Downs on Thursday with an eleven race card featuring yet another rich stakes for 2YO’s with this one the turf sprint variety being contested over 6.5f as the 9th race. The feature is the One Dreamer Stakes for fillies and mares that have yet to win a stakes in 2021 and represents the female equivalent of the split divisions of the TVG Stakes run yesterday won by In Love and Snapper Sinclair.
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- Race 1: 1A-6-9-1
- Race 2: 11-4-2-1
- Race 3: 6-7-4-9
- Race 4: 6-9-7-11
- Race 5: 10-3-7-5
- Race 6: 9-11-6-3
- Race 7: 3-6-1-5
- Race 8: 5-2-4-6
- Race 9: 5-3-10-9
- Race 10: 10-7-1-9
- Race 11: 9-3-11-10
Kentucky Downs Race 5: Mud Pie (#10)
The fifth race is an elongated turf route for fillies and mares and I think it’s a good opportunity to take a shot against the morning line favorite. Rhythm Section (#2) could be the speed of the speed, but I question just how good he is and wonder if that last running line looks better on paper than in reality. That race was run over an absolute bog of a turf course at Saratoga which some runners in that field may have not appreciated. There’s no other race on her form that makes her a standout and the Mike Maker barn has been surprisingly quiet to start the meet. My top pick is another runner out of that race who was actually favored that day over Rhythm Section in Mud Pie (#10) for Rusty Arnold. He is proven over this course and distance when breaking his maiden impressively at 12 furlongs here last year by 6.5 lengths. His form over the past year is dirtied up a bit as he faced a strong field in his first start against winners with the likes of graded stakes winner Churn N Burn beating him home. His next start is a toss after getting taken out at the start and being wide on the turn. He ran well in his return off the layoff and then caught that aforementioned bog at the Spa. I think he is a very likely winner and one you can build horizontal wagers around. The wild card I’d try to get him linked up with in verticals would be Potus (#3) for Steve Asmussen who is a long price on the morning line. They stretched him way out last time and responded with an improved effort. She could just be an improving 3yo colt who’s finally running to that solid Phipps family pedigree.
Kentucky Downs Race 6: Texas Shuffle (#9)
It’s another allowance race with a healthy purse as we make our way through the middle of this card and I think you’d be hard pressed to find a race this wide open anywhere else. The morning line favorite is Alydiva (#6) who pulled off a major upset at 38-1 when breaking her maiden on Derby Day at Churchill for Mark Casse. She validated that performance with a strong second in an allowance race the next month. She was close to a fast pace in her start at Saratoga, but I’d like to see her have done some more running in the lane for me to back her in a field as competitive as this. Furthermore, Tyler Gaffalione opts to ride another rival in this spot in Reinecke (#3) who I’d also keep onside as part of my play. However, I like two others to the outside better in this spot. My top pick is going to be Texas Shuffle (#9). Although this War Front filly broke her maiden over the dirt in an off-the-turf race at Ellis, she is bred up and down for the grass. Her dam, Homebound, was a winner of the prestigious Prix de Sandringham at Chantilly in France and was the eptiome of a turf miler. I like that Florent Geroux sticks here despite potentially having other options and the Reed McGaughey barn seems to be pointing their runners for this meet as they sent out a 45-1 longshot who just missed in a maiden special weight yesterday. The other runner I’d be using prominently would be Uyuni (#11) for Wesley Ward. This filly also has a strong pedigree as the Uncle Mo’s are known to take to the turf and her dam Pachattack was a versatile graded stakes winning filly for these same owners. She ran into a buzzsaw in Simply Ravishing in a maiden race last summer and I liked her return at Ellis as the form from that track has translated well at this meet so far.
Kentucky Downs Race 11: Prayforpeace (#9)
We close out the Thursday card with a high-priced juvenile maiden special weight going 6.5 furlongs and it certainly seems as if Wesley Ward has this race under a hammerlock. The morning line favorite is Admiral Halsey (#11) who goes second time out after setting a quick pace at Saratoga before getting run down by Red Danger who is entered back in the stakes race earlier on the card. He can certainly win here as he’s certainly bred to be a good one by War Front and out of Group 3 winning Galileo mare, but I actually think Ward’s other colt ran the better race last time. Castle Leoch (#3) was favored in the August 11th race over his stablemate and had some significant trouble down the backside causing him to steady and lose position. He rallied strongly in the lane and seems to shape like a runner who will appreciate the stretch out to 6.5 furlongs. The same can be said for my top pick Prayforpeace (#9) who comes out of a lesser maiden event at Ellis Park on the same day. He had some trouble directly after the start and it got him behind the eight ball in a race where the pace pretty much held together. He was the only one closing from the back of the pack and will appreciate the extra furlong to work with. The public might go overboard betting the Wesley Ward duo and ignore this entrant from the trainer/jockey combination of Chris Hartman and Mitchell Murrill that has been as potent as any throughout 2021.