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    KENTUCKY DOWNS STAKES SELECTIONS AND ANALYSIS – SATURDAY 9/7/2019

    6TH RACE – KENTUCKY DOWNS JUVENILE TURF SPRINT $500,000

    EXPERT SELECTIONS: 9-12-10-5-8

    7TH RACE – KENTUCKY DOWNS TURF SPRINT (G3) $700,000

    EXPERT SELECTIONS: 8-9-3-10-1/6

    DETAILED ANALYSIS

    3 – IMPRIMIS (4/1) – Very impressive in the (G2) Shakertown at Keeneland, stumbling at the start, and still getting up to run down the very fast and talented Bound for Nowhere. That was his 7th turf sprint win in 10 tries. One of several talented turf sprinters in the race, he will likely really appreciate the Kentucky Downs long stretch and 6 furlongs distance. Four of those wins came from first call positions of 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th.

    9- STORMY LIBERAL (9/2) – Won the (G1) Breeder’s Cup turf sprint the last 2 years. In March 2018 he came within half a length of winning the $1 million Al Quoz turf sprint at this distance at Dubai. This year, however, in four starts, he is winless 4-0-2-2. He has an excellent turf record, almost all in sprints, 31-12-9-3, but seems to have lost a step and may be vulnerable now where he used to be “lights” out.

    8- LEINSTER (3/1) – Just upset the (G3) Troy at Saratoga in August beating excellent turf sprinters Disco Partner and Pure Sensation for his 3rd straight win and his first stakes score. Pure Sensation just came back to win the (G3) Turf Monster at Parx on Labor Day for the 3rd year in a row. Leinster’s last 3 wins were all at 5 1/2 furlongs of the turf but his stalking running style should work well at 6 furlongs as well. Considering he was a 13-race maiden just 4 races back, his connections seem to have found the key to him.

    6 – WHITE FLAG (8/1) – Only missed by a head in this race last year as the betting favorite. After that excellent effort he subsequently won the $126k Turf Sprint Championship at Aqueduct in November. Recently he was a closing third in the (G1) Hilander at Woodbine which has a similarly long stretch. The distance is perfect for his running style. Unlike many American turf sprinters who regularly run at the shorter distance of 5 or 5 1/2 furlongs, this guy only runs at 6-7 furlongs. His record at these longer sprint distances is 10-5-2-2.

    8TH RACE – LADIES TURF (G3) $500,000

    EXPERT SELECTIONS:  7/5-2-8/9

    DETAILED ANALYSIS

    2 – SIMPLY BREATHLESS (5/1) – While not accomplished in Europe, she has impressed in the US winning the (G3) Wilshire at this distance on the turf in June at Santa Anita. She defeated 2 tough opponents in that race including return winner Ollies Candy and the unlucky stakes runner-up Storm the Hill. She was 3rd last time at Arlington in the (G3) Modesty, but that race was flattered when the winner, Julies Foxtrot, came within a head bob of upsetting the impressive win machine Vasilika in her last start at Del Mar. Her running style in her Wilshire victory fits the winning profile of the Kentucky Downs turf course.

    5 – STORM THE HILL (3/1) – She ran too good to lose in the (G2) Yellow Ribbon last time, to the much improved Beau Recall, finishing in front of return winner Vasilika. She finished 3rd behind Simply Breathless in the G3 Wilshire in her previous start. She won the Wilshire the year before in a come from behind running style that should work well here. While not a win machine, her turf record is 24-5-2-7 and she is a fighter. Another question mark is she did not run well in this race a year ago, but she wasn’t coming off such an impressive race last year. However, her 2 wins in her last 12 starts, is a concern.

    7 – MITCHELL ROAD (5/2) – Won the (G3) Gallorette at Pimlico wiring a good field beating the tough Thewayiam. In her last start in the (G1) Diana, she couldn’t hold off Chad Brown’s group of turf champions, Sistercharlie, Rushing Fall, and Homerique. She doesn’t find those tough girls in here and she is a win machine 8-5-2-0 on turf. Prior to her overmatched run in the (G1) Diana, she was riding a 4-race winning streak. This 4-year old English Channel filly may just be coming into her own, will be in front early, and will take them as far as she can which could be all the way to the wire.

    9TH RACE – LADIES SPRINT (G3) $500,000

    EXPERT SELECTIONS:  3-7-1-10-6/4 

    DETAILED ANALYSIS

    3 – OLEKSANDRA (3/1) – Has developed into a fine turf sprinter since coming to the U.S. Her record in turf sprints from 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 Furlongs is 7-5-01. She was 3rd at Woodbine in the (G2) Royal North at 6 furlongs one back and dropped into the $100k Smart N Fancy at Saratoga, where she came from last to finish first at 5 1/2 furlongs. Rosario has 3 wins in three tries with her. She has the right closing style for this long turf stretch.

    10 – RUBY NOTION (6/1) – Won this race last year repeating her win in the $200k Caress at Saratoga. In her most recent race she was a closing 3rd behind Oleksandra.

    6 – PAINTING CORNERS (8/1) – Has a high turn of early speed and held on for 2nd down the hill at Santa Anita in the (G3) Senator Ken Maddy last November. She won the $78k Mizdirection at 5 furlongs on the turf at Santa Anita in April and also the 5 furlongs turf $99k Daisycutter at Del Mar in July. Her record at the distance is 7-3-1-3. Peter Miller is an excellent trainer with horses like this.

    7 – MORTICIA (4/1) – Is an in the money machine. Her turf record 23-9-6-5 has earned her over $700k. Problem is, while she is always close by, she seldom gets the win. She shows only 3 scores in her last 12. Two of those wins were in $100k turf sprints. Her only graded stakes placing was a 3rd at Keeneland in Oct 2018. If you are looking for a horse to fill out your exotic tickets, she has never been out of the Superfecta in all 23 starts.

    10TH RACE – KENTUCKY TURF CUP (G3) 1,000,000

    EXPERT SELECTIONS:  10-9-5/7/8

     DETAILED ANALYSIS

    9 – ZULU ALPHA (9/2) – Mike Maker runner just missed one back in the 2019 (G1) United Nations and was only beaten a length by Bigger Picture in the (G2) Elkhorn. He won the (G2) Mac Diarmida and the (G3) WL McKnight at Gulfstream earlier this year. Also won the (G3) Sycamore at Keeneland last October. These races were all run at 1 1/2 mile or 1 3/8 miles on turf. His turf record is an admirable 23-7-4-4 considering the quality of horses he competes against.

     5 – BIGGER PICTURE (8/1) – Eight-year old’s turf record is 32-12-6-4 winning $1.6 million. At this 1 1/2 Turf distance he is 14-4-3-3. Won the (G1) United Nations back in 2017 at 1 3/8 miles. More recently, won the (G2) Elkhorn at 1 1/2 miles at Keeneland in his previous race and the (G3) John B Conley at Sam Houston in January, a race he has won before. In his last 7 starts, 6 races at 1 1/2 on turf and all vs Graded company, he is 7-2-2-1. Michael Maker has done a great job with him and his recent races have all been very competitive. Seems to have a new lease on life and fresh legs.

    10 – ARKLOW (5/2) – Won this race last year. His last 3 have been narrow losses in the (G2) Bowling Green, (G2) Belmont Gold Cup and the (G1) Man O War. That being said, he has lost 6 straight races since winning here last year and is another who has won only 3 of his last 12 while being in the Superfecta in 11 of those 12 races. I don’t trust him but hard to leave him off any vertical exotics ticket.

     

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