By Dick Downey
Updated Sept. 13, 2014 @ 11:09 a.m. ET
Also -- Corrected Olympic Thunder in Race 9 is #9
Updated with a late scratch 1:24 p.m. ET -- See Race
Dick's Picks are focused mostly on exacta boxes. Four-horse exacta boxes are recommended except where indicated. Kentucky Downs has the lowest exacta take-out rate in the nation.
Sept. 12 NOTE: Five of the day's 10 races have multiple also-eligibles. No more than 12 will run in any race. We may list an also-eligible entry or entries in our selections. In such cases, unless otherwise noted below, we will bet the top four or fewer selections that show up on race day.
Sept. 12 NOTE: Last year, the track favored early speed on Day 1 and Day 2 of the meet when the turf was very firm, but closers fared much better on Day 3 after it rained. On Day 1 this year, the track had plenty of moisture in it -- and early speed and inside post positions didn't do well. Instead, outside posts were dominant, and not one winner led after a half-mile. From Day 1 to Day 2, no rain fell at Kentucky Downs and the course had dried out significantly. We wrote before Day 2 that "the track could play a bit more kindly to early inside speed than it did on Saturday." It did for sure. A constant wind blew Wednesday, further drying things out. As of this post, there's been no further rain of any significance, and we think that on Saturday the track will play to early speed from the inside half of the post positions.
Sept. 12 NOTE: Very few of today's entries have prior experience at Kentucky Downs.
SEPT. 12 NOTE: Scratches are shown with a
strike-through, and betting changes resulting from scratches are described in red.
Race 1. Maiden Claiming $15,000-10,000, 3YO & up, $22,000, 6 1/2 Furlongs
I will try to hit this exacta with three selections
1. TOROPARU (#1). Could show decent early speed and go all the way.
2. GENERAL QUICKIE (#6). Calvin Borel accepts the mount on this first timer, and we think there's a reason for that.
3. KILTED (#7). Trainer Gorder has good stats at the track, and Kilted has improved since being moved to turf.
Race 2. Maiden Special Weight, Fillies and Mares 3YO & up, $80,000, 6 1/2 Furlongs
1. KIDS TUITION (#4). Daughter of Malibu Moon improved when put on the grass; Leparoux may gun her early.
2. KATURA (#2). Rosie Napravnik tries to continue her roll; Katura gets first Lasix.
3. KITTY'S GIANT (#11). Rafael Bejarano has the first of many mounts this day and should be in the early mix on one with three board hits in four turf tries.
4. CAMRYN'S GEM (#3). Three board hits in seven turf tries for trainer Mott.
Race 3. Allowance N2X/N3L, 3YO & up, $102,000, 1 Mile 70 Yards
1. LENT (#3). Napravnik teams up with Ian Wilkes instead of riding for trainer Maker on the second choice. I'm looking for a stalking trip.
2. AIR SQUADRON (#4). Trainer Maker recruits Bejarano for a run that should be prominent throughout.
3. PAROLED (#8). Thirteen board hits in 20 turf starts; but he likes to run second or third much more than winning. Ran third here in his only try.
4. POWER RED (#11). A rare KD appearance by Neil Drysdale; Santa Anita shipper was favored there in a 10-horse field last time out and should make a late run.
Race 4. Maiden Special Weight, 3YO & up, $80,000, 6 1/2 Furlongs
1. ZIP N RUN (#2). Second off the layoff, he'll probably break well from this interior post and establish good position early.
2. EIGHTY THREE (#11). Trainer Ward brings him in from Saratoga where he had a very wide trip and still managed a close third.
3. COCICO (#6). Flaxman Holdings, a major force, owns this well-bred colt. Belief here is that he is much better than his 20-1 morning line indicates.
4. THATS IT IMLEAVING (#3). He finished third here in his debut, closing into a speed-biased track on Day 1 in 2013.
If one of the above scratches, consider SON OF WAR (#8). Was inside last time when others went by him, and then he came again when angled out.
5. MONOPOLIST (#10). Whatever happened to this expensive auction horse last October, the son of Giant's Causeway is back for trainer Maker and Starlight Racing.
Race 5. Allowance N1X/N2L, Fillies and Mares 3YO & up, $100,000, 6 Furlongs
1. DIVA MEG (#3). Would not be surprised to see her in front going down the hill.
2. AUNTY PEARL (#9). She should flash early speed; narrowly missed as the favorite at Saratoga last race. LATE SCRATCH
3. AS RULERS GO (#16). Late-running type could pick up pieces for Rosie if she's not scratched.
4. TOWN TOUR (#13). Trainer Mott and Shaun Bridgmohan team up and will try to be close in the early going.
5. KIMBERLY JEAN (#4). Running line for her lone turf start isn't on my PP's, but I checked, and it was her second career start. She finished third, beaten 1 1/4 length. Was gaining at the end going 8.5 furlongs. She is being cut back in distance and gets Bejarano, but it's her first race since January.
Race 6. Maiden Special Weight, 2YO, $90,000, 1 Mile
1. STAND UP GUY (#8). Jimmy DiVito recruits Leparoux for either a front-running or stalking trip.
2. TWENTY GAUGE (#4). Corey Lanerie rides well here and gets on one that was intended for turf in his debut; could move forward off that.
3. LAWLESS WEST (#5). A $300K purchase by Gary and Mary West, he debuts off a sharp workout.
4. CROWN THE KITTEN (#13). I would rate this Ward-Ramsey charge higher than this had he drawn inside, but it's hard to leave him out regardless.
5. LAWN RANGER (#7). Like so many youngsters, a move forward off a decent debut is possible.
Race 7. More Than Ready Mile Stakes, 3YO & up, $200,000, 1 Mile
1. REGALLY READY (#4). His lone effort at KD was a fourth--place finish after running a few lengths off the pace in the opening stanzas, but he's been running more forwardly since. Graded stakes veteran has Rosie up for the second straight time.
2. GUYS REWARD (#3). I expect him to save ground and make a credible effort down the lane.
3. SATURDAY LAUNCH (#8). We should see him in the early mix, and he has good recent form. In a race that doesn't show on my PP's, he ran a good second at this track last year.
4. TATTENHAM (#6). First off the layoff for new trainer Motion, who has good stats under those circumstances.
Race 8. Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint Stakes, Fillies and Mares 3YO & up, $200,000, 6 1/2 Furlongs
1. SKY TREASURE (#3). She should see early pace in front of her that will enable her to close.
2. RICHIE'S PARTY GIRL (#8). This is one all-out speedy filly; trainer Ward will have her ready.
3. EDEN PRAIRIE (#4). Should be part of that early pace and should be able to carry her speed through this distance.
4. CORPORATE CULTURE (#6). She's been effective with varying running styles; Napravnik can adjust to the pace scenario.
If any of the above scratch, and if DRAMA DRAMA (#15) draws in, we note she has a win and a show at the track.
Race 9. Grade III Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes, 3YO & up, $600,000, 1 1/2 Mile
1. WAR DANCER (#3). The longer the distance, the better he performs.
2. O'PRADO OLE (#10). Recent switch to distance races have yielded decent figs. He should be in contention throughout; the queston is whether he finishes well.
3. SUNTRACER (#5). He was third in this race last year after being too far back in the early going.
4. OLYMPIC THUNDER (#9). He was a close second in this race last year after being part of the pace. Now adds blinkers but he hasn't won for a long time.
Race 10. Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf Stakes, Fillies and Mares 3YO & up, $200,000, 1 Mile
1. I'M ALREADY SEXY (#8). Her forward running style should fit Saturday's conditions; has faced much tougher during the past year.
2. KISS MOON (#5). Recent switch to turf has yielded improved efforts; her effort in the Regret was hampered by a tough trip. Stalking trip is desired.
3. MARIA MARIA (#14). Finished right behind Kiss Moon last time out.
4. SISTER GINGER (#4). For the most part, she's been competitive with foes at this level for the past year.
5. KEPI (#7). Shortens up a bit after a credible effort in the Grade III Modesty.
I won't be using MIZ IDA (#3), who won this race two years ago on a yielding track in a very slow time when she was the 3-1 favorite.