Kentucky Downs: Closing Saturday Analysis and Selections

Chris Adams

One of the most unique meets of the year is held every year at Kentucky Downs. With huge fields and unique handicapping challenges, Kentucky Downs offers one of the best betting products in American horse racing. The European style course is all turf, oblong, undulating, and unpredictable.

Kentucky Downs-Great for Horseplayers

Kentucky Downs is a unique track that above all else provides a great product for players to bet on. There are a few key factors that contribute to this.

  1. All Turf: The track has no dirt surface. Turf racing is often more competitive with smaller margins of victory. This often means that three or four horses could have won a given race with a different dynamic. This lack of predictability can increase the likelihood of upsets.
  2. Short Meet: The meet only lasts 6 days. The purses are massive because they don’t need to be spread out over months of racing. The bigger the purses, the more connections ship in to take a stab.
  3. Low Takeout: Kentucky Downs offers some of the lowest takeout in the industry across all wager types. This means the track takes less and the players get more back in return.

Kentucky Downs Analysis (9/11)

Race 1

Post: 12:20 PM CT; Purse: $45,400 Starter Allowance, 6 1/2 Furlongs on Turf; Entries: 13

Kicking off the Kentucky Downs card the #11 HEAVEN ESCAPE is at odds of 6-1 and has the stamina and class to be a major player. #6 FREEDOM BOUND looks like a horse that could have a run style that fits this race like a glove. #4 FOREIGN EXCHANGE is at odds of 8-1 and has the best overall power rating in the group. #12 CLEAR STEPS is at odds of 12-1 and could pull an upset based on previous success at this distance.

  • Selections: 11-6-4-12

Race 2

Post: 12:51 PM CT; Purse: $135,000 Maiden Special Weight, 1 Mile on Turf; Entries: 16

#5 LADY DE PERON is at odds of 9-2 and is coming into the race in great form with a run style that fits the competition in this race. #4 PENTAGON is at odds of 10-1 is something of a distance specialist. #3 MINT EDITION has the speed and stamina that could allow her to surprise at a price. #11 LET'S GO NATIVE has the top aggregate power rating in the race and could spring the upset.

  • Selections: 5-4-3-11

Race 3

Post: 1:22 PM CT; Purse: $156,600 Allowance Optional Claiming, 1 5/16 Miles on Turf; Entries: 10

#3 HENLEY'S JOY is a bit of a longshot at 12-1, but rates out well in stamina which can be especially important on the Kentucky Downs undulating turf course. #9 BAMA BREEZE is another with a chance who get the best of the race flow in this spot. #2 FORTUITY has to be respected based on the connections. Finally, #1 CONVICTION TRADE is a player based on speed figures and class.

  • Selections: 3-9-2-1

Race 4

Post: 1:54 PM CT; Purse: $135,000 Maiden Special Weight, 1 Mile on Turf; Entries: 16

In race 4 my top 3 selections look fairly equal. #6 GROUP HUG,#13 AZZURRO, and #10 MOUNT KENYA all have experience at the distance which could provide the necessary foundation to helping them find their way into the winner’s circle. #9 CAVEAT EMPTOR is has the top speed figures in the group and should be considered here.

  • Selections: 6-13-10-9

Race 5

Post: 2:26 PM CT; Purse: $135,000 Maiden Special Weight, 6 1/2 Furlongs on Turf; Entries: 16

#2 ROYAL COUNTY is 8-1 on the morning line with the best speed figures. #15 GILLIAN ELIZABETH is at odds of 12-1 and does not rate out as the top horse in any handicapping factors, but is close to the leaders in a number of areas. #3 JAZZ TIME GIRL is at odds of 7-2 and has a foundation against tougher that could pay dividends here. #12 DETERMINED HOPE is at odds of 12-1 seems like the kind of horse that has the potential to sneak up and run a big race.

  • Selections: 2-15-3-12

Race 6

Post: 2:57 PM CT; Purse: $600,000 Mint Ladies Sprint S., 6 1/2 Furlongs on Turf; Entries: 14

#10 VENETIAN HARBOR is at odds of 3-1 after facing tougher. The class relief plus the top stamina rating in the group make this runner a must use. #6 SUPERSTITION is at odds of 4-1 and goes out for top connections. #12 CONSTANTIA is 5-1 on the morning line and has done little wrong of late. #3 SHE'S SO SPECIAL is at odds of 15-1 has a run style that should benefit from the rest of the field here.

  • Selections: 10-6-12-3

Race 7

Post: 3:34 PM CT; Purse: $750,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf S., 1 Mile on Turf; Entries: 9

The best bet of the day at Kentucky Downs comes in the form of #2 PRINCESS GRACE who likes like a solid favorite. With an edge in speed figures, stamina, and class the fact that this race appears to set up perfectly for her is just icing on the cake. #8 SUMMER IN SARATOGA is at odds of 12-1 and a great consideration for underneath plays. #4 QUERELLE is another long shot and is in great form at this point.

  • Selections: 2-8-4-6 (Best Bet: #2)

Race 8

Post: 4:09 PM CT; Purse: $1,000,000 FanDuel Turf Sprint S., 6 Furlongs on Turf; Entries: 13

#3 BOMBARD is at odds of 10-1 and goes out for top connections. #12 IMPRIMIS will return to the races here at Kentucky Downs and could be well rested for a big run here. #7 CASA CREED is 7-2 on the morning line and has the foundation and class that should have this one in the mix. Finally, #10 CHEWING GUM is in great form and at 12-1 is worth inclusion on tickets.

  • Selections: 3-12-7-10

Race 9

Post: 4:44 PM CT; Purse: $1,000,000 Calumet Turf Cup S., 1 1/2 Miles on Turf; Entries: 16

The 9th from Kentucky Downs has a number of major older turf players coming together. #5 ARKLOW is at odds of 3-1 and has the top power rating in the group. #3 CHANNEL CAT is in solid form and should be able to handle the taxing course. #11 ZULU ALPHA is at odds of 6-1 is the fastest horse on paper and while that doesn’t seem to matter as much on turf, he is one I don’t want to beat me in this spot. At a price, I like #7 FANTASIOSO is at odds of 12-1.

  • Selections: 5-3-11-7

Race 10

Post: 5:18 PM CT; Purse: $600,000 Franklin-Simpson S., 6 1/2 Furlongs on Turf; Entries: 15

The final Kentucky Downs stakes race is race 10. In the race #7 ANNEX at 9-2 looks to be the class of the field. #10 POINT ME BY is at odds of 7-2 and looks very dangerous on pace figures. #13 FAUCI comes from connections that have to be respected here. #1 INTO THE SUNRISE is an interesting longshot in the race at 12-1. Kentucky Downs is always rife with upsetters and this one could fit the bill, especially if the course stays dry.

  • Selections: 7-10-13-1

Race 11

Post: 5:50 PM CT; Purse: $135,000 Maiden Special Weight, 1 Mile on Turf; Entries: 16

#10 SEAL BEACH is at odds of 9-2 and has the foundation that may separate him from the rest. #13 UNPREDICTABLE BAY is at odds of 20-1 but has the best current speed figures in the group. #7 TUSKEGEE CAT looks to have a slight edge in pace figures and could be dangerous. #2 BAJ is at 8-1 on the morning line and looks to be cycling up to this race.

  • Selections: 10-13-7-2

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