Dick's Picks are focused on exactas, mostly exacta boxes. Kentucky Downs has the lowest exacta takeout in North America.
NOTE: Exacta boxes are recommended except where indicated.
NOTE: Scratches and changes in betting are shown by a
strike through. Updated 11:45 a.m. CDT.
Race 1. Maiden Claiming $25,000, 3YO & up, $24,000, 1 Mile 70 Yards
This is one tough race on paper, and I’m playing on track money at this point, so I am going five deep. After scratches this will be a four-horse box including Niedermeyer and New Found King.
RECURRENT (#9) dropped in class last time and ran well; comes back at the same level and will win with effort on par with his best. Third off the layoff.
THAAAT’S RIGHT (#1) likes to stalk close to the pace and could win with the right trip from post 1 despite the class hike.
3. NOBLE ABODE (#4) looks like a live longshot. He and Leandro Goncalves could get a part with an improvement off their learning-experience debut for David Carroll. Class hike in second start could be a good sign.
4. GIACOSLEW (#3) gets Jon Court, who knows this course, and the gelding ran second, beaten five lengths, going 6 1/2 furlongs at KD last year. He comes from off the pace. The only one with experience over the track. Second off the layoff after breaking in the air last time.
5. THIS ONES FOR TONY (#6) has been on the board his last four races, but why is Goncalves on Noble Abode instead?
Others I noticed: NIEDERMEYER (#12) drops from a pair of maiden special weights and could be competitive at this level. NEW FOUND KING (#5) dropped in class last time and ran well; comes back at the same level; but sole turf number not up to par with these.
Race 2. Claiming $12,500, 3YO & up fillies & mares, $25,000, 6 Furlongs
1. POINT TO THE WILD (#8). This looks like the pacesetter, and if patterns from Saturday hold up, she’ll be hard to catch.
2. BANDI’S GAL (#2).Cuts back in distance, drops in class, gets Corey Lanerie, and is usually quick from the gate.
3. BREZING RAIN (#6). At this writing, I’m not sure if the race shows up on the program, but that second-place finish at the track came last year when she was beaten a head in a starter allowance with a similar purse going a mile on firm turf. She tracked the pace.
4. SERVING TIME (#4). Drops from $25K claiming and gets the services of Rosie Napravnik. Has won at the $16K level three times and once at $20K. Drawbacks are that she usually isn’t rapid from the gate, and she lost badly here last year.
APPLE PANDOWDY (#1A) has been running like she’s lost a step since was here a couple of years ago.
GIBES (#5) worries me.
Race 3. Maiden Special Weight, 2YO fillies, $90,000, 6 1/2 Furlongs
1. PRETTY FANCY (#2). Beaten only a length in her debut, this daughter of Lemon Drop Kid will be tough if she improves off that effort.
BOOM BOOM VROOM (#7). She was intended for grass in her debut but ran poorly on a sloppy track at Saratoga for Wesley Ward. She cost $160,000 over a year ago and obviously deserves another chance.
3. ZEN LAVA (#3). Jinks Fires certainly knows what it takes to win here; son-in-law Jon Court rides and had two winners opening day. Note both this one and the second choice are by Zensational, a multiple grade I-winning sprinter; and Orientate, a Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner, is the dam sire of Zen Lava.
4. RAISED ON ROBBERY (#1). Kellyn Gorder also knows this track and what it takes to succeed at it; filly is bred for turf; and improvement off her debut could land her in front of the camera.
CONCERT PIANIST (#8), out of an Irish broodmare, makes her turf debut. LINDA’S CHOICE (#10) cost $135,000 this past April, comes in for Graham Motion but needs to improve substantially.
Race 4. Maiden Claiming $25,000, 2YO, $24,000, 6 Furlongs
JOJO’S GAL (#1) or SHE’S COAL FIRED (#1A). Dylan Davis is named on both by Wesley Ward, and either would take a big class drop. Note that both are fillies in a race with boys.
2. DON SUAVE (#4). A pair of turf and synthetic races have produced his highest Brisnet figures.
3. APPROVETHISMESSAGE (#6). Debut is preceded by a gate breeze in :49 flat on Aug. 30, pretty fast for a Steve Asmussen trainee.
4. KENRADO (#5). Drops in class, cuts back in distance and finally gets on the grass after three races taken off the turf.
Race 5. Claiming $12,500 N3L, 3YO & up fillies & mares, $24,000, 6 Furlongs
With #1 and #2 scratched, we will use Krazy for Kaya in a three-horse exacta box.
1. PHYLLIS ANN (#5). She has early speed, drops in class and gets Rosie Napravnik in the saddle.
2. CARIBBEAN LADY (#2). First off the claim for Wesley Ward, who’s 23% under such circumstances, plus she drops in class. A repeat of her best turf speed fig would make her a runaway winner.
3. ON THE SAME PAGE (#1). Another one with early speed, and she makes another drop in class. Her prior race at the track was a disaster, but it was a bog that day and is expected to be firm on Wednesday.
4. ZIPSTRESS (#12). She’s a stalker or closer on turf, and she closed to win at the track two years back. Should be long odds.
I fear a bounce for KRAZY FOR KAYA (#9), but if she repeats her last effort, look out.
EXCITEMENT (#11) ran third at this track last year, but she was beaten 16 lengths. On the other hand, it was a soft track.
Race 6. Maiden Special Weight, 2YO fillies, $90,000, 6 1/2 Furlongs
1. SPRING AGAIN (#9). A horse that finished ahead her in her debut came back to win. She cost $100,000 this past May; she has early speed; and David Flores, who won twice opening day, is up for Wesley Ward.
2. ZEE STONE (#7). Another one with early speed, and a horse she beat in her debut came back to win.
3. REIGN (#2). The debut at Saratoga of this $170,000 purchase did not reveal anything, but Graham Motion probably didn’t have her fully cranked either.
4. MEXICAN MISS (#3). A horse that finished ahead her in her debut came back to win. Corey Lanerie, runner-up for the riding title last year, has the mount.
Race 7. Allowance N2X $8,500/N3L, 3YO & up fillies & mares, $96,000, 6 Furlongs
I am going five deep in this race. The ticket will cost more but could be worth the investment.
1. FEMME FATALE (#3). Mike Maker did not hit the board in 10 races Saturday, but that can’t last long. Filly has shown good early speed, and Napravnik is aboard.
2. SHRINKING VIOLET (#8). Lack of a recent appearance on the worktab is of concern; otherwise, she would be the top pick. She broke her maiden at the track.
3. LITTLE NIP (#4). She has been second, third or fourth in each of her last six races.
4. SPRING FORMAL (#1). She’s been either first or fourth in each of her last four races, and she gets the services of Shaun Bridgmohan.
5. QUIET SUCCESS (#5). Tom Amoss trainee could be in the mix early and get a part if not all based on her sole turf start two races back.
Race 8. Allowance N1X $8,500/N2L, 3YO & up, $94,000, 6 1/2 Furlongs
1. COUGAR RIDGE (#2). European invader appears to have the right running style and may outclass the others.
2. EVAN’S CALLING (#1). Consistent good early speed makes him a worthy candidate. Trainer Neil Pessin’s father was the original manager of the track, then called Dueling Grounds.
3. GEOTHERMAL (#10). Last year he finished second, then won at the track while running nine days later. Both efforts saw him come from about five lengths off the pace. He’s only hit the board once since then.
4. CANNONBALL CHAMP (#6). This longshot won his debut and could win again with an improved effort. The son of Champali has good early speed.
Race 9. Allowance N2X $8,500/N3L, 3YO & up, $96,000, 1 Mile 70 Yards
1. CHALICE (#1). Shows good stalking ability from time to time and was beaten only three lengths in a $100K stake two races back. Gorder teams up with Lanerie.
2. MONASTIC (#8). Tom Proctor recruited Gary Steven to ride this closer. Closers didn’t win on Saturday, but this horse often finishes very well.
3. EASY CROSSING (#7). Often shows ability to stalk and pounce, but that has not translated into too many wins in the past couple of years. Still, similar to the top choice, he was beaten only 3 1/4 lengths in a $100,000 stake two back.
4. SOUTHERN PARKWAY (#10). Brian Hernandez, Jr., meet-leading rider last year, is at KD for the first time this year. He and this ridgling finished second under the same conditions last year. Unfortunately, that means he hasn’t won since then.
TILDEN LANE (#3) runs third time off the layoff and has been showing consistent Brisnet speed figs. PIKESTAR (#9) likes to win on the lead. KLISZ (#11) showed promise early, was going downhill before getting a break, and is running for the second time since the layoff.
Race 10. Maiden Claiming $50,000-40,000, 3YO & up, $47,000, 1 Mile
1. CAGE FIGHTER (#3). He had eventful trips the first two times. Third time the charm?
2. RED RONCHO (#8). Adds blinkers. Three good outings were followed by a troubled-trip race you can draw a line through.
3. E PLURIBUS (#11). He has five board hits with two fourths in 11 starts. Calvin Borel climbs aboard for Buff Bradley; speed figs suggest he’ll be competitive.
4. PEGASUS STAR (#5). This sometime-closer looks up against it for the win, but a piece of the pie isn’t out of the question. He’s had trouble his last three starts, so maybe a clean trip is due.