How to bet the 2020 Kentucky Turf Cup (Sept. 12)
There’s quite a showdown on tap in Saturday’s $1 million Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) at Kentucky Downs, with defending winner #10 Zulu Alpha squaring off against 2018 winner and 2019 runner-up #5 Arklow.
The two turf stars enter Kentucky Downs’ signature race in distinctly different form. Zulu Alpha has been on fire this season, winning the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1), Mac Diarmida (G2), and Elkhorn (G2). Meanwhile, Arklow has largely struggled in 2020 and enters the Kentucky Turf Cup off a non-threatening fourth in the United Nations (G1).
Perhaps Arklow will rebound while returning to his favorite undulating 1 1/2-mile journey at Kentucky Downs. Hot trainer Brad Cox will equip the 6-year-old veteran with blinkers, and skilled Kentucky Downs jockey Florent Geroux is climbing aboard. However, Arklow has already been defeated twice by Zulu Alpha this season, and turning the tables will be difficult.
After all, Zulu Alpha has been almost unstoppable this year, suffering his lone defeat when second by a neck in the Pan American (G2). Conditioned by Mike Maker, who has won four of the last five editions of the Kentucky Turf Cup, Zulu Alpha was especially impressive in the July 12 Elkhorn, racing 1 1/2 miles at Keeneland.
Returning from a 3 1/2-month layoff, Zulu Alpha was reserved off the pace through pedestrian fractions of :25.56, :52.02, and 1:18.14, then flew home the final quarter-mile in approximately :22 2/5 to defeat front-running #6 Postulation in comfortable fashion.
With hot jockey Tyler Gaffalione (a 33% winner at Kentucky Downs) in the saddle, Zulu Alpha has a strong chance of defending his Kentucky Turf Cup title. A win bet is a logical play, but since Zulu Alpha will be favored in the wagering, we’ll also key him on top in a trifecta to boost the prospective payoff.
Underneath, we’ll spread deep in an effort to beat Arklow. Postulation definitely warrants inclusion, considering he was beaten just a head in this race three years ago. #2 Red Knight, #7 He’s No Lemon, #11 Standard Deviation, and #12 Hierarchy will round out our tickets.
$20 to win on #10 Zulu Alpha
$0.50 trifecta: 10 with 2,6,7,11,12 with 2,6,7,11,12 ($10)