Kentucky Downs: How to bet the Ladies Turf and Ladies Sprint (Sept. 12)

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

September 10th, 2020

Saturday is shaping up to be a lucrative day at Kentucky Downs. Five stakes races worth a combined $3.2 million are on the agenda, including the $500,000 Ladies Turf (G3) and $500,000 Ladies Sprint (G3).

Considering the competitive nature of the fields, the day could also be lucrative for bettors who correctly identify the winning horses. With this goal in mind, let’s play the Ladies Turf and Ladies Sprint on $25 budgets.

Race 7: Ladies Turf (G3, 4:27 p.m. ET)

In this 1-mile turf test, I’ll take a small stab outside the box with #1 Mitchell Road (8-1). The speedy daughter of English Channel isn’t the most consistent mare in Saturday’s field. But on her best day, she’s formidable, and she did employ her tactical speed to finish second in the 2019 Ladies Turf.

A four-time stakes winner, Mitchell Road was a gritty wire-to-wire winner of the 1-mile Ellis Park Turf S. two starts back, demonstrating she’s still in strong form. I’ll chalk up her last-place effort in the Aug. 2 Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Turf S. to soft ground and assume she’ll rebound while returning to firm footing on Saturday.

At 8-1, a win bet is in order, but we’ll also play Mitchell Road underneath #3 Tapit Today (5-1), #6 Regal Glory (9-5) and #8 Secret Message (4-1) in the exacta.

$10 to win on #1 Mitchell Road
$5 exacta: 3,6,8 with 1 ($15)
Total: $25

Race 8: Ladies Sprint (G3, 4:59 p.m. ET)

This 6 1/2-furlong dash feels ripe for an upset. Multiple Grade 1 winner #8 Got Stormy (2-1) is favored after finishing second against males in the Fourstardave H. (G1) at Saratoga, but she’s cutting back significantly in distance and is 0-for-5 this season.

#11 Kimari (4-1) is a logical alternative, but the 3-year-old filly is stepping outside her age group for the first time while simultaneously returning from a trip to Europe, where she finished second in the June 19 Commonwealth Cup (G1) at Royal Ascot.

If the favorites falter, #5 Change of Control (15-1) can pick up the pieces. A consistent late runner, Change of Control won a pair of allowance sprints at Churchill Downs during the spring and recently returned from a 2 1/2-month layoff to finish third in the Sept. 2 Unbridled Sidney S., racing 5 1/2 furlongs on dirt.

Returning to turf should put Change of Control in the hunt on Saturday, and I’m optimistic she’ll enjoy racing 6 1/2 furlongs over the tricky course at Kentucky Downs. Let’s bet Change of Control to win and key her in the exacta with Got Stormy and Kimari.

$5 to win on #5 Change of Control
$3 exacta: 5 with 8,11 ($6)
$7 exacta: 8,11 with 5 ($14)
Total: $25

Good luck!