The Michael Maker trained Da Big Hoss will be seeking to defend his title when he takes on eight seemingly overmatched foes in Saturday’s $600,000 Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) at Kentucky Downs.
Maker claimed him for $50,000 last June and just three races later won the Kentucky Turf Cup by two lengths, returning $10.60. His price will be shorter this year as he is the 7-5 morning line favorite.
The five-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid will be seeking his fourth win in a row. He won the American St. Leger (G3) at Arlington Park on Aug. 13 in his last outing.
The Kentucky Turf Cup is one of four stakes on an outstanding 10-race card at the Franklin, Kentucky racetrack, one of the most horseplayer friendly racetracks in the U.S.
The Horseplayers Association of North American named Kentucky Downs as the top racetrack for horseplayers for the second year in a row in April. The track features large fields and one of the lowest blended takeout rates in the U.S.
Takeout on win, place and show betting is 16%, exactas are 18.25% and exotic bets are 19%. The Pick 5 has a 14% takeout rate.
“With low takeout and a field size of over ten horses per race, Kentucky Downs continues to excite customers,” said HANA president Jeff Platt. “Despite an abbreviated meet, the ratings algorithm does not discriminate when it comes to betting value; Kentucky Downs has it and horseplayers responded with another year of record handle.”
The supporting features on Saturday’s card are the $400,000 More Than Ready, $150,000 One Dreamer, and the $350,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint.
Michael’s Best Plays for Saturday includes his strongest plays from Belmont Park and Kentucky Downs including all of the stakes action.
Let’s head out to Kentucky Downs for Saturday’s features race of the day:
Kentucky Downs Race 12 The Kentucky Turf Cup G3 (Post time 5:39 CT)
#7 Da Big Hoss 7-5
#6 Power Foot 6-1
#9 Greengrassofyoming 7-2
#3 Seve’s Road 6-1
Analysis: Da Big Hoss is the defending champ of this race and comes in here facing a field that just loos over-matched. The Maker trainee took the American St. Leger (G3) on Arlington Million Day last out at 1 11/16 miles for his third win in a row and fourth triple digit Beyer in his last five starts. His win streak started by winning the Elkhorn (G2) at Churchill Downs at today’s distance and then he won the two mile Belmont Gold Cup. The five-year-old has now won 11 of his 20 career starts and is going to be very tough to beat in this spot at a light price.
Power Foot ships in from the west coast for the Drysdale barn. The gelding has won just once in his last 14 starts, taking a $80,000 optional claimer at Santa Anita in January of ’15 at today’s distance. He has faced mostly tougher than these except for our top pick. He earned a solid number last out in a seventh place finish in the Del Mar ‘Cap (G2) where he was beaten 2 3/4 lengths. He makes his third start of his current form cycle and if Drysdale sees fit to ship this guy his best would put him in the mix here.
Greengrassofyoming was claimed by the Maker barn for $62,500 three back and he won the Stars N Stripes (G3) at Arlington Park in his first go for the barn. He then ran fourth in the Arlington Million (G1) in his last outing, beaten 1 1/4 lengths. He earned a competitive number but the Arlington Million was not one of the toughest editions we have seen in recent years. His price is going to be on the light side.
WIN: #7 to win at 6-5 or better.
EX: 6,7 / 3,6,7,9
TRI: 6,7 / 3,6,7,9 / 2,3,6,7,9
Michael Dempsey’s full card reports for the entire 38-day Belmont Park Fall Championship Meet (from Sept. 9 to Oct. 30) which includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations.