Those that are familiar with Kentucky Downs realize the only predictable thing here is unpredictability. A short meet combined with the undulating terrain of the only European style course in this country means anything can happen. Now if you are looking for a sure thing on September 11, I think you can lay good money on the FanDuel Turf Sprint being one heck of a race.
For the second consecutive year this foray over the Kentucky 31 fescue is a Breeders’ Cup win and you are in race. That means the victor here gets an automatic fees paid berth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar on November 6. Normally, these races bring out the best and with a $1 million purse that is the case here. The quirkiness of the Franklin, Kentucky track makes it not necessarily the best fit for some runners. But the group lining up for this edition makes it a WIDE open affair.
Casa Creed is the morning line favorite (7-2) and has two wins a second and a third in five starts this year. The question about this Bill Mott trainee is will he take to a track he has never run on before?
Wonder girl Got Stormy (9-2) comes into the race off a jaw-dropping win against the boys in the Fourstardave at Saratoga in her last start. Trained by Mark Casse, this fantastic female won the Ladies Turf Sprint at Kentucky Downs last year so we know she can handle this hill.
Defending race champ Imprimis (6-1) is back for another piece of Kentucky Downs pie. Trained by Joe Orseno, this son of Broken Vow has 1 win and 2 seconds in four starts this year. This will be his third start in this race as he finished fourth in 2019.
A pair of West coast shippers will also be entering the starting gates as previous showings have encouraged their conditioners. Richard Mandella sends last year’s race runner-up Bombard (10-1) back to Franklin with eyes on the prize. Finishing just a neck back at the wire, one of California’s craftiest conditioners has him ready to roll.
“We have been pointing to this race because he ran so well here last year”, says Mandella. “He took to the track and obviously the size of the purse is encouraging too.”
Stubbins (12-1) is the other invader from the left coast. Racing out of the Doug O’Neill barn, this versatile son of Morning Line will be making his third lifetime start at Kentucky Downs. Trapped behind a wall of horses in this race last year, he finished a closing fourth. His previous start came in the Franklin-Simpson Stakes in 2019 where he finished a strong second. Having started only once this year, O’Neill is happy to be bringing in a fresh horse that is sitting on ready.
“He has been working great and we are excited to be back at Kentucky Downs”, says O’Neill. “He runs well here and we are optimistic we will see a good run from a courageous competitor.”
The depth of the field continues with proven winners like Fast Boat (10-1), Diamond Oops (15-1),and Gear Jockey (10-1). Battle tested horses like Front Run the Fed (20-1), Born Great (15-1), Siem Riep (20-1), and Chewing Gum (12-1) will also be lining up.
Given all this info, the moral to the story is the FanDuel Turf Sprint will be a fantastic race from a competition standpoint and the wagering could be off the chart. So many live horses means the money will be spread and the payouts could be very nice. Our advice is simple…back a horse and get paid!!!
Carded as race 8 on an 11 race day at Kentucky Downs, the Turf Sprint has an expected post time of 4:09 central.