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Kentucky Downs’ $6.53 Million in Stakes

Richest non-Breeders' Cup card ever?

One of the richest non-Breeders’ Cup cards in United States horse-racing history goes Saturday at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, It’s a dozen races worth a combined $6.53 million in purses, including six graded stakes (five at seven figures, too). The late Pick 5 is an all-graded stakes sequence, with some juicy options when betting online.

Pick 5 Begins with Rivalry

The Pick 5 starts with the eighth race (post time 4:30 p.m.ET), the $1 million, Grade III Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf Stakes at the mile. Dalika (Brian Hernandez Jr., post No. 1) and defending champion Princess Grace (Florent Geroux, post No. 8) renew their rivalry as the morning-line favorites in the horse racing odds. Princess Grace defeated Dalika by a half-length in the last edition. Dalika then returned the favor, beating “Grace” by that same margin in the Beverly D (Churchill) last month. That race was as a staple at the now-defunct Arlington Park

Kentucky Downs Offers $6.53 Million On 12-Race Card Stuffed With Stakes
EZRA SHAW / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The second leg is the FanDuel Turf Sprint Stakes, a Grade II event (purse $1 million) at three-quarters of a mile (post time 5:10 p.m. ET). Arrest Me Red is the 8-5 favorite, Irad Ortiz Jr. riding as the pair starts outside their 11 foes. “Red” is 6-for-10 lifetime, and boasts some versatility. There’s An intriguing longshot is Front Run the Fed (15-1), who like the fave, did lose to the raging Casa Creed in his last start. Front Run the Red makes his third start in the form cycle. Jose Lezcano rides from post No. 9.

The middle leg is the $1 million Grade II Kentucky Turf Cup at a mile-and-a-half half. So, it’s 12 horses at 12 furlongs Tne 8-year-old Arklow (7-2) is making his fifth start in this race. Arklow did take the 2018 and 2020 editions, and finished second in both 2019 and 2021. Geroux rides from post No.. 4. The favorite at (early) 7-5 is Gufo, coming off a smashing victory in the Sword Dancer over a ‘good; turf Travers Day at Saratoga. Joe Rosario has the assignment from post No. 8. Red Knight (15-1) finished second to Arklow here in ’20, and comes off a victory in a listed stake at Colonial for trainer Mike Maker, who is enjoying an excellent meet thus far. It’s Gerardo Corrales and post No. 1. Post time is 5:45 p.m. ET.

The penultimate Pick 5 leg offers the $1 million Grade III Mint Ladies Sprint Stakes at 6½ furlongs. Campanelle (8-5), who’s 5-for-9 lifetime, tries the European-styled Kentucky Downs for the first time in what could be a sequence single with Ortiz Jr. (post No. 10) in the irons. In Good Spirits (John Velazquez, post No. 11) defend her title in what was also her last win…at 14-1. She;s 8-1 early here. Tobys Heart (post No. 6,15-1) is an intriguing longshot who mowed down the field to win a $500,000 race here last season, competitive speed figure as well. Adam Beschizza rides. Post time is 6:20 p.m. ET.

The final leg is the $600,000 Grade II Franklin-Simpson Stakes for 3-year-olds (6½ furlongs), and could offer a soft landing in the form of another single in the sequence. Big Invasion (pot No. 6, 8-5) is 6-for-7 lifetime, only losing his debut. Big Invasion’s speed figures tower over his 11 rivals. It’s Rosario as his escort. If he throws in a clunker, however, Asymmetric could be a price with Ortiz Jr riding (post No. 10), speedball finished a combined 7½ lengths behind Big Invasion in his two United States starts, but bottoming out the field on the front end (or at least trying) may be his strategy.  Check the racebook prior to Race 12 for the Pick 5 will pays.

The finale goes at 6:55 p.m. ET.

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