An outstanding field of 3-year-old sprinters has entered the Franklin-Simpson Stakes at Kentucky Downs on Saturday.
Heading the wide-open horse racing betting market is Point Me By, who has emerged as a top sprinting age-group runner.
Numerous runners are capable of taking out the feature race, so bettors get excellent value top to bottom.
Kenneally Confident With Favorite
Point Me By kicked off his career with a win at Churchill Downs before running fourth in allowance company at Saratoga.
The son of Point of Entry returned a month later and won the Bruce D. Stakes at Arlington Park, which is an excellent form guide for the Franklin-Simpson.
Trainer Eddie Kenneally is confident his runner has what it takes to win the $600,000 feature.
“He’s an improving horse, a quality horse. That was just his third start, so for him to win a grade 1 in his third start was pretty impressive,” Kenneally told BloodHorse.
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Kentucky Downs is a unique track, which could cause concern for many runners in this race.
“Kentucky Downs can be a little tricky,” Kenneally added of the undulating all-turf track. “Some horses love it, some not so much. You can never know until you run a horse over that track, just to see how much they belong there or not.”
The sportsbook has Point Me By at 7-2 odds, which is a fair price given the talent in this field.
Fauci Looking for Right Formula
The son of Malibu Moon has had eight starts for a win and five-second placings, so he’s good enough to win.
He is a Philip Antonacci-trained runner who has performed well in tough races, including a second placing in the Mahony Stakes at Saratoga last start.
He also finished second in the Skidmore Stakes, Kentucky Downs Juvenile Sprint and Palisades Turf Sprint. Having had experience on this track is a massive bonus, so we wouldn’t be ruling him out.
Fauci finished strongly for second in the Mahony behind Arrest Me Red, and we expect that form to stack up nicely. Bookmakers have him on the fourth line of betting at 8-1, which could be worth taking as a saver.
Next is Battle Hardened
Wesley Ward is no stranger to training sprinters and he lines up the son of Not This Time.
Next is a three-time winner from seven starts, but it’s the races he didn’t win that holds him in good stead. He finished 14th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in 2020, before running 11th in the American Turf at Churchill Downs.
They were disappointing efforts on face value, but he backed them up with a win in the War Chant Stakes, so he’s mentally tough.
The three-year-old is battle-hardened after those losing efforts and it should make him a stronger age-group type.
Horse racing odds have Next at 5-1 on the second line of betting. There is a touch of unknown about the colt, but he demands attention in an even race.