Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf Predictions, Expert Picks, Odds

Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Abscond (4/1)

Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf Post Position and Odds

Check out our predictions and odds for the Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf at Kentucky Downs!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 SARA SEA 30/1
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M Murrill D W Lukas
2 PRINCESS GRACE 2/1
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F Geroux M Stidham
3 ABSCOND 4/1
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F Prat E Kenneally
4 QUERELLE 15/1
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T Gaffalione P Miller
5 SHE’SONTHEWARPATH 8/1
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A Beschizza S Margolis
6 SHIFTY SHE 6/1
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I Ortiz Jr S Joseph Jr
7 PRINCESS CAUSEWAY 12/1
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C Landeros I Wilkes
8 SUMMER IN SARATOGA 12/1
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L Saez J Sharp
9 DALIKA 9/2
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J Rosario A Stall Jr

 

Princess Grace, a winner of three consecutive graded stakes races, is the headliner in a field of nine older turf females set to battle it out at a flat mile in Saturday’s $750,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf Stakes.

A winner of a 5-of-6 lifetime, the Mike Stidham-trained Princess Grace finished off last season with a victory in the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs. After an 8-month layoff, the daughter of Karakontie has picked up right where she left off with victories in the Grade 3 Dr. James Penny Memorial Stakes at Parx and the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon at Del Mar last time.

Chief among her rivals in this Grade 3 event will be the Al Stall, Jr.-trained Dalika. The winner of the 2020 One Dreamer Stakes at Kentucky Downs last September, the German-bred 5-year-old mare has added two more stakes victories this season, including the Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial at Delaware Park two starts back.

Another mare who should get plenty of support is the Grade 1 winner, Abscond. A daughter of Blame, she earned that win two summers ago at Woodbine. Trained by Eddie Kenneally, she comes in off a solid runner-up finish last time in the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes, also at Woodbine.

Best Bets for the Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

$10 Exacta box – Abscond and Princess Grace = $20

$5 Exacta part wheel – Abscond over Dalika, She’sonthewarpath and Summer in Saratoga = $15

$5 Exacta part wheel – She’sonthewarpath, Summer in Saratoga and Dalika over Abscond = $15

Top Pick:

Abscond (4/1)

Bet on Abscond, Here!

Race Analysis

Princess Grace

The class of the field, this multiple graded stakes-winning daughters of Karakontie is the clear morning-line favorite, and I expect her odds to dip even lower than the 2/1 listed. She deserves the respect after winning at every level, including a nice Grade 2 win at Del Mar last time. She’s never run at the unorthodox course at Kentucky Downs before, but she has run well at a different turf course in each of her six-lifetime starts. She has nice tactical speed and has been finishing these races off well, but it’s worth noting that in her only defeat, she rallied for the lead, but was then passed late. She is obviously the one to beat, but I will take a shot to do just that against the heavy favorite.

Abscond

This 4-year-old daughter of Blame was a Grade 1 winner as a juvenile but has not been able to find the winner’s circle since. Having said that, she has run several good races in her eight subsequent starts, often finishing in the picture while keeping strong company. Most recently, she returned to her best form when she came flying down the Woodbine turf course to finish a good second in the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes. She likes the one-mile distance and seems to do her best running with one late run. That should set up well for her on Saturday while picking up top rider Flavien Prat. It’s been sometime between wins, but she is the top pick to pull off a mild upset.

Dalika

After fading out of the picture last time against very tough competition, this German-bred mare will cut back to shorter distances after going long in her last four races. One of the classier horses in the field, she is a stakes winner in her only previous try at Kentucky Downs. I’m not sure if the recent distance racing will have dulled her, but with her speed, she should be able to transition back to the one-mile distance smoothly. Many of her previous races at a middle distance are encouraging and having the meet’s dominant rider Joel Rosario in the irons shouldn’t hurt either.

Shifty She

A lightly raced daughter Gone Astray, look for this one to go straight to the lead on Saturday under the top rider, Irad Ortiz, Jr. A two-time stakes winner this season, she has never failed to run a good race, so it’s likely a matter of just how far she can carry her speed in her first try against graded stakes competition and her debut at Kentucky Downs. With Dalika in the race, it’s not likely she will have an easy time of it on the front end. She is a threat, as her recent form is good, but I am going to bet that she has trouble holding off the challenges in the long stretch of Kentucky Downs.

She’sonthewarpath

This winner of an 8-of-16 lifetime on the grass brings great form into Saturday’s test, having won two straight stakes races at Ellis Park for trainer Steve Margolis. Although she has never raced before at Kentucky Downs, the daughter of Declaration of War has proven herself over multiple turf courses around the country. A consistent rallier, she should appreciate this course, especially with some speed upfront to set the table. Having come close before, Saturday could be the day the six-time stakes winner breaks through and becomes a graded stakes winner.

Summer in Saratoga

Coming in off stakes win at Indiana Grand, this 5-year-old daughter of Hard Spun has put together a very solid turf record, with five wins. She has never tried graded stakes competition before, but her two stakes win this year demonstrates that she can run at this level. She also has run well at Kentucky Downs before, including a rallying win in allowance company last summer. With a nice rider change to Luis Saez and a good closing kick which generally does well at this course, she looks like a very live long shot at 12/1 on the morning line.

Princess Causeway

Trained by Ian Wilkes, the other Princess comes into this with plenty of experience at Kentucky Downs, having run there each of the past three summers. She’s also had success, winning twice, but finishing off the board in this same race last year. Her two starts this year, coming in stakes races at Canterbury and Ellis Park, are quite solid without winning. While her best looks a cut below these, you have to respect her fondness for the course. She is an interesting long shot to use underneath, but it’s hard to discount her 0-for-3 record against fellow competitor She’sonthewarpath.

Querelle

This Violence mare comes from California where she has been consistent on the turf, finishing in the money in nine of her last ten starts. Most of that has come sprinting for trainer Peter Miller, but she did run in the Grade 3 Wilshire at a mile the last two years and did not embarrass herself either time. Hard to know whether the demanding terrain of Kentucky Downs will be to her liking, but this spot looks to be a tough one for a mare who has done most of her running in allowance company. She is not a complete toss, but I like others better.

Sara Sea

This 5-year-old daughter of Tiznow hails from the barn of the legendary D. Wayne Lukas. Unfortunately, she has never won a race on the turf in six tries and has only won once in 22 starts in the past two seasons. She ran decently last time when bothered before finishing fourth in a turf stake at Ellis Park. Also, her three turf tries this year are all pretty good, but she would really need to step up her game to compete with this type of competition on Saturday. She deserves to be the longest shot on the board.

How to watch the Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf

Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf Race Information
Race Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf (Grade 3)
Location Kentucky Downs
Time Saturday, September 11 — 4:34 pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $750,000

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

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