Race 7 at Kentucky Downs on Saturday, September 7 | Post Time 3:53 PM Eastern Time

Runhappy Turf Sprint Stakes – Grade 3 | Purse $700,000 | Six furlongs on Turf | Three Year Olds and Upward

 

Another in a series of fantastically deep races at Kentucky Downs, this year's Turf Sprint Stakes is a "win & you're in" for the Breeders' Cup Turf which adds extra incentive to the connections of the 10 entered. Four pairs of the entrants faced each other in recent races but among that group the Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Sprint at Ellis Park on 8/4 has my interest. Totally Boss (10) beat Jazzy Times (7) by a half-length in that race and those efforts earned 114 and 113 Equibase figures with ONLY the 116 figure Leinster (8) earned in the G3 Troy Stakes at Saratoga one day earlier a higher figure. Totally Boss was the even money favorite that day, while Jazzy Times was sent to post at 11 to 1 and in my opinion although both are good enough to win this race, the odds disparity which has Jazzy Times at 15/1 on the morning line versus 6/1 for Totally Boss has to make Jazzy Times the one we will look to first for win (and place) betting profit.

That effort by Jazzy Times (7) was no fluke, as he had led late before missing by three-quarters of a length two before that on 6/1 in the Mighty Beau Stakes, won by Extragavant Kid. The reason for mentioning that one is you will see his name in the running line of Wet Your Whistle (1), when Wet Your Whistle won the Grade 1 Highlander Stakes in June, with Extravagant Kid second. Jazzy Times also won last year's Preview Turf Sprint Stakes but did not compete in last year's running of this race. Although second to Totally Boss last month, Jazzy Times ran big with the addition of blinkers for the first time, rallying from eighth before inching clear and then run down very late by Totally Boss. Graham rides back and as another "A" effort good enough to win is likely, Jazzy Times gets the slightest of preference over his nemesis Totally Boss in this race.

Totally Boss (10) might be on a four race winning streak if not missing by a nose to Om in a $100K purse classified allowance in June. He's been a different horse since coming back from five months off in April and has been extremely consistent. Geroux was up for the first time for the Preview Turf Sprint and rides back and on opening day last Saturday Geroux won a trio of races so is about as attuned to this unique course as a jockey can be.

Wet Your Whistle (1), White Flag (6) and Leinster (8) round out my contenders list, all definitely to be used on exacta tickets as well as on pick 3 and similar consecutive race bet tickets but just a bit less probable than Totally Boss and Jazzy Times in my opinion. Wet Your Whistle is one-for-one at this six furlong turf trip but the 101 figure earned at the distance when winning the Highlander was not nearly what it will take to win this race. However, he earned a career-best 117 figure winning the Get Serious Stakes right before that. Still, he ran fourth of five with no excuse in the Troy in his most recent start. White Flag rallied from sixth to third into Wet Your Whistle in the Highlander and has not been seen since. He missed by a head in last year's running of THIS race, with Rosario aboard, who hasn't ridden since, and could be good for a big share of the purse today with a repeat of that 113 figure effort. Leinster (8) is a contender but will be overbet if anywhere near his 8/1 starting odds. Since joining the barn of Rusty Arnold, who also trains Totally Boss, Leinster has won three of five, all three in a row coming into the race including the Troy. However, he's never run this six furlong trip on turf and all three recent wins came at five and one-half furlongs so in spite of a field high 116 figure earned last out he does fall under the "be wary of a favorite trying something for the first time" rule.

 

Betting Strategies:

Win Bets: Jazzy Times (7) and Totally Boss (10) to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more, adding a place bet at 6 to 1 or more on either or both.

Exactas:

Box Jazzy Times (7), Totally Boss (10), Wet Your Whistle (1), White Flag (6) and Leinster (8).

Consider a $0.50 base trifecta box as well, which has a cost of $30.