Three-year-old turf runners will be in the spotlight on Sunday at Kentucky Downs, as the Dueling Grounds Oaks and Dueling Grounds Derby are set for Races 8 and 9, respectively. The Oaks carries a $300,000 purse, while the Derby carries a $400,000 purse. Both will be contested at 1 5/16th-miles over Kentucky Downs’ undulating turf course. We’ll preview both races below. Be sure to get involved in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
Dueling Grounds Oaks
#3 PAMINA (3-1, morning-line favorite) looks like a very solid favorite. She exits a respectable runner-up finish in the Grade III Pucker Up at Arlington despite being rank early and swinging five-wide for the stretch run. Florent Geroux inherits the ride on one of the fastest fillies in the field on paper.
#1 OSARE (8-1) lures Jose Ortiz off a troubled second-place finish in an allowance behind next-out stakes winner Lady Montdore. She was bumped down to sixth by the stewards for causing interference, but that doesn’t detract from a lifetime-best effort.
#8 PRINCESS WARRIOR (6-1) should be rolling late. She had too much to do in the Pucker Up as she tried to rally eight-wide from last. She finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind the top choice in that last-out performance. Brian Hernandez Jr. will be aboard.
The play: $2 exacta key box 3/1,8, $7 win 3 ($15)
Dueling Grounds Derby
#6 BANDUA (4-1) was a game third in the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington in his stateside bow. If he replicates that effort here, he’s very live under Adam Beschizza. Distance has not been an issue for BANDUA in the past. He broke his maiden on debut going 10 furlongs and was beaten less than a length in a handicap event going 14 furlongs two-back.
#7 CAPTIVATING MOON (3-1, morning-line favorite) finished just behind BANDUA in the Secretariat when last seen. That fifth was his worst placing in a while, as he compiled a 6-1-4-1 record in 2018 prior to that effort. Perhaps he does not want to go beyond 1 1/8-miles. Florent Geroux is aboard this shaky morning-line selection.
#9 CHANNEL CAT (7-2) wasn’t beaten much by next-out stakes winner and older foe Focus Group last time out. He was decent in some much tougher spots earlier in the year and seems to improve each time he adds distance. CHANNEL CAT is a fringe player under Luis Saez.
The play: $5 exacta 6/7,9 ($10)
DFJ analysis: Florent Geroux rides in eight of Sunday’s 10 races, and all of his mounts are priced at single-digits despite the massive field sizes at Kentucky Downs. Geroux has a great chance at a top three in both the Dueling Grounds Oaks (PAMINA) and Derby (CAPTIVATING MOON).
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