The centerpiece of the five-day Kentucky Downs meet, the Grade III, $750,000 Kentucky Turf Cup, takes place this Saturday. A full field of 12 with an additional four also-eligibles has been entered for this 1 1/2-mile event. Post time for the Kentucky Turf Cup, the finale on a 10-race Saturday card, is 6:59 p.m. EST. Many noteworthy jockeys will be flying in, so weigh this race carefully in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#6 OSCAR NOMINATED (7-2, morning-line favorite) is the defending champ of this race and is a perfect 2-for-2 over Kentucky Downs’ unique turf course. He did not have an easy go of it in last year’s Kentucky Turf Cup, as he sat behind a slow pace and went five-wide under Julien Leparoux, but he got the job done. OSCAR NOMINATED comes into this year’s race off a puzzling sixth in the United Nations back in June. But prior to that he posted a win and a runner-up in three other graded stakes on grass in 2018. It’s possible trainer Mike Maker has had this race in mind ever since the U.N. and has carefully trained him up to it. Jose Ortiz, who was aboard for OSCAR NOMINATED’s W.L. McKnight win earlier this year, regains the mount.
#9 SOGLIO (12-1) has upped his game since he started going longer. He burst out for a 10-length allowance win going 1 3/8-miles at Churchill in May before taking third in the 1 1/2-mile Stars & Stripes at Arlington. He was last seen running third in a competitive 1 3/8-mile allowance at Saratoga behind next-out stakes winner Focus Group. SOGLIO, stablemate of the top choice, should get first run on the leaders under Luis Saez.
#13 PATTERSON CROSS (12-1) is an intriguing also-eligible. He’s been within a length of the winner in three of his last four, with an allowance win sandwiched between. If PATTERSON CROSS can get a clean trip under Junior Alvarado, he could prove best.
#3 MANITOULIN (6-1) moves up if PATTERSON CROSS fails to draw in. He’s been off the board in each of his three starts in 2018, but he’s had some excuses. MANITOULIN was rusty in the Fort Marcy and didn’t handle the soft going in the Bowling Green. His last win came at the Kentucky Turf Cup distance in the Hollywood Turf Cup last November. James Graham has the call.
The play: $3 exacta box 6/9, $2 exacta 6/3,9,13, $4 win 9,13 ($20)
DFJ analysis: Julien Leparoux has a modest mount in the Kentucky Turf Cup (#2 NESSY), but the remainder of his seven horses on Saturday look strong. Five of those six calls are listed at single-digits on the morning-line and none are also-eligibles. Storm The Hill (4-1) offers Leparoux a solid chance at taking the Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf (Race 7).
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