The Grade III, $1,000,000 Kentucky Turf Cup, the centerpiece of the boutique Kentucky Downs meet, anchors their Saturday program. The 1 1/2-mile heat lured 14 older grass horses. Post time for the Kentucky Turf Cup, the finale on a 10-race program, is 6:35 p.m. ET.
#11 CAMPAIGN (5-1) has been running exclusively on dirt in 2019, notching Grade III wins in the 1 1/2-mile Cougar II Handicap and Tokyo City Cup. However, he accomplished a rare feat by winning twice at last year’s Kentucky Downs meet, breaking his maiden on Sept. 1 before beating allowance foes one week later. CAMPAIGN obviously loves this unique course and has improved his speed figures substantially at age four for trainer John Sadler. He could stamp himself as the main challenger to Bricks and Mortar in the Breeders’ Cup Turf with a victory in the Kentucky Turf Cup. Joel Rosario will have the assignment.
#5 BIGGER PICTURE (8-1) was beaten just a half-length by ARKLOW in last year’s Kentucky Turf Cup. Since then, he’s tallied two wins at this distance and surface, including the prestigious Grade II Elkhorn at Keeneland two starts back. BIGGER PICTURE was a disappointing fourth in the United Nations last time out but stretching back to 1 1/2-miles, where he’s 14-4-3-3 all-time, should help. Tyler Gaffalione will be aboard.
#10 ARKLOW (5-2, morning-line favorite) was part of a blanket photo in the Bowling Green at Saratoga last time out. He ended up third beaten just a half-length by Channel Cat. The defending race winner has been camera-shy in 2019, placing second by a neck two straight times before the Bowling Green result. ARKLOW will be ridden once more by Florent Geroux.
#9 ZULU ALPHA (9-2) has underachieved outside of Gulfstream Park this year, where he won two turf stakes during the winter meet. He finished behind BIGGER PICTURE in the Elkhorn and ARKLOW in both the Man o’ War and Bowling Green. But based on speed figures, ZULU ALPHA is hard to dismiss entirely in the Kentucky Turf Cup. Jose Ortiz gets the leg-up.
#7 PILLAR MOUNTAIN (10-1) won two straight 1 3/8-mile turf races before checking in sixth in the Grade I Sword Dancer last time out. Adam Beschizza will be aboard the late-blooming class-dropper on Saturday.
The play: $2 exacta 11/5,7,9,10, $2 win 5 ($10)
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