Four stakes, a trio of which are Grade 3 events, highlight Saturday’s 10-race card at Kentucky Downs, and the most accomplished runner on the grounds will be found in the $350,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf (G3). Multiple Grade 1 winner Miss Temple City tops the field in the one-mile event while looking to snap a two-race losing streak.
Conqueror of males in the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) and Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) last year, Miss Temple City notched a third top-level triumph in December with a nose win in the Matriarch (G1) at Del Mar. The five-year-old trained by Graham Motion has started just twice this term, finishing 13th of 16 in the Queen Anne (G1) at Royal Ascot after not getting in a stateside prep. In her comeback July 30, she weakened to third in the Matchmaker (G3) at Monmouth Park as the odds-on choice.
Among those lining up against Miss Temple City are Beauly and Grade 2 scorer Linda, one-two in the $100,000 Indiana General Assembly Distaff on July 15, and the speedy Grade 3 scorer Zipessa.
The most lucrative of the day’s features is the $600,000 Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) over 1 1/2 miles. Enterprising, who captured the Muniz Memorial (G2) in April and last time finished a close fourth in the Arlington Million (G1) at 80-1, will likely vie for favoritism with recent American St. Leger (G3) hero Postulation.
In addition to Enterprising, trainer Mike Maker, who won the past two editions of the race with Da Big Hoss, also saddles Grade 3 winner and St. Leger runner-up Taghleeb and the multiple graded placed Oscar Nominated, who romped in the Dueling Grounds Derby over this course last season. Riding a hot streak is Muqtaser, a Kiaran McLaughlin trainee that won twice in allowance company at Saratoga.
Maker has a strong chance in the $400,000 Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint (G3) with Hogy, who missed by a neck in last year’s renewal of the 6 1/2-furlong dash. Other leading contenders including globetrotting Undrafted, looking for his first win over the course in four attempts, Commend, Bondurant, and Wyeth.
Lull, who captured the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies last year, returns to the all-turf track in the $350,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint. In a brief campaign of three starts this season, the Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider homebred has placed twice in stakes company, including a second in the San Clemente H. (G2) at Del Mar last time.
Another three-year-old taking a swing against the older mares is Morticia, who’s won three stakes in a row for Rusty Arnold. She kicked off the streak with a nose win over Lull at Belmont in May, and has since notched added-money victories at Laurel and Saratoga against fellow sophomores.
Mississippi Delta won the 2016 Ladies Sprint as the 3-2 choice, and is far better than what she showed on good ground in the $200,000 Caress at Saratoga last time. Also hindered by wet ground Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill, she posted a solid win in the Intercontinental (G3) at Belmont in June over a firm turf.
Grade 3 winner Fair Point and multiple stakes-placed Corby also figure in the 6 1/2-furlong test.