Turf Sprint (G3) — Race 8 (5:09 p.m. ET)
No stranger to beating the boys, or out-finishing most of them at the highest level, Got Stormy will attempt to topple some very good ones in Saturday’s $1 million Turf Sprint (G3) at Kentucky Downs.
The six-furlong dash, one of five stakes on the all-turf track’s biggest card of the season, offers the winner an automatic entry in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Del Mar in November.
Though only fifth in that Breeders’ Cup event at Keeneland last fall, Got Stormy’s overall rate of success in open races has been stellar. The six-year-old mare recently captured the one-mile Fourstardave H. (G1) at Saratoga for the second time in three attempts, and also came close in races like the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), Woodbine Mile (G1), and Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) in recent seasons.
Got Stormy handled the unique and tricky Kentucky Downs terrain just find last year, dominating the Ladies Turf Sprint (G3) by more than three lengths.
The top four finishers from last year’s Turf Sprint are back. Imprimis, the 3-1 favorite in the 2020 renewal, prevailed by a neck over the dead-heating Front Run the Fed and Bombard, with Stubbins 1 3/4 lengths behind the winner in fourth. Imprimis has won only once in five starts since, most recently finishing fourth behind Fast Boat in the Troy (G3) at Saratoga.
Fast Boat is 10-for-26 lifetime and has won three of his past four. Bookending his victories in the Troy and Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2) was a sixth-place finish in the Jaipur (G1) behind Casa Creed, who should appreciate the cut back in trip after running third to Got Stormy in the Aug. 14 Fourstardave.
The multiple graded-placed Chewing Gum and Gear Jockey don’t look out of place, either, and would be kickers for those looking to play the vertical exotics.
Ladies Sprint (G3) — Race 6 (3:57 p.m. ET)
With Got Stormy out of the picture for a title defense, the $600,000 Ladies Sprint (G3) over 6 1/2 furlongs becomes more winnable for a number of fillies and mares. Monrovia (G2) winner Venetian Harbor is joined by fellow California shippers Superstition and Constanita, while Jeanie B enters off a photo-finish loss in the Royal North (G2) at Woodbine.
Trainer Joe Sharp, who won three races on the Sept. 5 Kentucky Downs opener, saddles Catch a Bid, last-out winner of a two-turn stakes at Mountaineer. Yes It’s Ginger steps up in class and distance off a pair of stakes scores at Lone Star and Ellis Park.
Franklin-Simpson S. (G2) — Race 10 (6:18 p.m. ET)
The 6 1/2-furlong, $600,000 Franklin Simpson S. (G2) for three-year-olds appears another fascinating sporting and betting proposition. Point Me By, victorious in the Bruce D. (G1), cuts back from a mile, though faces a field much stronger than the one he met in the grade-inflated Arlington fixture.
An honest pace looks assured, which could benefit the likes of Easy Time, Annex, Tango Tango Tango, Omaha City, and the also-eligible Fauci, in addition to Point Me By.
The field is enhanced by the presence of two European imports. The Lir Jet, who captured the Norfolk (G2) at Royal Ascot in 2020, will race as a gelding for the first time and should perform well over ground firmer than he’s experienced for most of the year. The filly Miss Amulet took the Lowther (G2) at York last year and later placed in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), but was not competitive in either Group 1 outing in England earlier this year.