December 9, 2022

Pixelate makes title defense in Mint Million; Janis Joplin, Really Good highlight Kentucky Downs juvenile stakes

Piexlate wins the Min Million S. at Kentucky Downs
Piexlate wins the Min Million S. at Kentucky Downs

Saturday is the second of seven racing days during the 2022 Kentucky Downs meet, and the track will feature a trio of lucrative turf stakes on the 11-race program.

$1 million Mint Million (G3) – Race 10 (6:31 p.m. ET)

A rallying 2 1/2-length hero last year, Pixelate will seek back-to-back wins in the Mint Million (G3). The five-time stakes winner will make his second start of the season, recording a neck third in the Prince George’s County S. at Laurel Park July 16, and the five-year-old Godolphin homebred will face eight challengers in the mile feature. Florent Geroux will pick up the mount for Michael Stidham.

Gray’s Fable and Mr Dumas, the top two respective finishers in the Aug. 7 Evan Williams Turf Mile S. at Ellis Park, will square off again.

A Grade 3 winner for John Ortiz, Mr Dumas recorded a convincing tally in June’s Mystic Lake Mile S. at Canterbury before missing by a neck from off the pace as the odds-on choice last time. Reylu Gutierrez retains the assignment aboard the six-year-old closer.

Three-time stakes victor Gray’s Fable has shown a preference for racing on or up close to the pace, but he utilized rating tactics when upsetting Mr Dumas last out. Transferred to Brian Lynch following a win in May’s Opening Verse S. at Churchill Downs, the seven-year-old gelding will keep Mickaelle Michel in the saddle.

Cavalry Charge, a wire-to-wire winner of the Fair Grounds (G3) earlier this year, appears likely to show speed from his inside post. David Cohen rides for Dallas Stewart. Multiple graded stakes-placed Atone and Kentucky Ghost, winner of the Cliff Hanger S. at Monmouth Park two back, are also entered.

$500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies – Race 7 (4:48 p.m. ET)

Runner-up in the Adirondack (G3) and third in the Schuylerville (G3) at Saratoga, Janis Joplin will switch to turf for Gary Barber and Mark Casse in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies. Geroux will be up on the daughter of California Chrome.

Nine are set for the mile turf affair, including Callie’s Grit and Towhead, who figure to receive support after placing in Saratoga turf maiden races.  

$500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile – Race 8 (5:23 p.m. ET)

Castleknock will invade from California following a convincing wire-to-wire turf win over Del Mar maiden special rivals, and Really Good figures to be well-supported after a smart debut turf maiden score at Saratoga. They head a field of nine two-year-olds in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile.

Ramon Vasquez will be in to ride Castleknock for Peter Miller, and Tyler Gaffalione takes the call aboard Really Good for Mike Maker.

Other last-out winners include Anglophile, Bramble Blaze, Deer District, and Mayfield Strong.