Louisiana Downs returns to racing action this week with the calendar turning the page to September. There is also some hot betting action at Belmont Park in New York. However, the best betting action this Saturday is at Kentucky Downs with four major graded events on the card. The featured race is the $1 million Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup.
Kentucky Downs Saturday Card
Churchill Downs and Keeneland Racecourse may be more famous tracks in the heartland of Thoroughbred racing, but Kentucky Downs is the place to be this Saturday for major graded stakes events.
The action gets underway with a pair of races for three-year-old and up fillies and mares. The first race is the Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint over 6 ½ furlongs on turf. This Grade 3 event offers a total prize purse of $500,000.
The other event is the Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf at a distance of eight furlongs (1 mile). The total prize purse for this Grade 3 stakes event is also set at $500,000. The early fields for both of these races is still coming together heading into the first full week of September.
Another graded event on Saturday’s card is the Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint at six furlongs around the turf track. This Grade 3 event is open to three-year-old and up thoroughbreds and it ups the ante a bit with a total prize purse of $750,000.
The highlight of Saturday’s race card at Kentucky Downs is the $1 million Kentucky Turf Cup sponsored by Calumet Farms. This race on turf is open to three-year-old and up thoroughbreds.
It is a Grade 3 event and it will be contested over an extended distance of 1 ½ miles. For anyone who loves racing on grass as opposed to the more traditional dirt tracks, be sure to check out Horse Racing Nation’s probable’s for all four of these big-money races.
Belmont Park’s Jockey Club Turf
The top event this Saturday at Belmont Park is the ungraded Jockey Club Derby. This race on turf is open to three-year-old thoroughbreds and it will be contested at a longer distance of 1 ½ miles. This will be the inaugural running this race with an impressive total prize purse of $1 million.
This event is part of what is now known as the “Turf Trinity’. The other two races are the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational and the ungraded Saratoga Derby Invitational. The Jockey Club Turf is also a Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In’ event with the winner getting an automatic spot in the BC Turf at Santa Anita the first Saturday in November.
The early field of probable’s includes trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s A Thread of Blue. This three-year-old Kentucky-bred colt is coming off a victory in the Saratoga Derby Invitational as the second event in the Turf Trinity.
He covered the 1 3/16 miles on turf in 1:52.02 ahead of Digital Age and Cape of Good Hope. Going back to fall of 2018, he has now finished in the money in seven of his last eight events with four victories on the racing resume.
Digital Age is also expected to be in Saturday’s field as the top entry of trainer Chad Brown. This three-year-old Irish-bred colt was fourth in the Belmont Derby Invitational back on July 6 in the first event of this three-race series.
Henley’s Joy won the first Turf Trinity event at Belmont and he is also expected to be in Saturday’s field. Trained by Mike Maker, he finished fifth in the Saratoga Derby Invitational.