March 24, 2023

Archidust favored in Franklin-Simpson to close out Kentucky Downs meet

Archidust capturing the $100,000 Mahony at Saratoga (Coglianese Photography)

The 2019 Kentucky Downs meet concludes its five-day stand Thursday, with the highlight of the 10-race card being the $500,000 Franklin-Simpson (G3) for three-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs.

The 2-1 morning line favorite is Archidust, who will break from post 1 under Javier Castellano. Trained by Jorge Navarro, Archidust has won both of his turf outings, the $75,000 My Frenchman at Monmouth Park and the $100,000 Mahony at Saratoga, in a manner suggesting he should find the step up in distance from 5 1/2 furlongs agreeable.

Among those with graded experience are Casa Creed, last-out winner of the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2) in a photo, and Moon Colony, who defeated Casa Creed in the Penn Mile (G2) in May before running last of eight in their Saratoga rematch last month.

Jose Ortiz, who has racked up several stakes wins at the meet, will be aboard multiple stakes winner Nitrous for Steve Asmussen. Runner-up in the Woody Stephens (G1) and Amsterdam (G2) during the summer, the son of Tapit was ineffective in his only previous try on the grass.

Other possibilities include The Last Zip, who’s placed in the Secretariat (G1) and American Derby (G3) in his last two; Pole Setter, wire-to-wire winner of the $100,000 Paradise Creek at Belmont two back; and The Black Album, a stakes winner at Woodbine two back but only fifth to Archidust in the Mahony last time.


The $500,000 Ramsey Farm, for fillies and mares at 1 5/16 miles, features a field of 12. The betting favorites figure to be Gentle Ruler, who captured the Robert G. Dick Memorial (G3) and $90,000 Keertana prior to her recent fourth in the Waya (G3), and Gaining, who placed behind Gentle Ruler in both that rival’s wins as well as the Bewitch (G3) back in April.