November 30, 2021

The Last Stand at Kentucky Downs for 2017

The 5-date Kentucky Downs meeting that spanned across 9 calendar days comes to a close today, September 14, and there are seemingly two horseplayer approaches to making the most of the final day of the all-turf meeting with big fields and low takeouts: 1) a last chance to take advantage of the healthy mutuels (no track comes close to its average payouts) to get even for the meeting, and 2) keep the good times rolling if this meeting has been a bonanza for your bankroll.

I am comfortably in the former camp, having taken it on the chin for most of the meeting with the lone bright spot being a positive ROI in the jockey wager. I have managed some OK picks with juicy-priced “A” horses winning, but an inability to close the multis involving those horses have kept me from capitalizing on this meeting. Until today. Hopefully.

We began the meeting with high hopes of taking advantage of data, which coming into 2017 had produced a positive ROI when flat-betting the best last-out Speed Rating *OR* the top-ranked Prime Power horse. So far this year, the top last-out Speed Rating continues its positive ROI trend, but Prime Power has been awful. With 11 seasons of positivity coming into today we won’t give up on Prime Power and the top-ranked horse appears no worse than a “B” anywhere on the grid.

Our potential best bets on the day are #4 Vici in race 3 and #3 Desert Duchess in race 7. Vici has been win shy of late, but I like the added furlong from her typical races lately. The six-furlong try at Belmont was against better, and I think she’ll be closer to the pace this time. Desert Duchess comes right back for Ortiz/Maker, and gets a one-turn mile that I really think she’ll like.

As for the jockey wager, we’ll key heavily on the field, which just has far too much number power in each race not to contend for a scoring spot. The usual suspects Geroux, Leparoux, and Ortiz have the best chance of winning by virtue of piloting at least 3 “A” selections. Any other exacta besides those 3 would shock me.

Good luck to all on closing day. We’ll be back tomorrow for opening day at Churchill Downs!