Kentucky Racing Shifts [Free Selections]

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 28, 2009 in Free Picks and Tips | No Comments >>

The winter is long and cold. Those are the dates that will take place at Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky. This year, they will open as always on the final Sunday in November. It is the other months that reflect the hurt that racing will feel in the Bluegrass.

The action is good, and the poly track is always fast. That, you can always count on. This year Turfway will cut back dates. Beginning in January, they will drop back to running on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They will lose Wednesdays and Thursdays for the first time since regular racing has been scheduled. No matter, you can bet they will always put on a good show, and my bet is that the will have full fields as Mountaineer Park has canceled live racing this winter.

We have set our sites on opening day, and hopefully we can start off on the right foot.

Race #3 – #6 Lion’s Den. Dean Mernagh has the ride for Kellyn Gorder, and they can get the job done first off today. First lasix combined with a hot workout, and you have a nice play. Add in that his dam was stakes placed, and has 3 starters with 3 winners. First asking is always tough, but the morning works show me that this two-year-old son of Lion Heart can fire bombs away.

Race #4 – #12 El Bomba. Pablo Tolentino has the call for Jeff Greenhill. I like playing Greenhill, as he is as honest as the day is long. He is 42% ITM in 2009. This ten-year-old gelding is 11/22 at Turfway Park. That is pretty good shooting at any track. He drops in class from open company 7,500 to conditioned action 5,000 two on the year. The outside post is no bad punishment, as the poly is like running on the freeway. It is flat, and there is a bonus to being on the outside. Tolentino did very well this past summer, and he should hold his own this winter.

Race #8 – The $50,000 Holiday Inaugural Stakes. This is the first day, and Turfway kicks it off in style.  I like #3 – Step Out Smartly.  Leandro Goncalves is in the saddle. His name is pronounced (Gon-sal-ves). Either way, this guy can ride. He should be a MAJOR factor at this meet. This runner is trained by Rusty Arnold, and she looks to enjoy the synthetic surface. She is 3/5 overall and 1/2 at Turfway Park. Her past efforts would show that she is more than capable, and with rider and trainer teaming up to win 20%, they should gain big confidence. I like Arnold no matter where he has runners. Goncalves will be a player, and should hold his own. With a little luck, this guy will become another nice rider in Kentucky.

Enjoy the change of scenery as the runners move back to Florence. This is how things have been for a very long time on the Kentucky circuit. They need help to keep racing alive in this end of the state. The horsemen need the venue, and this ensures that racing will not die in Kentucky. Those words are hard to believe, but the business of racing is on life support in need of a good doctor.

Good luck!