Our focus of this review is on the Saturday card at turf-only Kentucky Downs, worth over $2m in prize money. At one time the meeting looked in danger as fierce thunderstorms swept through the area turning the going to yielding. However, everything went ahead and the going didn’t appear to cause any problems as the big three races on the card all went to the relevant favorite.
We start with the More Than Ready Mile and, as expected, Songsational set the pace and Watchyourownbobber was content to sit just behind him before jockey Leparoux made his move in mid-stretch. From then on, the contest was as good as over with Watchyourownbobber (evens favorite) drawing away to win by 4 ½ lengths.
The big disappointment of the race was Dimension whose effort at the ½ mile point petered out and he drifted back to a well-beaten last.
The most valuable race on the card, the Kentucky Turf Cup, was won last year by Da Big Hoss and he repeated the dose in 2016. Jockey, Florent Geroux, was quite content to track the gentle pace on the 1/2 favorite at the back of the field and was still in 7th place with a half mile left to run.
He then started to move into contention with a rail-hugging trip and collared the long time leader, Rum Tum Tugger, with a furlong and a half to go. Geroux then drove his mount to clear to win by a comfortable 1 ¼ lengths.
Following this win, connections have the very pleasant decision as to where to run him next as he has offers to run in Australia as well as at home in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
The final race on the card, the Ladies Sprint went to the 3/2 favorite, Mississppi Delta, capping another fine day for jockey Florent Geroux. Mississippi Delta travelled sweetly behind the front running Rapid Rhythm before she was given the office by Geroux coming into the stretch. She passed the leader with ease and put the race quickly to bed, running on strongly to the line and winning by 1 ¾ lengths.
Finally we take a quick look at the Hastings Park’s valuable card with the highlight being the 72nd running of the British Columbia Derby. The race went to the Troy Taylor trained Sorryaboutnothing and, although the winner was third favourite you could say the market got it right as all the late money was for the winner taking the price from 14/1 down to a starting price of just below 5/1.
The backers never had a moment’s worry as the horse lead from tape to wire under a super-confident Reyes ride, passing the post a comfortable 2 ½ lengths to the good.
Opportunistic proved a very disappointing favourite. He drifted from 3/5 to 13/10 before the off and, despite making some late headway, he never looked like troubling the leaders.