Will favorites rule across Kentucky Sire Stake finals?

With $3.4 million in purses on at Red Mile on Sunday it’s shaping up to be a great card of racing.

by Brett Sturman

Heading into Sunday’s (Sept. 17) eight $400,000 Kentucky Sire Stake Championship Series finals, perhaps the question that should be asked isn’t how many of those races will be won by favorites but will favorites sweep every race?

The answer to that question and any in between will impact the unique 20 Cent Pick-8 wager being offered across the eight Championship Series Finals. With a $10,000 guaranteed pool and a low 15 per cent takeout, the wager will offer a mandatory payout for the day. If all or most of the obvious horses throughout the day win, the payout will be miniscule. If one or two of those lose, it’s possible that six or seven out of eight could take down the entire pool. Here’s how all of the races look:


Starting right off with what will be a theme through almost all of the races, do you play just the most likely scenario and single Allegiant, or exponentially increase the value of the ticket on the off chance there’s a surprise? Allegiant comes off a 1:52.2 win on Sept. 5, and you’d think Zeron will have her on the point once again. Two back, Volcanic Blue Chip was making ever so gradual gains from the pocket against Allegiant, but then last out had the identical trip from the pocket and couldn’t make nearly the same impression. Date Night Hanover continues to garner support every race but wasn’t at her best last out. Dolce Amara is somewhat of an unknown.


Geocentric had a real test a couple of weeks back in her Pennsylvania Sire Stake race when My Girl EJ gave her all she could handle, but Geocentric prevailed in that race. It’s back to KYSS foes where she hasn’t won by anything less than four lengths in her three other KYSS legs and would be near impossible to see losing in this spot. A 1:49.4 winner here four back, seems like it’s strictly a matter of who will finish behind her. I’d imagine she’ll be a single on almost all tickets. Asweetbeachhere did try an uncovered push a couple back against Geocentric and actually was close at the top of the lane, but faltered from there and wound up being many back in the end as has been the case for all others; she’s been well supported against others including Lyons Legend. Capytreach was just third in that small field of four last out as the favorite but her prior efforts are better than that. Gifted One scored off the 2-hole trip in that same small field race. Seeuontheotherside was able to secure a good early spot from an outside post two back, maybe Hall takes a similar early chance.


Next up in the parade of the shortest priced favorites is Twin B Joe Fresh. She enters her KYSS Championship Series Final with five straight wins, the most recent of which came just last Sunday against the identical group. Despite getting away fourth out of five and sitting off a slow :56.2 half mile pace, it still didn’t matter as she paced on by once being put into position and then comfortably held off others. If there was ever a chance for Charleston to beat her it would have been last week when she got off easy on the front end, but could still only manage third. Always B Naughty did very well to narrow the gap for second last out in her PASS Final when Odds On Hail Mary had a big tactical jump on her. The Adioo Volo champ pulled the pocket two back against Strong Poison en route to a sharp 1:48.2 win; maybe from the rail she can put a scare into Twin B Joe Fresh. Strong Poison followed the race winner last out and was able to nail down second. Zanatta has had her moments despite being 0-for-10 on the year, that’s what racing against the very best fillies every race will do.


Karl has the look of a special one and he’s been nothing
less than brilliant in all of his three starts thus far to
kick off his young career. His 1:52.1 win two back was monstrous, he coasted last out, and it would take something unfortunate for him to not win here. Vocalize continues to outrace his odds and he was active in that last mile
despite his longshot status; might as well blast again.
Duke Of Walner was never going to track down Karl last out but it’s probable he was going to close in for second if not for that break. At the same time, I thought he would have been able to hold off Longfellow S a couple races back as well,
so there are question marks. Topmost saved ground and rallied up the inside to be second last out to Karl, second straight race he’s been runner-up to that foe. Dame Good Time was beaten last out when he broke.


This is just a small field of six, but at the same time one of the only races you could make a reasonable case for horses beyond the favorite. Better Is Nice lost at 1-9 last out and never looked as strong as he did in races prior. He’s yet to show any speed but I wonder if McCarthy would be content to get away last from the outside post. Ivy Park hadn’t been able to figure out Better Is Nice two and three races ago, but he looked like he might have been on his way last out before getting rough and then being lost to a full-blown gallop. He’s a threat if Takter can figure out what happened that day. Dancin Champion capitalized in that race and split through off the great trip; he was game on the front end in his race prior. Tua Many Captains was following that same seam late and he looks for another win in a six-figure race having won a KYSS Final at Oak Grove in July.


Tactical Approach has really turned it on beginning with his win in the Hambletonian. Last weekend he wasn’t particularly well positioned having gotten away last with no real pace on, before he eventually got into the cover flow, moved widest and went by them all. Maybe he was caught off guard a bit two back by French Wine, but he was active early in that race where they put up a :54 half mile; seems ideally positioned from post 2. As mentioned, French Wine pulled off the shocker two back in 1:50 and then was unleashed late at Pocono to win his PASS Final. Ari Ferrari J was outkicked last out by Tactical Approach despite the second over trip; he’s always in the mix. Hambletonian elimination winner Point Of Perfect dove to the inside last Sunday when he closed for third but wasn’t an imminent threat to the top two. Khaosan Road has been given chances to win in his past few and hasn’t been bad. Kilmister tired in his most recent after he had been coming back into form.


Confederate comes off a record breaking 1:46.1 mile in which he established himself as the fastest 3-year-old ever, demolishing the prior record held by a few of 1:46.4. In a race that essentially amounted to a time trial as stable mate Command sacrificed himself through fractions as fast he could set, the only question is what the timer would stop at when Confederate won. The weather forecast for Sunday calls for cooler temperatures than the 92 degrees when the record was set two weeks ago; it will be interesting to see what Confederate delivers as an encore.


Special Way returned from injury two weeks back when making her first start since the beginning of June and couldn’t have been any more determined. It actually looked like a couple might have had her number but she responded to the pressure and if anything, should be even stronger now. Walner Payton had every chance from the pocket two back against Mambacita and had plenty of room to rally up along the inside last out against Special Way but couldn’t reach in either case. Mambacita was excellent in that win two back but was only mild at best last out; now moves outside. Railee Something earned her PASS Championship win last out at Chester when she was used early past a fast opening quarter, held off challenges including one from Heaven Hanover, and went wire to wire. Mommamia Volo rallied wide with some late interest in her most recent against Special Way.