Kentucky Turf Cup Odds & Betting Preview

A full field helps make the G2 Kentucky Turf Cup a tricky, trappy affair, with Saturday’s feature at big-money Kentucky Downs drawing last year’s winner Red Knight along with in-form barnmates Therapist and Me And Mr. C, plus Saratoga G2 runner-up Verstappen to add an extra twist.

Check the recap 2023 Kentucky Turf Cup: Get Smokin benefits from burn-up

Breeders Cup Odds

Kentucky Turf Cup

G2, $1,700,000, 1m 4f turf, 3yo+, 6.05pm CT

There is big money on the table at idiosyncratic Kentucky Downs and the Turf Cup – a win-and-in for the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf – is the centrepiece of a stakes-heavy Saturday afternoon. The Downs is unlike any other US track – undulations, a long straight, a right-hand turn – and course form is usually a major positive.

Mike Maker has been meet-leader for the last four years and puts three in the gate, with last year’s winner Red Knight (4-1) well to the fore. He got the money by a nose 12 months ago and this represents class relief after a string of G1 raids, including a comfortable victory in the 2023 Man o’ War at Belmont Park over a mile and three-eighths, with Verstappen (9-2) a no-show seventh.

Last time out he was thwarted by barnmate Therapist (7-2) in the 2023 G1 United Nations at Monmouth Park over a mile and three-eighths, beaten two and a quarter lengths into third after his usual late rally came up short, with Foreign Relations (12-1) a one-paced sixth, a length further back. Red Knight could flip that form, as Therapist was beaten in an allowance on his only start at the circuit, and it may not be his bag.

Maker’s third wheel Me And Mr. C (10-1) comes here on a three-streak, culminating in a late-closing, last-gasp neck success in a stakes over ten furlongs at Ellis Park, in track-record time. Get Smokin (15-1), a miler stretching out, tried to wire it but faded late into fourth and will probably struggle with this marathon distance, while Spooky Channel (20-1) and Kitodan (12-1) were never involved, ninth and tenth.

Me And Mr. C is upgrading nicely but needs more here, both class and stamina, while that was a rare clunker from Spooky Channel, who could figure if in the mood that brought him victory in the mile-eighth 2023 G3 Muniz Memorial Classic at the Fair Grounds in March, with Another Mystery (30-1) beaten four and a half lengths into fourth.

The aforementioned Verstappen (0-2 here) rebounded from that Man o’ War no-show with a good performance to be runner-up in the 2023 G2 Bowling Green at Saratoga over a mile and three-eighths, close up behind a slow pace before keeping on well, beating Never Explain (8-1) into third by a head.

He is much preferred to his barnmate Santin (5-1), who had totally lost his way until finishing runner-up in a weak race for the 2023 G1 Arlington Million over ten furlongs at Colonial Downs, with Never Explain three-quarters of a length back in fourth. The extra yardage may suit Santin, who lacks any sort of late kick.

2023 Kentucky Turf Cup Odds

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
Foreign RelationsJohn R. Velazquez+1200
Red KnightTyler Gaffalione+400
VerstappenDeclan Cannon+450
SantinFlorent Geroux+500
Get SmokinFernando De La Cruz+1500
Me and Mr. CGerardo Corrales+1000
KitodanIrad Ortiz, Jr.+1200
Never ExplainJoel Rosario+800
Nautilus (BRZ)Joseph Talamo+3000
Another MysteryBrian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.+3000
TherapistJavier Castellano+350
Spooky ChannelJames Graham+2000

This is class relief for last year’s winner RED KNIGHT, a G1 scorer in May from a barn that excels at this tricky circuit, and he can go back-to-back.

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