Mint Million Stakes Odds & More Kentucky Downs Races

Kentucky Downs on Saturday sees more than $5 million up for grabs, with our three feature races having purses of $2 million, $1 million, and $1 million. The 2023 Mint Million Stakes where Annapolis will be aiming to hit the board for the eleventh time in twelve starts, and he has Kentucky Downs specialist Tyler Gaffalione in the saddle.

Breeders Cup Odds

In the second of our Grade 3 races on Saturday, the 2023 Grade 3 Music City Stakes, we have a fillies sprint, and strongly fancied on the morning line odds is L J’s Emma who is going for a first graded stakes victory after winning her last three.

Mint Million Stakes

Grade 3 – Purse $2,000,000 – 1 mile – Turf – 3-Year-Olds and Up

Will Annapolis win his seventh race taking a class drop today?

We have plenty of foes here with back form in a higher grade, and none more so than the chalk Annapolis 8/5 who was a game runner-up behind Casa Creed in the 2023 Grade 1 Four Star Dave Stakes at Saratoga just two weeks ago.

When you look at Annapolis’s record he is 11-6-4-0 with his one heavy loss coming in last year’s 2022 Grade 1 Breeders Cup Mile.

Two back he won the 2023 Opening Verse Stakes coming from off the speed, and he is versatile in terms of tactics and can stalk or be on the speed. From his wide gate, he is likely to stalk the early speed which should be set by Stitched 20/1.

Churchtown 4/1 was just a head behind Annapolis in the Opening Verse Stakes and this track may see him be able to turn around that form from his draw inside the chalk.

He had a ten-week layoff after that race and has since come back to run fourth in the 2023 Grade 2 Connaught Cup Stakes at Woodbine but his finishing position does not tell the whole story as he met traffic problems and looked an unlucky loser.

Apart from these top two in the betting, we have the runner-up in the 2022 Mint Million Stakes, and that is Atone 8/1 who won the 2023 Grade 3 Dinner Party Stakes two back in a romp. He was outclassed last time in a Grade 1 but has the back form to be involved and he acts on the track.

Those three look to all hold fine chances but one of interest at much bigger odds on the board is Dhabab 30/1 who has recently moved stateside from Europe and was a solid fifth when beaten just over two lengths on his stateside debut.

If you look at his European form, he was mixing it with the best of the Europeans and this big field scenario looks ideal for this closer.

2023 Mint Million Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
Cabo SpiritReylu Gutierrez+1500
AtoneJose L. Ortiz+800
StitchedFlorent Geroux+2000
HozierAlex Achard+3000
Smokin’ TJohn R. Velazquez+450
Ancient RomeJamie P. Spencer+800
Gray’s FableDeclan Cannon+3000
ChurchtownJulien R. Leparoux+400
Get Her NumberGerardo Corrales+1500
AnnapolisTyler Gaffalione+160
Dhabab (IRE)Adam Beschizza+3000
Max K. O.James Graham+3000

Annapolis is sure to be well bet here given his race record but was only a head in front of Churchtown when they met last time. He looks sure to hit the board but is of little value on the board.

The selection is CHURCHTOWN who is a progressive colt and was very unlucky not to win off the layoff last time and he can take revenge over his old rival.

Atone, Smokin T, and Dhabab can all be fighting for a slice underneath, with the last mentioned, juicy odds for exotics players.

Music City Stakes

Grade 3 – Purse $1,000,000 – 6 ½ furlongs – Turf – 3-Year-Old Fillies

Will LJ’s Emma win here fourth on the trot and first career-graded stakes?

L J’s Emma 7/2 is the starting point here and the Eddie Kenneally trained filly is a horse on a sharp upward trajectory.

She has won three of six career starts, all coming in her last three races. She broke the maiden tag at the fourth attempt and then stepped up to win a $74k Allowance contest at Ellis Park when closing late over five and a half furlongs.

A step up the class ladder beckoned and she took another step forward when taking the 2023 Galway Stakes at Saratoga at odds of 17/1 just a couple of weeks ago. She stretches out by a furlong today which gives plenty of upside.

One of her main foes today is the classy Danse Macabre 4/1 who has been in fine form winning her last two assignments.

She is lightly raced but on her last run of 2022, she finished a fine third in the Grade 3 Matron Stakes, however, she has taken her form to a new level, winning the 2023 Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes two back before romping to win the Mamzelle Stakes last time.

Her inside gate post is ideal as she likes to stalk the speed and with proven graded stakes form, she’ll give the chalk plenty to think about.

Secret Money 5/1 and Mohawk Trail 6/1 look interesting contenders but the one that is interesting at the current morning line odds is Queen Picasso 12/1 who is two from three and now takes a cut back in distance which could suit.

She broke the maiden first time when winning over the route trip of a mile and sixteenth at Gulfstream Park but then stepped up to win the 2023 Soaring Softly Stakes at Belmont in May.

She then had a layoff but came back to run well in July when second in the 2023 Grade 3 Ontario Colleen Stakes. She was very keen on the speed that day and probably did too much early.

She should be 100% for this assignment and rates a very strong danger to the top two on the boards.

The British raider Mamma’s Girl 8/1 was in fine form earlier in the year and has been mixing it against tougher foes across the pond.

2023 Music City Stakes Odds & Betting Prediction

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
Danse MacabreAdam Beschizza+400
Jill JitterbugEdgar Morales+3000
Queen Picasso (GB)Jamie P. Spencer+1200
MalleymooJose L. Ortiz+1500
Mammas Girl (GB)Florent Geroux+800
Determined JesterForest Boyce+3000
Secret MoneyTyler Gaffalione+500
American AppleGerardo Corrales+1200
AccedeJohn R. Velazquez+1000
L J’s EmmaCorey J. Lanerie+350
BlingRafael Bejarano+1500
Mohawk TrailJulien R. Leparoux+600

L J’s Emma is the chalk here and she is progressive but has not come up against foes of this quality yet. She may well win but has to take another step forward to do so. A board position might be the best she can do.

The vote goes to QUEEN PICASSO who would have needed the run last time after a layoff and should be cherry ripe for this assignment and looks a value play across the board.

Danse Macabre, Mohawk Trail and Mamma’s Girl should all be battling for a slice underneath.

Gun Runner

Grade 3 – Purse $1,00,000 – 1 mile – Turf – 3-Year-Olds

Can Gaslight Dancer make it two from two at Kentucky Downs?

Gaslight Dancer 15/1 is the only horse in the field to have run at Kentucky Downs and that was when breaking the maiden tag on the second attempt back in September 2022.

He has since gone on to show an even better level of form and his odds on the board look very generous.

He was only beaten a neck on his first try in graded stakes company when second in the 2022 Grade 3 Futurity Stakes at Belmont and then took a step forward when beaten just over three and a half lengths in the 2022 Grade 1 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland.

He is yet to win at this level but the stretch out back to the mile gives plenty of upside.

The early chalk is Wadsworth 5/2 and he has won his last two in minor stakes company. The last of those wins came over a mile and sixteenth. The slight cutback in distance is a minor negative for this strong closer but he is a typical Brad Cox improver and holds a strong chance.

One of his major foes will be Major Dude 4/1who has strong graded stakes form and was a winner of the 2023 Grade 3 Kittens Joy Stakes back in February, and he won the 2023 Grade 2 Penn Mile three back after meeting traffic problems on the far turn.

He is likely to be forwardly placed in the run and his form at a mile is strong, and he boasts a potent stretch kick.

The McGaughey-trained Talk Of A Nation 3/1 is another player here and although he has had fewer starts than many of these, he could be the one on the speed. He is versatile stalking the speed as well and his runner-up spot at his first try at graded stakes foes last time means he’ll be plenty of handicapper’s picks here.

2023 Gun Runner Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
Georgie WAlex Achard+2000
Highway RobberJamie P. Spencer+500
Gaslight DancerGerardo Corrales+1500
Smokey MandateJames Graham+1200
Escape ArtistJohn R. Velazquez+1000
Talk of the NationJose L. Ortiz+300
Communication MemoCristian A. Torres+3000
Tall BoyReylu Gutierrez+2000
WadsworthFlorent Geroux+250
Major DudeTyler Gaffalione+400

Wadsworth will be a tough foe for this bunch to beat but his closing style is sure to put him at a disadvantage at this track and he might be too far back. He looks a strong board play but might find one or two too speedy.

The main vote goes to the overpriced longshot GASLIGHT DANCER who has some classy back form and can cause a bit of a shock here.

Both Major Dude and Talk Of A Nation are major players and can be battling for a slice underneath.

Check the Music City Stakes, Mint Million & Gun Runner Recap and race payouts

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