Race of the Week: Mint Million at Kentucky Downs | Saturday, September 3, 2022

The Lead:
Day 2 of the rich, 7-day Kentucky Downs season on Saturday features a million-dollar race on the marquee. Turf milers clash in the $1,000,000 Grade 3 Mint Million, where defending champion Pixelate takes on 8 challengers.

​Horseplayers on the 1/ST BET and Xpressbet platforms can take advantage of up to a $10 money-back special on all Kentucky Downs races during the 2022 meeting. If your win bet finishes second or third, you'll be refunded up to $10 when you play with 1/ST BET and Xpressbet.

​Field Depth:  
PIXELATE has the Grade 3 victory in this race a year ago to top his resume. CAVALRY CHARGE and GRAY'S FABLE also are Grade 3 winners.  KENTUCKY GHOST has been keeping among the strongest company lines.

Pace:
A strong tempo is projected with TUT'S REVENGE, GRAY'S FABLE, BETWITHBOTHHANDS and INJUNCTION all expected to show some speed. The lean here would be toward horses with late finishing kick.

Our Eyes:
PIXELATE's victory from 10 lengths off the pace in this race last year is likely the right style and it's never a bad thing to be an effective past runner over this course. Pedigree-wise, sire City Zip's offspring have solid numbers at Kentucky Downs, so that's not a surprise. The form cycle is completely different coming into the title defense with only 1 race this year, and he's not won since that local score 5 starts back.

Also with promising Kentucky Downs form in their past performances, CAVALARY CHARGE was an allowance winner in 2021 over this mile trip.  He exits a flat performance on a dicey course in the Arlington Million that may be excused. KENTUCKY GHOST was runner-up in the KD stakes ranks last season behind In Love, a company line that stacks up highly favorable in this spot. Horses coming off races at Monmouth like KENTUCKY GHOST have had a very solid strike rate at Kentucky Downs over the past 5 years.

GRAY'S FABLE trainer Brian Lynch is one of the top trainers at this meet to watch historically. This 7-year-old comes off a prep win at 10-1 via Ellis Park, where he edged Mint Million returnees MR DUMAS and TUT'S REVENGE. Of that trio, MR DUMAS may be the play for a John Ortiz barn having a career-best year.

Most Certain Exotics Contender:
PIXELATE is proven over the track, gets a great pace set-up and has made the trifecta in 7 of his last 8 races.

Best Longshot Exotics Contender:
KENTUCKY GHOST should be let go at a decent price and is the play in terms of value and past local experience.

Sending it in ($100 bankroll):
$80 win KENTUCKY GHOST. $10 exacta box KENTUCKY GHOST and PIXELATE ($20).

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