Defending champ Pixelate faces eight foes in Saturday’s $1 million Mint Million (G3) at Kentucky Downs.
The race is one of three rich stakes on the card at Kentucky Downs, which features the top purse structure in the U.S. and all grass racing.
The supporting feature are the $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile and the $500,000 Aristocrat Gaming Juvenile Fillies.
First post for the 11-race card is 12:25 CT. You can watch and wager on Kentucky Downs on the PlayUp Racebook app.
Pixelate was installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite for trainer Michael Stidham. Florent Geroux has the ride on the son of City Zip, who was third last out in the Prince George’s County at Laurel Park off the layoff.
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“He had the one comeback race and ran very well,” Stidham said. “We’re hoping that sets him up for a really big effort Saturday.”
His main foe appears to be the Mike Maker trained Atone (7-2) who is coming off a close up third against third level optional claimers at Saratoga in his last outing on Aug. 4. Tyler Gaffalione has the call.
In addition to the big card at Kentucky Downs it is Pacific Classic Day at Del Mar. The card features five stakes including the $1 million Pacific Classic (G1), a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
Let’s head out to Kentucky Downs for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Kentucky Downs Race 10 The Mint Million (G3) Post time 5:31 CT
9 Atone 7-2
3 Pixelate 5-2
7 Kentucky Ghost 6-1
6 Mr Dumas 5-1
The Maker trainee ships in from Saratoga where last out the gelding was beaten a couple of noses in a third-place finish against Alw-3 optional claimers. He has now lost six in a row but has been in the mix in each outing including a solid second two back in the Forbidden Apple (G3) and he was only beaten a length in a fourth-place finish in the Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) at the spring Keeneland meeting. The gelding looks live in this spot.
This five-year-old is the defending champ, getting the job done here last year returning his backers $11.20. He is 0 for 4 since and is going to be a lighter price. The Stidham trainee came off the bench last out with a game third in the Prince George’s County at Laurel Park where he was beaten just a nose and a neck. English Channel got DQ’d for interference and placed second, coming back to run third in the Buckland at Colonial Downs in his next start. It appears he should get an honest pace in front of him this year and picks up Geroux. Rosario rode him last year but is at the Spa today.
The gelding was a non-factor last out in the United Nations (G1) at Monmouth Park going 1 3/8 miles in a seventh place finish. He made a last to first run to win the Cliff Hangar two back over good ground at 1 1/16 miles. He has run over the turf here twice, running a solid second in the TVG and in 2020 ran second against Alw-1 company here. The gelding comes in here off a career matching top speed fig. He catches a slightly easier spot here and the 6-1 morning line looks fair enough.