2022 TVG Kentucky Turf Cup Betting Odds and Contenders Preview
A $1,000,000 purse and an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Turf are at stake Saturday, September 10 in the Kentucky Turf Cup (G2)! As with so many of Kentucky Downs’s rich races, the Turf Cup drew an overflow field: 12 in the starting gate, plus one horse on the also-eligible list. Thanks to both the field size and the undulating, pear-shaped configuration of the turf course, it is one of the most exciting and lucrative handicapping challenges of the year.
Arklow, already a two-time winner of this race, will try to take top honors a record third time. His foes include Gufo, winner of the Sword Dancer on August 27 at Saratoga, as well as some Kentucky Downs-loving foes like Red Knight and Glynn County.
Keep reading to find out more about the field and the race’s recent trends, and to know how you can watch and wager on the Kentucky Turf Cup online!
Kentucky Turf Cup 2022 Information
Race Date: Saturday, September 10, 2022
Track: Kentucky Downs
Post Time: 4:45 p.m. Central Time
Distance: 1 1/2 miles on the turf
Age/Sex: three-year-olds and up
Where to Watch: TVG.com
Where to Bet: TVG.com and FanDuel Racing
Kentucky Turf Cup Odds
Kentucky Downs drew the field for the 2022 Kentucky Turf Cup and its entire rich card on Wednesday, September 7 and assigned a morning line shortly thereafter. In such a big field, the morning line can be a good rough guide about who will take money. However, watching the odds as post time gets closer gives you the best idea as to which horses will be good bets.
This is the field for the 2022 Kentucky Turf Cup in post-position order, along with trainers, jockeys, and morning-line odds.
|1||Red Knight||Mike Maker||Gerardo Corrales||15-1|
|2||Breakpoint||Neil Drysdale||Tyler Baze||15-1|
|3||Temple||Mike Maker||Jose Ortiz||6-1|
|4||Arklow||Brad Cox||Florent Geroux||7-2|
|5||Keystone Field||Mike Maker||Ricardo Santana||30-1|
|6||Glynn County||Mike Maker||Vincent Cheminaud||30-1|
|7||Admission Office||Brian Lynch||John Velazquez||10-1|
|8||Gufo||Christophe Clement||Joel Rosario||7-5|
|9||Who's the Star||Mark Casse||Julien Leparoux||20-1|
|10||Another Mystery||Chris Block||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||15-1|
|11||Rogue Element||Jeff Hiles||Adam Beschizza||30-1|
|12||Highest Honors||Chad Brown||Tyler Gaffalione||12-1|
|13 (AE)||Militarist||Carlo Vaccarezza||Jose Lezcano||20-1|
Remember that information means profit when you are playing the races! Stay tuned to FanDuel TV and TVG.com for up-to-the-minute news and information, so you can have everything you need to make the best bets. You can also stay up to date on odds in order to play the board, which can help you make smarter bets. Whether it is an expected favorite who does not take money or an expected long shot being heavily bet, you can make an intelligent assessment of whether your horse still provides value, and make any race-time adjustments to your betting based on the news.
Kentucky Turf Cup Prep Results
Given how short the Kentucky Downs meet is, horses typically prepare for the race at a wide range of tracks across the country. This year is no different: the thirteen horses prepared in twelve different races.
The only two horses who come out of the same race are Red Knight and Another Mystery, the 1-2 finishers in the Colonial Cup. Three horses are coming out of Grade 1 company: Gufo most recently won the Sword Dancer, Temple was third in the United Nations, and Admission Office was sixth in the Arlington Million. Arklow was most recently second in the Bowling Green (G2), a perennially strong Grade 2 at Saratoga. The other horse to prepare in graded company was Breakpoint, who won the San Juan Capistrano (G3) and turns back for this.
Who’s the Star is the other entrant to come in off of a win, which came in the ungraded Niagara Stakes at Woodbine. Highest Honors last finished third in the Grand Couturier at Belmont, and Miltarist (the also-eligible) was second in the Buckland at Colonial. Three come from allowance company: Glynn County was most recently third in a third-level allowance at Belmont, Keystone Field was sixth in a third-level at Churchill Downs, and Rogue Element was most recently fifth in a first-level at Ellis.
Kentucky Turf Cup Contenders
Red Knight: His mile-and-a-half stamina is well proven, as he has three wins and three seconds in nine starts. His one attempt at Kentucky Downs was a good one, too: he finished a close second to Arklow in this race two years ago. That came on soft ground as well; with rain possible for Saturday, that versatility as to ground helps. It was also good to see him win so smartly at Colonial last out; he was gone for eleven months but it looks like he is the same horse for new trainer Mike Maker, who excels both at Kentucky Downs and with older turf horses.
Breakpoint: He began his career in Chile and struggled in four starts last year in the United States, but found his footing last out in the San Juan Capistrano for new trainer Neil Drysdale. He disappointed last year in this race, finishing seventh, though he might just be better this year. The win at 1 ¾ miles suggests he is fit, and the pace versatility is a positive, though he still has to prove he can handle some cut in the ground.
Temple: Sent off as an outsider in the United Nations last out, he rallied well for third and now faces a field that is, in general, a step down in class. The biggest question is whether he likes Kentucky Downs at all; in three starts over the course, he has finished no better than third, and he has also done most of his running on firm going, which he may not get this time.
Arklow: Though he is now eight years old, his second-place finish in the Bowling Green last out came against good horses and stacked up well with his races in previous years. He can move forward second off the lay for Brad Cox, he reverts back to Kentucky Downs star rider Florent Geroux, and he has already won this race twice before. Whether the turf comes up firm, soft, or anywhere in between, ignore the grand old man of Kentucky Downs at your peril.
Keystone Field: Trainer Mike Maker shines at Kentucky Downs, but this 7-year-old gelding has a lot to prove in his stakes debut. He has never gone this long, and never faced horses this classy. Perhaps he moves forward on the switch to dirt; there is some versatility to his breeding and trainer Mike Maker has built a career on reinventing older claiming horses as nice turf routers. But, he must find a lot.
Glynn County: Another member of the Mike Maker brigade, he comes in out of a third-level allowance at Saratoga but has plenty of stakes form in the past. That includes a third-place finish in this race last year. He also broke his maiden over the course two years ago. He needs one of his better races, but if he finds it, he has a good shot to find the exotics at a price.
Admission Office: He won the Arlington (G3) in June while making his first start in 15 months, though could not reel in a deep field in the Grand Couturier two back and disappointed in the Arlington Million last time. He is already a Grade 3 winner at a mile and half, though he has never tried the Kentucky Downs surface. His best fits, but this midpack-to-closing type is still an enigma of sorts so demand a price.
Gufo: Coming in from his second straight win in the Sword Dancer, he is the class of the field. The mile and a half is his best distance: he has won four times in six tries over the trip, with his only off-the-board finish coming in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last year. The only real question is the course; he has never tried Kentucky Downs before. But, closers typically run well in routes at Kentucky Downs so he has a good shot if he can return sharp on two weeks’ rest.
Who's the Star: This looks like the time to try Who’s the Star against tougher competition: two of his four career wins have come in his last two starts, and those have been his only two career tries on the lawn. He handled the sweeping outer turf at Woodbine nicely, a positive for the move to Kentucky Downs, a track he has yet to try. The pedigree raises questions for more than a mile and a quarter on the dam’s side, but the Tonalist on top supports the move and if he can handle it he will be coming late.
Another Mystery: Trainer Chris Block, an Illinois mainstay, has already won this race twice: including with Ioya Bigtime, an extremely close relative of Another Mystery. (Both are out of Ioya Two; Ioya Bigtime was by Dynaformer and Another Mystery is by his son Temple City.) This late runner comes out of a troubled but credible second to Red King in the Colonial Cup over this distance, and has wins over both firm and rain-affected going.
Rogue Element: The return to grass may help him, as he won his last start on the turf, a nine-furlong race at Churchill Downs in June. But, that was a starter allowance and he has yet to even face a tougher level than first-level allowance company. His breeding is classy enough and he has stamina on both sides, but he has not run a race fast enough and may be better suited to try a longer allowance race than this Breeders’ Cup qualifier.
Highest Honors: He started his career as a dirt horse, even trying the Travers three years ago. But, trainer Chad Brown has reinvented him as a turf horse this year, and he has responded nicely, winning an allowance and gathering a couple of stakes placings at a mile and a half this year. He is versatile enough to run a good race from close to the race or far off it, a positive in such a big field. The biggest question is if he can handle Kentucky Downs, especially since Chad Brown has not had the best luck there in recent years.
Militarist: First on the also-eligible list, he needs one scratch to draw in. He finished a credible fourth in the Clark (G1) on dirt last year as an 86-1 outsider, though both of his career victories have come on the sod. He has yet to try Kentucky Downs or this class of horses on the lawn, though, and has never tried past a mile and an eighth on any surface. He needs sharp improvement, and the mile and a half may test his stamina based on his solidly middle-distance pedigree.
Kentucky Turf Cup Past Winners Past Performances
It is unfortunate that Arlington no longer exists for plenty of reasons, but specifically now because five of the last ten Kentucky Turf Cup winners took their final prep in either the Arlington Million (G1) or the American St. Leger (G3), their festival marathon race.
Among the other winners, the only last-out race that produced more than one Kentucky Turf Cup winner in the last ten years is the United Nations. Arklow was fourth in the race in 2020; Imperador was 2nd in 2021. This year Temple comes straight from the United Nations; Glynn County and Gufo both ran off the board in it, though have each gotten a rebound effort since.
Other recent winners have come from Saratoga and Ellis. Arklow also won in 2018; he prepared with a win in the Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup at Ellis. Da Big Hoss prepared for his 2015 win in the John’s Call, a Saratoga marathon that does not supply any starters in the Turf Cup this year. Three years ago Zulu Alpha won this race off of a fifth in the Bowling Green; Arklow ran second in that race this year.
Kentucky Turf Cup Undercard
The Kentucky Turf Cup is one of five-million-dollar races on Saturday’s card at Kentucky Downs (including purse incentives based on entrants in the Ladies Turf and Ladies Sprint), and one of six graded-stakes events on the day. It is scheduled as the tenth of twelve races on the card, and is the middle leg of an all-graded-stakes Pick 5 to end the day. It is a perfect day to watch and wager all day long at TVG.com and FanDuel!
Kentucky Downs is an all-turf racetrack that holds a short meet every September. The turf course is just over 1 1/4 miles in length, and is European style in the sense that it has undulating portions and a slight right turn seven furlongs out in addition to the more typical American-style left turns.
The track opened in 1990 as Dueling Grounds, since the property had been used for duels in the early 19th century since it was just over the Kentucky border from Tennessee, which prohibited dueling. The track was used for steeplechasing in the beginning, but switched to mainly flat racing as of 1992. Though the track missed the 1997 season, it was purchased by new ownership that renamed it Kentucky Downs, and it has been racing ever since. After Kentucky approved historical racing, Kentucky Downs hosted it on site, and that has helped make the purses and fields at Kentucky Downs some of the biggest in the country.
Kentucky Turf Cup FAQ
Q: When is the Kentucky Turf Cup?
A: Saturday, September 10, at 4:45 p.m. Central Time.
Q: Where is the Kentucky Turf Cup?
A: It takes place at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Kentucky.
Q: Which trainer has the most wins in the Kentucky Turf Cup?
A: Trainer Mike Maker has four victories in the Kentucky Turf Cup, most recently with Zulu Alpha in 2019. Maker entered four horses in this year’s edition: Red Knight, Temple, Keystone Field, and Glynn County.
Q: Who is the favorite for the Kentucky Turf Cup?
A: Off of his victory in the Sword Dancer Gufo will be the favorite in the Kentucky Turf Cup, as the only last-out Grade 1 winner in the field. Arklow, already a two-time winner of the race, should be a defined second choice.
Q: Who is the best Kentucky Turf Cup jockey?
A: Jockey Florent Geroux has won the Kentucky Turf Cup four times, most recently in 2018 and 2020 with Arklow. He partners with Arklow again this year.
Q: Who won the Kentucky Turf Cup in 2021?
A: Imperador won the 2021 Kentucky Turf Cup for trainer Paulo Lobo and jockey Joe Talamo. Imperador has not raced since, and neither Lobo nor Talamo return to the race this year.