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Split TVG Stakes Offer Wednesday Excitement At Kentucky Downs
Credit: Coady Photography

Split TVG Stakes Offer Wednesday Excitement At Kentucky Downs

FRANKLIN, KY – After receiving 21 entries, Wednesday’s featured TVG Stakes was split into two divisions, each offering the original $400,000 purse.

The stakes, known last year as the Tapit, is restricted to horses that have not won a stakes in 2021.

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That condition can attract some pretty salty company, starting with $1.5 million-earner Snapper Sinclair, who in 3 prior starts at Kentucky Downs won the 2017 Kentucky Downs Juvenile and the 2019 Tourist Mile and was second in last year’s Tourist Mile (now the WinStar Mint Million).

Bloom Racing’s Grade 1-placed 6-year-old horse was a good second in his last start, the Opening Verse won by the talented Set Piece, after finishing fourth in the $750,000 Godolphin Mile (G1) in Dubai. Julien Leparoux rides for Steve Asmussen, who last month became North America’s winningest trainer.

In the second division (run as race 9 on the 10-race card) with Snapper Sinclair is another Kentucky Downs-loving horse in the Joe Sharp-trained Midnight Tea Time, who finished second in the stakes last year after capturing an allowance race over the undulating course in 2019.

The graded stakes-placed Majestic Eagle (trainer Neil Drysdale) and Bob and Jackie (Richard Baltas) will ship in from California for the race at a mile and 70 yards. Other contenders include Eron Do Jaguarete, a multiple graded stakes winner in his native Brazil; Necker Island, who in his turf debut was a rallying third by a total of a length in Ellis Park’s stakes prep for the Mint Million; graded stakes-placed horses Mr Dumas and Hemp Hemp Hurray; plus Penalty, Split the Wickets, and Strong Tide.

Sole Volante, on the Derby trail last year after winning the Sam Davis (G3) and taking second in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), returns to the turf in the TVG2 Stakes, the first division (race 8), for Florida-based trainer Patrick Biancone. Nine-time winner Tut’s Revenge was part of the pace before weakening to take second (just ahead of Necker Island) in Ellis Park’s Kentucky Downs TVG Preview Mint Million.

Among the other TVG2 contenders, South Bend has earned almost $500,000 just hitting the board as he attempts to win his first stakes since Churchill Downs’ Street Sense as a 2-year-old in 2019. Kentucky Ghost has raced well in 5 starts this year, including a close fifth in what has proved a tough edition of Churchill Downs’ Wise Dan.

Brown Storm, Beat Le Bon, In Love, Street Ready, Forty Under, and Hierarchy also slotted into the first of the divisions.

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