Big day of racing on hand, as Derby Day joins the last Saturday of Saratoga and Del Mar on the calendar. Coast to Coast action will keep players busy all day. We have selections and some quick thoughts on all the Derby Day stakes at Churchill. Full fields, full hearts…can’t lose! Good luck to all.
Race 8 – The American Turf: 4,5/6
We see this as a pretty formful race, selecting the two favorites on top. We give the edge on the two of them to Field Pass (4) as he is returning to Churchill, the site of his best performance on the year and has the ability to come from off the pace. We see the pace of this as quick, as many of the confirmed turf horses are speed types. We think Sunsation (6) could hold on for a price shortening up on the layoff out of a productive Kent Stakes.
Race 9 – Pat Day Mile: 6/2,4,5
The early morning scratch of No Parole really changes this race from a pace perspective. He was the only “true” speed type and now ‘cappers have to play the “who will go” game. Others in here have been to the front before, but often times in softer fields and different distances of configurations (remember this is a one turn mile, not two turns). You aslo have a few fast sprinters here trying to stretch out to a mile. As a result, we are going to go with a horse that has some speed and should relish the distance and configuration. Here we like Tap it to Win (6), who’s best race came in a one turn 1 1/16 race at Belmont, and ran a respectable second in the Allen Jerkens. In our second slot we like the Allen Jerkens winner, Echo Town (2), vertical threat (4) and Digital (5). Digital could really relish he distance, as route races seem to be just too much for him and 6 furlongs too short but he’s gaining at the end.
Iroquois – Race 10: 3,8/7,10
It’s fun to see a points race for next years Derby run on the Derby undercard this year. Being a 2 year old race at Churchill, or anywhere for that matter, we are making it easy on ourselves and picking the two Asmussen runners on top. His horses seem to tower over other two year olds so we will try to take the money and run. We would likely favor Midnight Bourbon (8) over Super Stock (3) as Midnight has experience at a mile. Underneath we will play the bug favorite Therideofalifetime (10) in triples as a saver but hunk he’s a bad play on top. We also like Pico d’oro who improved stretching out from 6 – 7 furlongs to break his maiden in a stakes at Ellis.
Distaff Turf Mile Race 11: 3,6/4,7
Although you have a big favorite here in Newspaperofrecord (4) we see this as a very competitive field and think she’s vulnerable. Although she has run impressively this year, both her wins came at Belmont around one turn, and she is only 2 for 5 around two turns, with those wins coming in her ultra impressive 2 year old year and on soft ground which she seems to relish. To beat her, we are going to ride the hot hand of Brad Cox who won the two big stakes for fillies on Oaks day. We would lean toward Beau Recall (6), who gets back to her preferred one mile distance (last years Distaff Mile Winner) and was the only horse to close on Newspaperofrecord in the Just A Game. Looking for prices we think La Signare (7) could close into the number
Derby City Distaff Race 12: 1/4,9,10
We are against Serengeti Empress, who ran huge in Saratoga last out and we feel she will bounce here. We like Mia Mischief (1) on top, and will get first run when we think SE folds with the speed. Underneath, We like Bell’s the One (4) best, who ran huge two back and could rebound here.
Turf Classic – Race 13: 1,6/8,10
Our play of the day is Mr. Dumas (6) for the always dangerous Maker barn. With him, Factor This (1) comes back to Churchill where he has run well this year. We like on of the chad brown runners underneath in Sacred Life (8) second off the layoff.
Kentucky Derby – Race 14: 15,16,17/7,13,18
The Big One, with a huge favorite. We think Tiz the Law (17) is clearly the best horse, but at 3-5 ML he’s a terrible bet in a 16 horse field. You must use him in horizontals but you could make some money playing others on top in trifectas. We think with some of the scratches, speed horses will have some advantage and think Ny Traffic (14) could have the lead at the quarter pole and Saffie Joseph runners never seem to stop. We also feel other than Tiz, Honor AP (16) although not super speedy, is most likely to get 1 1/4 miles. Underneath we like Money Moves (7) best who comes into this after facing older horses in an allowance at Saratoga. Watch the winner of that race, Prioritize, run in the Woodward at Saratoga about 1.5 hours before post. If he runs well, will be worth making some Money Moves. Ssshhhhhh