A challenging 11-race program awaits horseplayers at Churchill Downs on Saturday. Scott Shapiro has a Pick 5 blog up at TwinSpires, Vance Hanson is providing some horses to watch, and I will analyze the Late Pick 3.
My strategy is to play a pair of Pick 3 tickets, utilizing a different single on each, and the total cost is only $25 (50-cent denomination). Here are some observations on the races:
#2 Adhhar ran well against better at Oaklawn last out. Tom Amoss used the race strictly as a prep, with the 3-year-old gaining valuable experience while facing winners for the first time, and Adhhar now drops in class and cuts back to a favorable one-turn distance. Amoss wins at 39% clip the second start after a claim (74-race sample), and Adhhar ran well finishing a close second last November in his lone start over the track. The gelding can prove best with Joe Talamo picking up the mount, and I will single Adhhar on one Pick ticket.
I will add #1 Patrol, #3 News Flash, #6 Sacred Oath, and #10 Saratogian to the other ticket.
Willing to take a stand against 5-1 morning line favorite #12 Admire, who has performed better at two-turn distances. His only decent effort from the last seven starts came in a soft five-horse field at Gulfstream.
#8 Four Graces easily registered a field-best 95 Brisnet Speed rating for her maiden score two starts back. She didn’t fire last time, but is eligible to rebound in her second start versus winners while cutting back to 7-furlongs.
There are some intriguing alternates. #1 Mo City appears capable of better after a fifth in the Busher Invitational at Aqueduct. #4 Joysome impressively broke her maiden at Churchill Downs two back, and would be no surprise if ready to go off the layoff #5 Miss T Too exits a nice maiden tally at Gulfstream for Bill Mott, and #7 Sconsin looks capable of receiving a favorable stalk-and-pounce trip.
With a hot pace expected in the 12-horse turf sprint, #10 Fly So Pretty can mow these rivals down like she did winning a 6-furlong turf stakes at Aqueduct last November. She’s won at today’s 5 1/2-furlong distance, recording a sharp maiden tally at Saratoga in which she beat subsequent Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner Sharing, and I like Fly So Pretty’s potential this season for Mark Casse. She’s a single in the Pick 3.
#2 Reagan’s Edge, #3 Call on Mischief, #4 Karak, and #8 Fashionable Lady will be added to the other ticket.
Suggested 50-cent Pick 3 wagers
- 2 with 1,4,5,7,8 with 2,3,4,8,10 = $12.50
- 1,2,3,6,10 with 1,4,5,7,8 with 10 = $12.50
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The full Churchill Downs horse racing analyst crew is back and looking at the return of spring racing in Kentucky! Host Joe Kristufek asks Handicappers Ed DeRosa, Scott Shapiro and James Scully what they are looking for this weekend in racing from Louisville.