An exciting All-Stakes Pick 5 will be offered on the final five races at Churchill Downs Saturday, and I have a strong opinion in two of the legs. The sequence includes the $150,000 Matt Winn (G3) for 3-year-olds, a newly added qualifier awarding 85 combined points towards a berth in the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby, and I will take a swing at the wager.
Here are my thoughts:
Race 7 – Shawnee S.
A pair of Grade 1 winners, #4 Dunbar Road and #8 She’s a Julie, will open their 2020 season in the 1 1/16-mile main track event for fillies and mares, and I will go two-deep with the formidable duo. Dunbar Road is listed as the 4-5 morning line favorite, but She’s a Julie (2-1) rates as my top choice.
I thought She’s a Julie ran her two best races during last year’s spring meet, winning the La Troienne (G1) and finishing a close third to Elate in the Fleur de Lis (G2), and the Steve Asmussen-trained mare is eligible to receive a favorable trip on the front end.
Race 8 – Tepin S.
Unraced since winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), #9 Sharing is the one to beat among 14 sophomore fillies, but this is no easy spot off the bench for the Graham Motion trainee. I will add others to my ticket.
#2 Abscond just missed in the Herecomesthebride (G3) and Ginger Brew S. at Gulfstream, and the daughter of Blame may receive a favorable up-close trip from her inside post. #3 Walk in Marrakesh will be running late for Ignacio Correas/Jose Ortiz, and #4 Dominga looks dangerous for Brad Cox following a rallying stakes win at Fair Grounds as the favorite. #7 Outburst is unbeaten in a pair of U.S. starts for Eddie Kenneally, including the Florida Oaks (G3) last out. Stakes winner #8 Jezebel’s Kitten is better than she showed off the layoff last time, and #12 Moral Reasoning can’t be dismissed for Chad Brown. I will also use #14 Alms, an unbeaten Grade 3 winner who exits a listed stakes triumph at Fair Grounds.
Race 9 – Blame S.
I’ve been excited to see #13 Mr. Money return to a one-turn mile ever since he recorded a spectacular victory on the Kentucky Derby undercard in the Pat Day Mile (G3). I will play him straight in the 14-horse Blame, and my Pick 5 single is listed as the 5-1 third choice on the morning line.
After recording three consecutive unplaced finishes at two turns, Mr. Money made short work of a strong field in the Pat Day Mile. The clear runner-up came right back to win a Grade 1 race, and Mr. Money carried his form forward by stringing together consecutive wins in the Matt Winn (G3), Indiana Derby (G3), and West Virginia Derby (G3). However, his two-turn form was exposed in the Pennsylvania Derby (G2) and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), and I’m overlooking this year’s comebacker, a sixth in the April 11 Oaklawn Mile S. at two turns. It served as a tightener for Saturday.
Mr. Money loves Churchill Downs (3-for-4) and shows a swift half-mile work in preparation. The race did not draw an abundance of early speed, and he will be prominent from the start with regular rider Gabe Saez. The outside post is no concern with the long run to the far turn, and his triple-digit Brisnet Speed ratings are good enough to win. Mr. Money can show up with his best at Churchill.
Race 10 – Matt Winn (G3)
I won’t overthink it. #10 Maxfield looked like a beast-in-the-making when overcoming a terrible start to win the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) going away by 5 1/2 lengths, turning in the best performance I witnessed during the Keeneland October meet, and I expect him to come back running for Brendan Walsh.
Sidelined by a foot injury while training for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), Maxfield did not return to the worktab until mid-February. He was going to be on a tight schedule to make the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May, with only one scheduled prep in early April, and the four-month Derby postponement benefits him. The dark bay son of Street Sense has revved up his training in recent weeks, including a sharp 5-furlong drill from the gate, and I expect Maxfield to break better as a 3-year-old.
He likes the track, winning his career debut at Churchill Downs last September, and none of these rivals are within three points of the 99 Brisnet Speed rating Maxfield registered in the Breeders’ Futurity. There’s no need to overthink it against the fastest horse in the field.
Race 11 – War Chant S.
Fourteen 3-year-olds will contest the one-mile turf affair, and I will use the following: #5 Field Pass, #6 Hieronymus, #9 Smooth Like Strait, #12 Pixelate, and #13 Billy Batts.
Suggested 50-cent All-Stakes Pick 5 Wager
- 4,8 with 2,3,4,7,8,9,12,14 with 13 with 10 with 5,6,9,12,13 = $40
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