Five stakes highlight a dynamite 11-race program at Churchill Downs on Saturday, including the Matt Winn (G3) for Kentucky Derby contenders, and I have a suggested All-Stakes Pick 5 ticket at the TwinSpires blog.
Here are three plays for May 23:
Look forward to betting: #13 Mr. Money (5-1 morning line) in race 9. I loved Mr. Money’s performance at a one-turn mile in last year’s Pat Day Mile (G3), he showed a glimpse of what he’s capable of when romping over a solid field, but the 4-year-old has raced strictly at two turns since. Saturday’s Blame S. is the cutback I’ve been waiting for. The last start is no concern – Mr. Money ran a hole in the wind in the Pat Day following a dull showing in the Louisiana Derby (G2) – and the Bret Calhoun trainee loves Churchill Downs (3-for-4). He possesses good speed, triple-digit Brisnet Speed ratings and is the third choice on the morning line. I’m all in with Mr. Money.
Favorite I’m against: #9 Altaf (5-2) in race 4. From a turf-based female family, Altaf switches to the main track after showing little in her turf debut. The Chad Brown-trained filly displayed no tactical foot last time, trailing in a 12-horse field until the top of the stretch, and looks vulnerable from off the pace in this 12-horse field.
Best Longshot: #8 First Premio (12-1) in race 5. He finished last year on a good note, finishing fast to be beaten less than a length in both the $750,000 Tourist Mile and Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), and First Premio rallied well through the stretch to be fifth against a stakes-quality field in his comebacker. He’s eligible to keep moving forward while returning to his favorite distance (3-for-4 at 1 1/16 miles), and the late runner should receive the proper setup.
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