by Tim Holland
With a heavy lean on Churchill Downs, Holland also has plays for Santa Anita and Ruidoso Downs on Friday.
Trainer Kobiskie wins with 13% of his first-time starters and saddles #2 Medicine Tail (12-1), who has a good win early pedigree being by Kantharos and out of a mare by Pulpit. $230K yearling purchase is a half-brother to O’Prado Again, who won the Remsen (G2), and colt has been working well for Kobiskie, who has a winner this meet. Youngster could surprise under Lanerie, who was aboard for barn’s recent winner.
Plenty of early pace could set-up for #12 Manny Wah (5-1), who finished well when third in the Count Fleet (G3) in his latest at Oaklawn over 6-furlongs last month. Trainer Catalano wins with 15% of his runners in allowance events and son of Will Take Charge has a record of 5-1-1-0 on this oval. Chestnut can be running late with Lanerie remaining aboard.
#9 Leinster (4-1) has not been seen since finishing unplaced in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita in early-November. 5-year-old won his one previous start on this turf and has been working well at Keeneland for trainer Rusty Arnold, who wins with 11% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days. Son of Majestic Warrior should find a fast early pace to close into with Gaffalione retaining the mount.
Trainer Rivelli wins with a high 35% of his newcomers and saddles #3 Say Cheese (8-5), a debuting daughter of 14% first-out sire Adios Charlie. 2-year-old’s works include a sharp 3-furlong move from the gate in :35 1/5 eight days ago for Rivelli, who has won with 21% of his runners this meet. Filly is likely ready to win at first asking with Irad Ortiz riding.
#6 Fuel the Bern (8-1) drops into a claiming event for the first time off a fifth-place finish over 6-furlongs on a sloppy main track this month in his first start since early-February. Son of Bernardini has a record of 4-1-2-0 on this turf and trainer Gargan wins with 27% of his runners second off a layoff and with 22% making this surface change. Dark bay can be along from off the pace with Zayas up.
Fillies going 5-furlongs on grass include #5 Tony’s Rose (15-1), who makes her first start for trainer Sweezey and who has not been seen since breaking her maiden at this distance in her first start on grass at Belterra last-August. Daughter of promising young turf sire Tonalist is out of Sweet Emma Rose, who finished second in the Queen Mary (G2) at Royal Ascot. Filly has been working forwardly for Sweezey, who has won with 19% of runners this meet, and chestnut can be forwardly placed from the start with Camacho in the saddle.
#1 Munnings Pilot (5-1) comes off a fifth-place finish after a slow start and being steadied in his debut over 5 1/2 furlongs in February. Son of 12% grass sire Munnings is a half-brother to three winners and recent works include a sharp 5-furlong move in :59 for trainer Balthas, who wins with 17% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days. Gray can be in good position throughout with Rispoli riding.
Trainer Kitchingman wins with 29% of his maiden claimers and saddles #2 Curvaceous (4-1), who faded to finish unplaced after rushing to the early lead in her debut over the track and distance two weeks ago. Kitchingman wins with 13% of his second time starters and daughter of Conveyance figures to be the one to catch with Maldonado in the saddle.
Few here with racing experience include #1 Payin the Bills (7-2), who lost chances through a slow start when unplaced as the favorite in her debut at Remington in early-March. Blinkers are removed by trainer Wood, who won at a 17% clip at Remington and has saddled three winners at this meet. Filly may show more here with Ramirez remaining aboard.