A pair of stakes for older females, the Winning Colors (G3) at 6-furlongs and Mint Julep (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on turf, highlight Saturday’s program at Churchill Downs.
Here are a couple of horses I favor on the 11-race card, and one I will try to beat:
Look forward to betting: #6 Noble Order (6-1 morning line) in the 6TH race. A sharp turf maiden scorer two back, Noble Order did not run poorly when stepping up to an entry-level turf allowance at Fair Grounds last time, rallying belatedly to be beaten two lengths in fourth. Further improvement is expected in his second start against winners, and Florent Geroux takes over for Brad Cox and Juddmonte Farms.
Live longshot: #3 Twelfth Labour (20-1) in the 10TH race. Gelding likes Churchill Downs, posting a pair of convincing wins during last year’s spring meet and a close third at this level last November, and Dallas Stewart always had Twelfth Labour pegged as a two-turn type, racing him long early in his career. Twelfth Labour exits a decent effort sprinting at Fair Grounds, registering a 93 Brisnet Speed rating on par with his main rivals Saturday, and the 4-year-old is eligible to outrun his odds on the stretch back out to 1 1/16 miles.
Favorite against: #9 Ashiham (8-5) in 8TH race. After breaking slowly and lacking tactical speed in a pair of starts, Ashiham has closed extremely wide into the stretch both times, coming up short in second as the favorite last time. Gate issues remain a concern despite the addition of blinkers, and with little pace projected, the late runner must avoid leaving himself too much in his two-turn debut.
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