An excellent field of nine talented sophomores will travel 1-mile on the main surface in Saturday’s $500,000 Pat Day Mile (G2) at Churchill Downs.

Pat Day Mile Analysis

The pace will be rapid in the one-turn mile test. #7 No Parole will break on top to lead the field, but #1 Cezanne, #4 Vertical Threat, and #6 Tap It to Win, will be in close range throughout.

Pat Day Mile Contenders

#1 CEZANNE (3-1) Bob Baffert trainee suffered his first setback when a solid fourth in the Shared Belief S. at Del Mar last time out. The $3.65 million purchase has improved his Brisnet Speed rating in each lifetime performance to date, and he enters his graded debut off a bullet half-mile drill. Florent Geroux will guide the obvious win contender.

#2 ECHO TOWN (7-2) – Grade 1 winner is consistently very good and got his deserved signature tally in the H. Allen Jerkens (G1) at Saratoga most recently. Steve Asmussen pupil was a sharp allowance victor over this track three back and is clearly a major contender with anything like his latest effort. Versatile Speightstown colt could make it two straight with a well-timed ride from Ricardo Santana.

#3 SHASHASHAKEMEUP (20-1) – Iowa Derby fourth was a non-factor in his previous pair of graded races and looks overmatched in an especially deep field.

#4 VERTICAL THREAT (8-1) – Wildcard in the field from the Richard Baltas barn has dominated two fields in succession in the Golden State, led by a daylight tally in the Smiling Tiger S. $100,000 son of Tapiture gets a true class test in this spot, and while he may be up to the task, I am siding with the more experienced runners until he proves capable at the level. Tyler Gafflione picks up the mount.

#5 DIGITAL (12-1) – Capable Bret Calhoun trainee has been second in each of his two local runs, which includes a fine allowance try two back behind Echo Town. Into Mischief colt might be an ideal fit at the distance, but he hooked a very tough field to notch his first graded victory. Brian Hernandez will be in the silks.

#6 TAP IT TO WIN (4-1) – Allen Jerkens runner-up has really come to hand this campaign for Mark Casse. Talented son of Tapit has run big ones in three of his four outings in 2020, and the one-turn mile seems like an ideal fit for the improving sophomore. Win contender proved capable of rating and finishing last time out, and he is a sure win candidate under John Velazquez.

#7 NO PAROLE (6-1) – Woody Stephens (G1) hero is the fleetest contender in the field and will be the one to catch under James Graham. Violence colt is an all-or-nothing type who can dominate on his best day, although his abiliity to thrive at the distance is a question mark. Dangerous Tom Amoss trainee will be tough if he clears with ease.

#8 SONNEMAN (20-1) – The key to my wagers made a belated rally in the Allen Jerkens last time at Saratoga, and while he finished just fifth, he did show good late interest in his second try for Asmussen. Curlin colt is a stone closer, but he lands in a field full of pace, and he will be moving best of all in the lane at a price. Manny Franco has the call.

#9 RUSHIE (4-1) – Santa Anita Derby (G1) and Blue Grass (G2) third opted to skip the Kentucky Derby for this event in a likely wise move by conditioner Mike McCarthy. Son of Liam’s Map has run well since stretching out following his sprint debut, and the Florida-bred has also trained in a positive way in hopes of earning his first graded stakes tally. Javier Castellano will guide the talented colt.

Pat Day Mile Wagers

  • $1 Trifecta: 8 with 1,2,6,7,9 with all ($35)
  • $1 Trifecta: 1,2,6,7,9 with 8 with all ($35)