A 10-race program will be offered at Churchill Downs on Friday, and I will focus on the Late Pick 4.
Here are my thoughts on the sequence:
Race 7 — 3:48 p.m. ET
#3 Majestic West is my single. The 4-year-old gelding has been facing better in his last two starts at Saratoga, and he was in position to challenge in upper stretch both times before coming up a little short. Philip Bauer has had his horses ready for their best during the September meet, winning three of his eight starts under the Twin Spires this month, and Majestic West has the tactical speed to receive a favorable trip.
Race 8 – 4:21 p.m. ET
Eight are set for this competitive 6-furlong entry-level allowance, and I’ll give a slight edge to #7 Breaking News, who exits a couple of encouraging efforts and should receive a perfect setup for his late kick.
Won’t let #8 Kadri, a sharp two-length maiden scorer on the Kentucky Derby Day undercard, beat me. And will also include #1 Symphonic, who is interesting from the rail with speed; and #2 Wild Popit, who should appreciate the class relief in this spot.
Race 9 – 4:53 p.m. ET
#8 Amazima finished a good second in a turf allowance over the course last fall, and she captured a couple of starts earlier this year before recording fourth-place efforts versus stakes foes in her last two outings. The Eddie Kenneally-trained filly should be in position to challenge turning for home.
#2 Strike Me Fancy, who finished a neck second in the Ellis Park Turf S. two back and a half-length fourth in a stakes-quality allowance at Churchill in late May, is also a logical contender. She’s eligible to rebound from a disappointing showing at Kentucky Downs last time, and Florent Geroux picks up the mount for Matt Shirer.
I’ll also use #7 Julia’s Ready, who exits a sharp front-running score at Ellis Park. The 4-year-old filly enters on the upswing for David Vance, winning two of her last three starts, and she could outperform her odds on the front end with Declan Cannon.
Race 10 – 5:26 p.m. ET
#8 Movie Moxy is the runner with experience I want. Third as the favorite after a poor start in her debut, the Street Sense filly exits a neck second at Keeneland to Palio Flag, who came back to just miss in her next at Saratoga. Movie Moxy shows a bullet work in preparation for Eddie Kenneally, and she’s well-drawn to the outside.
A pair of first-time starters, #6 Entreat and #7 Capture, will also be on the ticket. Tyler Gaffalione takes the call on the Chad Brown-trained Entreat, and Ricardo Santana Jr. will be up on Capture, a Steve Asmussen-trained Curlin filly who is out of the multiple Grade 3-winning sprinter Wild Gams.
Late Pick 4 ticket
- 3 with 1,2,7,8 with 2,7,8 with 6,7,8
Ticket cost: $18