Tim Holland has picks for the Chilukki (G3) at Churchill Downs and Red Smith (G3) at Aqueduct, as well as tabs for Del Mar and Laurel Park on Saturday.
#5 Gold Standard (15-1) enters the Chilukki (G3) after fallying from just off the pace to win her latest over the track and distance three weeks ago, her second start after a seven-month break. Daughter of Medaglia d’Oro now has a record of 3-2-0-0 on this oval for trainer Cox, who wins with 28% of his runners third time off a layoff. Filly finished a good third in the Comely (G3) last year and can be in good position from the start with Geroux remaining aboard.
A solid field for the Red Smith (G3) includes #5 North Dakota (10-1), who was an unlucky fourth when trapped on the rail in the Sycamore (G3) in his latest at Keeneland last month, his first start since July. Dark bay has won three of his 10 career starts on grass and trainer McGaughey wins with 18% of his starters on turf. Son of Medaglia d’Oro is a half-brother to excellent turf sire War Front and can be along from off the pace with Lezcano riding.
Maidens going 6 furlongs include #3 Super Sport (10-1), who makes her first start for trainer O’Dwyer off a fading unplaced effort in his debut at Churchill in September. Blinkers are added by O’Dwyer, who wins with 22% of her second-time starters and who has won with 17% of his runners at this meet. Daughter of good young sire Not This Time can be on or near the early lead under Rosado, who has won with four of his last 12 rides for the barn.
Mark Casse has had an excellent meet, winning with 20% of his starters and saddles #4 Lucky Curlin (6-1), who closed to finish second in the Toronto Cup over a mile on turf in his latest early last month. Son of Curlin has a record of 2-1-1-0 on this all-weather main track and Casse wins with 19% of his runners making this surface change. 3-year-old can be along late with Husbands remaining aboard.
#7 Peachtree Road (7-2) has not raced since passing the post fourth after showing early run in her debut behind the talented Princess Noor. Daughter of Quality Road is a half sister to Princess Arabella, who won the Sunland Park Oaks, and she has been working well for trainer Mandella, who wins with 17% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days and with 17% of his second-time starters. Bay can be in good position from the start with Smith retaining the mount.