Betting with, and against, First Mission in the Alysheba Stakes

May 2nd, 2024

A well-balanced field of 10 will go postward in the lucrative, $750,000 Alysheba S. (G2) at Churchill Downs on Friday. The 1 1/16-mile dirt contest is led by deserving morning-line choice #3 First Mission (8-5) who dominated the Essex H. (G3) in his second run of 2024 last time out. 

By Street Sense, the Godolphin homebred has been first or second in all but one of his career tries to date, and his lone local outing resulted in a huge runner-up finish in the Clark H. (G2) in November. The four-year-old colt has speed but doesn’t need the lead early, and he also has every right to improve while making his second run off the layoff. I expect First Mission to be formidable with Florent Geroux in the stirrups. 

I feel that #7 Tapit Trice (7-2) clearly has a lot of ability, but I do not love the colt in this particular spot, or at this distance, in general. The gray son of Tapit endured a very good three-year-old season with a Blue Grass (G1) triumph, as well as third-place finishes in the Belmont (G1) and Travers (G1), and he has trained well in advance of Friday, too. But I’ll fade him while he faces these hard knockers in his four-year-old bow. 

#2 Steal Sunshine (10-1) is a consistent late runner in a perfect spot from a very good post for trainer Robert Dibona. The dark bay son of Constitution, who captured the Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) two back, had a nice prep for Friday when he closed into a slow pace to be a close third in the Ghostzapper (G3) most recently. Regular pilot Paco Lopez will take the five-year-old back in the early stages prior to unleashing him late at a very good price. 

Mineshaft (G3) winner #1 Money Supply (6-1) and Clark (G2) upsetter #10 Trademark (6-1), each loves the Churchill surface and will be included in many of my wagers. 

First Mission – With

  • $15 Trifecta: 3 with 2 with 1,10 ($30)
  • $10 Trifecta: 3 with 1,10 with 2 ($20)

First Mission – Against

  • $1 Trifecta: key 2 with 1,3,10 with ALL ($24)
  • 20-cent Superfecta: 1,2,10 with 1,2,3,10 with 1,2,3,10 with all ($21.60)