How to bet the 2024 Louisville Stakes

May 15th, 2024

A total of 11 turf stayers will run 1 1/2 miles on the Churchill Downs lawn in Saturday’s $250,000 Louisville S. (G3). Conditioner Mike Maker excels in these types of races and will saddle a trio of contenders in the feature, led by #1 Starting Over, who bagged the Mac Diarmida S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park in his latest offering. 

Louisville Wagers

The seven-year-old son of Liam’s Map has flourished since stretching out to extended distances on the sod with top-two finishes in his last trio of outings coming over firm ground. Bred in the Bluegrass State, the improving sort has surely found his niche going long on the green and I feel that the rail is a nice starting slot for the gelding to save ground all the way around the oval. He’ll be in a good spot turning for home with Ricardo Santana, Jr. taking the reins. 

Godolphin homebred #8 Bold Act is the sure one to beat for Charlie Appleby, who wins at a staggering 38% rate with graded stakes performers in North America. The New Approach four-year-old was a clear winner of the City of Gold (G2) at the distance at Meydan in March, and he put in a fine late run to be a closing third behind dawdling splits in the Elkhorn S. (G2) at Keeneland on his return to U. S. sod. The bay is a high-quality performer with a potent turn of foot, and his best effort will top anything in the field with Florent Geroux in the silks. 

The wildcard in the field to me is #10 Utah Beach, who exits a dominant allowance victory at the trip last time out at Keeneland. Trained by Ignacio Correas, the English Channel gelding has never been worse than second from seven lifetime tries to date, and the four-year-old is 2-for-2 since moving out to marathon distances, as well. He faces a lot better on Saturday, but the gray has a lot of appeal with Jose Ortiz taking the reins. A top-three finish is well within reach.