Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
O/C, 7 furlongs, F & M 3 & up
With rain in the forecast, #1 Apropos goes for the hat trick while owning the field highest
off track BRIS rating (110). Both her victories have come off a layoff, an
angle that she’s utilizing today, for trainer Al Stall who is batting 27% with layoff runners. #3 Glamour Puss
starts for the red hot combo of Ward/Rosario and should get a good trip right
off the flank of main speed #2 Five Star
Momma. Glamour Puss ran 2nd in her only start on a wet track, so
that should not be a concern. Five Star Momma cuts back ½ furlong and should be the pace of the race.
She’s stakes placed over the surface and never off the board at this distance,
so include in all exotics.
O/C, 7 furlongs, 3 year olds
#8 Slan Abhaile
is drawn perfectly outside, should be able to sit just off the speed provided
by River Rocks and Kenny’s Lake, and kick away from the rest of the field for
the victory. The 3-year-old son of Hard Spun has worked great for this spot and
is well bred to handle a wet track. #1
River Rocks cuts back from route racing and is undefeated at the distance.
He is an obvious contender from the Catalano barn. The only downfall if he gets
stuck on a sloppy, dead rail in a speed dual. #5
Finn’s Quest is regally bred for a wet surface and can pick up the pieces
late at a price.
O/C, 1 1/16 miles turf, 3 & up
#1 Old Time Hockey
runs consistently faster than his competitors, has a favorable rail post, and
should sit a garden trip right behind the speed. Last time the 4-year-old son
of Smarty Jones ran 2nd off the layoff he won the 2012 La Jolla Handicap
at Del Mar. #4 Under Control is
returning from a 6-week vacation for Derby-winning trainer, Graham Motion. He’s
been working well over at Keeneland for today’s effort, and retains the
services of top jockey Javier Castellano. #2
Prime Cut’s best career effort was in his only turf start. He owns the best
late pace figures in the field and needs to be included in all exotics at a big
Race 4-$50,000 Md
Sp Wt, 7 furlongs, 3 year olds
#5 Bama Bound was
a respectable 7th when he drew the rail in his debut at Keeneland on
4/7 at the tricky 7 furlong distance. 2 evenly spread workouts over the CD
strip should help him improve for a trainer (Margolis) who is 26% with 2nd
time starters. #12 Troubadour Tango makes
his 2nd start off a 7 month layoff, so expected an improved effort
off his last. He owns the 2 highest BRIS figures in the field making him an
obvious contender. #6 Esplendido was
also stuck on the rail in his debut t Keeneland last out, retains jockey Jimmy
Graham and an obvious contender to fill out exotics at a price.
Race 5-$75,000 O/C,
1 1/16 miles, 3 year olds
In a race with quite a bit of early speed, #3 Perfect Title is a big closer with a
bigger chance at a square price. He was very wide last time out and with a cleaner
trip can land in the winner’s circle. #8
Code West owns the fastest figures in the field, but tends to hang a bit in
the stretch and normally falls just short. At low odds, it’s worth the shot to
try and beat him, though a victory would not surprise. #12 Hard Aces defeated Perfect Title by a neck last out when in
post 4. Though Hard Aces needs to be included in exotics, look for Perfect
Title to turn the tables with a clean trip and Hard Aces’ outside post.
Grade III Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes, 5 furlongs, 4 & up
This is a very contentious race, but not a lot of early speed on
paper. Therefore, I’ll look for #3 Regally Ready to move to 4-for-4 over the CD turf. The 2011 BC Sprint
winner should be forewardly placed and looks to take them wire to wire. #8 Icon Ike is a very consistent turf
sprinter who always brings his “A” game and should again as evidenced by his 35
3/5 work over the CD turf course on 4/30. Since trainer Mike Maker claimed #4 Ghost Is Clear he won on the grass,
was entered in 3 more turf sprints, but all were washed off the grass. Look for him
to rally from midpack to get a minor award.
Race 7-$300,000 Grade
1 Humana Distaff Stakes, 7 furlongs, F & M 4 & up
#1 Jamaican Smoke
should get a clear early lead against these and take this group wire to wire.
She is undefeated over the course breaking her maiden here at today’s distance.
#6 Aubby K is an obviously contender
after a smashing victory in Gulfstream Park’s Inside Information Stakes at this
distance last month. In that race, she sat just off the pace, took over on the
final turn and kicked clear in the stretch. A similar trip should unfold for her
today. #3 Same Cross is reunited
with Rosie Napravnik, who’s been aboard for all 3 career victories. 3 works
each spaced 7 days apart hints a peak performance is on the horizon.
Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes, 1 mile turf, F & M 4 & up
This race is loaded with speed with the presence of Daisy
Devine, Frontside and Stopshoppingmaria. #5 Hungry Island won this race last year, should be the beneficiary of the
quick early pace and loves soft turf. Her victory in a Keeneland allowance last
out is a perfect prep for this spot. #6 Stephanie’s Kitten returns off a 7-month layoff for Wayne Catalano, who is 16% off
the layoff. She’s undefeated over the course and never off the board at today’s
distance. She too will be closing late into the hot early pace when cutting
back from 9 furlongs. #8 Marketing Mix
was off the board 1 time last year, in this race over “good” going. She’s ultra
consistent, should get first jump on the deep closers and would not be a
surprise to end up in the winner’s circle.
Grade II Churchill Downs Stakes, 7 furlongs, 4 & up
won a 7 furlong stake on the BC undercard when a hot early pace developed, front runners backed up late and he picked up the pieces late. A similar
scenario could materialize with Trinninberg and Delaunay entered. Both #2 Hierro and #5 Unbridled’s Note have wet track wins, are undefeated at CD and
have won at 7 furlongs. This is a very contentious race, so going deep in
multirace exotics is a must.
Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes, 1 1/8 miles turf, 4 & up
Sorry Kentucky Derby, but in my opinion, this is the most
entertaining race on the card. Not too much money to be made on this one, so grab
a mint julep, sit back and watch the 2 best horses in the country, #8 Wise Dan & #9 Point of Entry,
settle the debate on the track.
Grade I Kentucky Derby, 1 1/8 miles, 3 year old fillies
Only 3 horses this spring have definitely improved on dirt
as race distances have increased: Orb, Revolutionary and Normandy Invasion. #16 Orb is undefeated in route races
and has been working great this week at CD. Though his speed figures aren’t
superior to his foes, expect another jump forward with the extra furlong he’ll
get from his Florida Derby score. #5 Normandy Invasion closed furiously into a slow pace last out in the Wood Memorial.
He too will appreciate the added distance, and the quicker pace provided by
Oxbow, Goldencents and Falling Sky. #10 Palace Malice encountered enough trouble to prevent him from winning the
Louisiana Derby two back. Therefore, he had to run in the Blue Grass to get
enough points to get in the Derby field. He ran a brave race when 2nd
to Polytrack specialist, Java’s War. He’s been working steadily all week for
the Derby & should being laying in the 2nd flight down the
backstretch getting first run on the deep closers.