A quick look at four of the stakes races on tap this Saturday at Churchill Downs and Delta Downs.
G3-Commonwealth Turf, Churchill Downs
Post time: 7:32pm Eastern
A deep field of fourteen for today's Commonwealth Turf (both AEs have scratched out) and a race seemingly ripe for a decent price play. The pace looks to be honest, at a minimum, and with the rail set at the hedge (lane 1) the course should play fine for horses desiring to come from of the pace.
I like the current form of 3-Two Months Rent (10/1), including a good win in the G3-Hawthorne Derby in mid-October. He should be able to save ground on the inside and have plenty in the tank to make a run at the front in the final quarter mile. That race at Hawthorne came over soft ground but he's proven he can run and win over firm going in the past.
Another horse coming out of the Hawthorne Derby is 6-Lea (5/1), a lightly raced son of First Samurai out of a Galileo (IRE) mare (Greenery). After showing speed in his three previous starts, Lea ran from the rear of the field at Hawthorne, probably the result of running over soft ground for the first time. He could be in line for a big step forward with a move back to firm ground.
G2-Mrs. Revere, Churchill Downs
Post time: 8:36pm Eastern
Like the Commonwealth Turf two race prior, the Mrs. Revere has drawn a large and deep field of turf runners fort tonight's feature race at Churchill Downs.
7-Centre Court (5/2) is a deserving favorite based on her back class and her two-for-two record over the Churchill lawn in her career. The pace doesn't look to be incredibly fast which should allow Centre Court to stay right on the hip pocket of the early leaders down the back stretch. If she's on form today, she'll be tough to beat.
A little bit of an upset play is the horse to the inside of Centre Court, 6-English Class (10/1). This filly ran well in her graded stakes debut when finishing second by a neck to 11-Miz Ida (9/2) in the G3-Valley View at Keeneland back on October 19th. She's got enough speed to grab the lead in this race, should she wants it, but she'll need to secure a clear lead if she's going to take the field gate-to-wire. At 10/1 on the ML, I could be enticed for a small win bet on English Class. If her odds were to drop to 8/1 or less, I'll stay on the sidelines.
Delta Mile, Delta Downs
Post time: 4:13pm Eastern
The Delta Mile is an ungraded event but an interesting one, nonetheless, with the presence of Ohio Derby winner 2-Prospective (3/1), last year's Delta Mile winner 4-Decisive Moment (6/1), 2011 G3-Sam F. Davis winner 5-Brethren (8/1), and 2011 Louisiana Derby winner 7-Pants On Fire (9/5). The race appears to set up perfectly for Pants On Fire with his wide post, the long run into the first turn at Delta Downs, and the relative inconsistent nature of his rivals. He should be able to run right behind 3-Hurricane Ike (4/1) through most of the race and could get some help in softening up Ike from 1-Pirate Island (12/1) if the jock decides to send the rail horse to the lead.
G3-Delta Downs Jackpot, Delta Downs
Post time: 5:15pm Eastern
First things first, I'm tossing 5-Hightail (9/2), winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint, on the quick two-week turnaround and long trip out East. He hasn't shown me the desire to get two turns and he's unlikely to find a strong rail bias at Delta in this spot.
I love 6-Itsmyluckyday (8/1) in the Jackpot given his prior success in two turn races, a stalking running style and a strong series of works following his most recent effort down at Calder. 9-Goldencents (5/2) is likely to take the bulk of the action from the crowd (and deservedly so) but I'm going to take a shot with a win bet on the #6 provided his odds remain in the neighborhood of 7/1 or 8/1.