The Thursday card only drew two turf races, so there is no All-Turf Pick 3 wager scheduled for today, however, the Late Pick-5 is a tremendous sequence with huge fields. There are definitely some runners in the sequence that could be stakes bound in the near future.
Best Bet: Race 9: Malthael (#7, 9-2 ML)
Best Price Stab: Race 10: Flirtatious Kitty (#9, 15-1 ML)
|6||2,11||5,10||1||DBL, PK3, PK5,|
|7||2,12||7||DBL, PK3, PK4|
Race 6: Top Pick: 11
The late Pick-5 starts off with a very good maiden special weight for two year olds going 7 Furlongs. I’m looking for a solid debut from Oiler (11) for Steve Asmussen here. He’s a son of Uncle Mo who was foaled by a very talented New Jersey bred sprinter, Geeky Gorgeous. She was based at Turfway, getting a good foundation of works over the Tapeta surface there. She shipped here and worked nicely on this course on 10/4. She had a very easy 3 Furlong breeze on Monday and looks ready to go. Almanzo (2) is a very logical favorite from the potent duo of Brad Cox and Florent Geroux. He was 4th in a very fast maiden special weight heat last month at Churchill going 6 Furlongs. He gets a field where only two others have experience and the other eight are making their debuts, which gives him a distinct advantage going 7 Furlongs. Cox is very sharp with horses making their second career starts. All Choked Up (5) and King Doodle (10) are both first time starters with solid works from barns that are very capable with firsters. All Choked Up was based at Arlington for James DiVito before shipping to Churchill, where he’s been based for the last month. His last two works on the dirt there show considerable improvement from his first two local drills. DiVito has a monster ROI with first time starters, so he’s worth paying attention to. King Doodle is pricy, $350K son of Into Mischief making his first start for Mike Maker this afternoon. His works have also been improving on the Churchill Downs Training Track over the last month. Ruggs (1) was done no favors drawing the rail for his debut, but I like his pedigree for a two year old maiden special weight race. He’s sired by Gun Runner who has been excellent with his first crop. His dam is Brazen Persuasion, who won on debut and went on to win the Grade 3 Schuylerville as a two year old. She also foaled He’s In Charge, who is a talented three year old, sired by Candy Ride. Ruggs has some quick works, so Talamo might need to send him from his rail post. The 7 Furlongs might be a little long at first asking, so he might be one to tab for his next try, but he’s worth paying attention to here.
Race 7: Top Pick: 12
Here’s another maiden special weight race, this one on the grass for fillies and mares going 1 Mile and 3/16 on the grass. Fast as Flight (12) has two career starts and two solid, on the board finishes. She closed well after a less than perfect start to finish second when sprinting at Ellis in her debut. She stretched out to a one turn mile at Kentucky Downs where she was a game third when making a three wide bid. She has the turf influence from her sire, Air Force Blue, and the stamina influence from her dam sire, Tiznow. She’ll have plenty of time to get closer to the rail during the long stretch run into the first turn. English Treasure (2) debuted at Ellis on closing day there and made a three wide move where he almost made the lead, before tiring a bit in the final stages. She’s another one with a pedigree that should allow her to improve as the races get longer. Trainer, Thomas Drury has won 26% of his races in 2021. Graham Motion is usually a player in these races at Keeneland, and he sends out Palamos (7) to make her 6th career start. She’s been competitive in all five starts. She ran into a ton of trouble in her last at Saratoga when she finished second, beaten seven lengths by Baby Blythe, who had the run of the race. She’s a hard tryer, and worth using on deeper tickets. I’m not crazy about the 5-2 odds though.
Race 8: Top Pick: 14 (AE) / 5
What an excellent 7 Furlong N1X allowance race this is. Olympiad (6) and Ducale (14) are exiting a monster N1X allowance race at 6 and ½ Furlongs at Saratoga last month. Olympiad was 4+ lengths behind his stable, Baby Yoda, who ran a 114 Beyer Speed figure that day. Olympiad earned a 105 for his effort that day, and Ducale, who was the favorite that day, earned a 92 figure when finishing 10+ lengths behind the winner. Milliken (5) also earned a big figure in his debut at Ellis for a barn that rarely wins with first time starters. Of the trio, I think Ducale has the edge at 7 Furlongs, however, he’s stuck on the also-eligible list and there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to compete in this very good allowance contest. There is some speed in here, but his undoing came when he was on the lead going 21:2 and 44 flat last out. He was much more effective going 22:3 and 45:3 at this distance two back. Olympiad ran that monster effort while making his first start in 364 days. Prior to that, he ran two sharp races last season at the Spa, breaking his maiden at this distance in 2020. That was such a big effort, I definitely wonder if he can back that up a month later. Mott has continued to work him over the training track at Saratoga. Flavien Prat gets the call for the first time today. Milliken dominated his maiden special weight race at Ellis by over eight lengths, winning at this 7 Furlong distance in his debut. I like horses that are able to win at this distance in their debut, and Wilkes horses tend to improve with each trip to the track. His ceiling is also very high.
Race 9: Top Pick: 7
I really like Malthael (7) in this N2X allowance race at 1 Mile and ½ on the turf today. We’ve seen this movie before, where Mike Maker claims a respectable horse who gets better while running longer distance races on the turf. He took this son of Noble Mission for $35K at Belmont in June. He ran on the dirt in an off the turf race at Saratoga in July where he finished a close 4th. He ran big on the grass with restricted $50K claimers in August at the Spa, and then he followed up that effort with a strong performance at 1 Mile and 5/16 at this level at Kentucky Downs, just losing in a tight photo. He’s 0-14 on the turf, so singling this one comes with a bit of trepidation, however, his two raves on the grass for Maker were markedly better than his previous twelve. He adds distance, which he certainly relished last out, and his pedigree tells you that shouldn’t be an issue. There are knocks on the other shorter prices, and I think he’ll sit a perfect trip, stalking the pace. I’ll cover with Fantasioso (1) on some deeper tickets, because, from a class standpoint, he’s second to none in this field. The distance isn’t a question for him, but getting a trip and timing his late run has been his struggle. He’s winless on American soil, and he hasn’t won a race since winning at San Isidro in Argentina back in January of 2020. His last was dull at Woodbine, so perhaps the class relief here is needed.
Race 10: Top Pick: 2
$15K filly and mare maiden claimers close out the Thursday card. This feels like a race where I’ll want a little coverage. My Coralena (2) took some money when dropping from maiden special weight to $30K maiden claimers last out at Churchill. She was hit pretty hard out of the gate, and she didn’t look like herself for the remainder of that race. She drops again and faces a fairly soft group here. I’m willing to try a line through her last and hope we’ll see a performance that is closer to her first two tries. Cha Cha Mission (5) has run her better races on the turf at two turns, but her two sprints, one here on the dirt and the other on synthetic, aren’t too bad. She’s bred to be better on the grass, but she’s improved enough to use her on the dirt at this level of competition. Flirtatious Kitty (9) is a longshot that it is a little intriguing here. She debuted as a two year old in December at the Fair Grounds in December of 2019, where she ran okay at this level. She wasn’t seen again until resurfacing with $10K maiden claimers over at Churchill last month. Her works are okay and Barkley does well with horses second off the layoff. Robby Albarado sticking around is a good sign. On deeper tickets, Catalan (7) is dropping in from maiden special weight company where she’s run four times, with little success. She makes her third start off the layoff and takes a decent drop in class. She hasn’t shown enough for her to get me excited about taking anywhere near 7-2 on her. However, her slight improvements make her worth considering her on some deeper tickets.
All A’s/B’s ($72.00 – Base Wager $0.50)
All A’s/One C ($9.00 – Base Wager $0.50)
All A’s/One C ($18.00 – Base Wager $0.50)