This is the image I've had in my mind for one week now: Zenyatta, passing the crowd, already 15 lengths off the leaders. The next trip past the crowd was one of the most exhilarating stretch runs I've witnessed, maybe ever. It'll be some time until I get that mare out of my head. I had such a wonderful time at Churchill Downs I find myself handicapping the card today with some special motivation: A former USS Louisville shipmate of mine, Tom McFadden, and his family, will be in attendance today and I'm hoping they have a great time. Best of the Breed shipmate! Let's get after it.
Churchill Downs Pick 4 Race 7-8-9-10 First Post 3:36 ET
The Pick 4 sequence is a bit tricky so you'll have to decide what the risk/reward is for you. The first race, a five furlong turf sprint has a handful of horses that should be strong, so I'm going to cover four here and take chances later. Delano, a Mott/Leparoux joint, looks strong in this 2nd off a long layoff. Galientos will attract betting action: A More Than Ready trained by Steve Asmussen with Bridgmohan up, slick on slop, trying turf for the first time. Don't ignore another More Than Ready, Ready to Strike.
Not any easier, Race 8 is a $52,000 N2X on Dirt. I like both the coupled entries, Gold Collection and Film Charm, trained by Bill Mott. I plan on singling with these two and rolling the dice. If you wish to risk a bit more betting capital you have at least three good options with Zermatt, Absinthe Minded, and a minor bid by Tizahit. Zermatt, a son of Tiznow has Desormeaux up for Trainer Pletcher.
Race 9 is the featured Grade III Commonwealth Turf. Trainer McLaughlin has Yankee Fourtune who will attract much attention following his sizzling Hawthorne Derby win in early October that came after a 7+ furlong romp at Saratoga in September. for value, I like Dark Cove quite a bit:back to back 89 BSF on firm turf, Theriot is up for McPeek today and the son of Medaglia d'Oro out of Crystal Cove by Kris S. is intriguing. It should be a pretty darn good race.
Race 10 is a 15K claimer that I'll cover three in and if I'm still alive I'll be pleasantly surprised.
It looks like rain is coming to Louisville, but maybe too late to make much of a difference to the surfaces. Pay attention to scratches and changes and most of all, have fun.