An Exacta View of the Chilukki Stakes

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Saturday, November 21, 2020

It's Saturday before Thanksgiving. Horse racing begins to gear down this time of year as we move into holiday season. As such, there aren't as many big weekend races with jackpots of $100,000 or more. Today, there are just seven.

Aqueduct Race 9 - $100,000 RED SMITH STAKES – GRADE III
Churchill Downs Race 9 - $100,000 CHILUKKI STAKES – GRADE III
Del Mar Race 2 - $100,000 NATIVE DIVER STAKES – GRADE III
Woodbine Race 3 - $150,000 ONTARIO DAMSEL STAKES
Woodbine Race 8 - $125,000 ONTARIO DERBY – GRADE III
Woodbine Race 9 – $175,000 KENNEDY ROAD STAKES – GRADE II
Woodbine Race 10 - $175,000 BESSARABIAN STAKES – GRADE II

Let's did a little deeper into the Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs to see if we can find a winner and some value. The race is 1 mile on the main track. A field of nine fillies and mares will start in the backstretch well and turn once before heading home.

Meet to date, there have been 46 races at 1 mile on dirt. Getting out of the gates close to the front has been the preferred winning style, scoring the win in 32 of the 46. The typical winner is second or third at the ¼ pole and first or second by the time they race a half-mile.

Inside posts also appear to have an edge with the rail winning at 17% with the two and three finding the winners' circle at a higher rate than gates three and out. It's also supposed to be rainy at Churchill today, we'll keep an eye out for mudders too.

Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. rode FINITE (PP: 2 ML 8/5) to a second-place finish by a neck in the three-year-old's last outing. Typically, she breaks sharply and patiently sits in the shadow of leaders before making her move. FINITE should be close to the top of her game in the classic third start off the bench. She's been a horse for the course collecting the winners' check in her two races at the Louisville, Kentucky track, one of which was on a sloppy surface.

GRAND CRU CLASSE (PP: 3 ML 5/2) could be the one to take charge early and the one all of them will have to pass. She's been no worse than third at the first call in her four starts and essentially led two of her races from gate to wire. She finished a very close third to FINITE in their last start, the Grade II Raven Run at Keeneland. She's another that should be in peak form in her third start off the break and like FINITE, she won her lone trip on a wet course.

Longshot GOLD STANDARD (PP: 5 ML 15-1) could pull off the upset. They paid $1.2 million for this filly, by far the most expensive horse in the field. She's moving up in class after winning an $80k Optional Claimer for trainer Brad Cox but is no stranger to the graded ranks, running in a trio of Grade IIIs. She is on her third start following seven-months in the barn. The million-dollar horse ran one of her best races in her only other third race of a three-race cycle, winning by 7 ½ lengths on a sloppy Churchill track.

RISKY MANDATE (PP: 6 ML 5-1) hasn't raced since October 2nd. She's hit the track for a pair of workouts since wiring her way into Keeneland's winners' circle; both works were bullets. The Keeneland win was the first time in her eight races that RISKY MANDATE took the lead from the get ‘go and stayed upfront. It worked and produced the highest, last race speed figure for this field. If she can run the same race, she could get the same result.

In our horseplayer opinion, those are the top four horses in the Chilukki Stakes. It's a competitive group. As such, our play is to exacta box the quartet.


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