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
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.
Get today's full picks for all tracks and races at Guaranteed Tip Sheet.