Winning Colors Stakes Preview and Predictions

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Saturday, May 22, 2021

Tom @TomandTomRacing joined The Player's Edge podcast and now Live YouTube stream to make their picks for Saturday Night Lights at Churchill Downs. The crew and Tom shared their selections and analysis for the late Pick 5, which includes the $100,000 Keertana Stakes in race nine.

You can watch the YouTube version or listen to the podcast here.

Before the Pick 5 action starts, a half-dozen will run 6 furlongs on Churchill Downs main track for the $150,000 Grade III, Winning Color Stakes hardware in race five. The distance and surface favors speed with nine of the 22 winners going wire to wire at 6 furlongs on dirt. Overall, 13 of the 22 run at the 6 furlongs during the current meet were considered early speed horses.

There also appears to be an outside post advantage as posts four and out have a significant advantage over the inside three. It's particularly strong from eight and beyond, but there are just six runners in the Winning Colors stakes.

Let's start on the outside and work our way in to see which of these six is the fastest and has the best chance to lead from gate to wire.

HEADLAND (PP: 6 ML 8-1) might have the best draw based on post position, but the five-year-old mare isn't the fastest at buzzer. She did show some early foot late in 2020 but mostly finds herself in a stalking role in the pack behind the pacesetters.

BAYERNESS (PP: 5 ML 5-1) hasn't shown an interest in taking charge from the start in any of her seven career races. She's been no closer than third at the quarter mile marker. Unless trainer Cherie DeVaux tells jockey Brian Hernandez to do something different today, BAYERNESS will try to use her strong late legs to run them down late once again.

SCONSIN (PP: 4 ML 8/5) is the second choice but might have the longest odds of being the front runner. The daughter of INCLUDE and SCONNIE could be last of the six for maybe the first half-mile. The four-year-old does have powerful late pace numbers and would be hard to hold off if she is closer to the front than usual in what looks to be a paceless race so far.

TIPSY GAL (PP: 3 ML 15-1) challenged for the lead off a pair of races four and five starts ago. Trying for the lead is probably her best chance to hit the board or possibly win in this spot as she doesn't appear to have the same late race gear as SCONSIN or BAYERNESS. She'll have to be in front of the duo to have an opportunity to beat them to the wire.

FRANK'S ROCKETTE (PP: 2 ML 6/5) has raced twice at Churchill Downs, winning both of them. She debuted with a 5 furlong score in a field of eight and was third at the first call before running away by 8 ¾ lengths. The next time she raced at the Louisville track, she wired a field of six at today's distance and surface. At worst, she'll be co-pilot here, notwithstanding some troubles at the start.

RISING SEAS (PP: 1 ML 10-1) will try to set the pace agenda when the gates open. She's been first or second at the quarter mile marker in eight of her last 10 starts. Her early fractions put her about a head to a half a horse faster than FRANK'S ROCKETTE.

Barring an excuse, horseplayers should expect to see RISING SEAS take the lead with FRANK'S ROCKETTE pressuring to her outside. TIPSY GAL could try to keep up with the frontrunners only to fade in second half of the race. HEADLAND will be third or fourth depending on what team TIPSY GAL decides to do with BAYERNESS and SCONSIN not too far off the pace but trailing the field after the first quarter mile.

That's our forecasted start, and here is how our friends at Guaranteed Tip Sheet see it at the end.

"FRANK'S ROCKETTE is two for two at Churchill and has won four of seven at the distance. SCONSIN put in a bullet work after finishing second behind GAMINE on Derby Day. BAYERNESS is two for two at the distance, including the highest last race speed figure. RISING SEAS should be at/near her best in her third start after a layoff." 

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