2YO Maiden Special Weight ‘Picks, Plays and Pontification’ – Churchill Downs, 05/17/2024

May 16, 2024

Churchill Downs, Race 3 – Friday, May 17, 2024

By The 2YO EdgeMan

CD3:051724 – 5f on the Dirt.  A field of eight fillies will be assembled for this event.  We’ve got a solid list of trainers starting with two from Mark Casse, along with single entries from his son Norm, Stewart, Asmussen and Romans.  The sires that I highlighted are Justify, Army Mule, Street Sense, and Omaha Beach (Spendthrift Farm).  Add to that, four exciting Debut Sires – Vekoma (Spendthrift), Thousand Words (Spendthrift), Complexity, and War of Will.  This one is very competitive and should be fantastic, so let’s jump right in because I want to cover seven of these gals…

#1 – Achieve (7/2) – The narrow Morning Line favorite is the first of two from the Mark Casse operation.  Justify was her stallion and Tapit was her dam.  Mama had a brief racing career that included only six races, but she found the Winner’s Circle twice and banked $72,000 for her owners.  She’s only thrown one other foal of racing age – a filly that has yet to hit the track in the afternoon.  The potentent combo of Justify with Tapit mares has produced two out of three winners with First-Time Starters in 2YO MSW races with a purse of $30,000+.  The hammer fell on this gal at $525K last year when she was a yearling (11/70).  Mark has schooled her in the morning five times, starting with two at his training center back in March.  He has since given her three spins on today’s oval which included a ‘small bullet’ move two back going three panels in 35.8 seconds from the gate (1/5).  Jose Ortiz gets the nod to guide her.

#3 – La Cara (6/1) – This is Mark Casse’s second filly that will go in this affair and she’s by Street Sense and is out of a Bernardini mare who was winless in eight attempts.  (The cross is 4/47).  This is her first foal of racing age and she’s a homebred from the Augustin Stables.  Mark has sent her out for three morning spins, all here at CD.  Her first work was on 4/20/24 when she covered four furlongs, then she again went a half mile, but she stepped it up to go a half mile in 47.6 seconds (10/60) on 4/28/24, and then most recently she went 3/8th of a mile in 35.8 from the gate on 5/10/24 (6/32).  Christian Torres will be her reinsman.

#4 – Anakarina (4/1) – Newby sire Vekoma is responsible for this filly who was bred from a Tapit mare that was two for 13 on the track with $86,000 in earnings, including a win in her third start at Fairplex in September of her two-year-old season.  She also has thrown two other foals of racing age – one of those was a filly who cracked the $100K earnings mark ($116K) by going three for seven.  Today’s runner is a homebred from Dream Team One Racing Stable.  Conditioner Dallas Stewart has been prepping her exclusively here under the Twin Spires and she’s been out for four morning efforts (14 total furlongs).  Her best may have been her last when she traveled three panels in 35.8 seconds from the gate (6/32).  Corie Lanerie will get the leg up into the saddle.

#5 – Vodka with a Twist (8/1) – This filly is the only one in the field with a race under her belt.  She ran back on 4/24/24 at Keeneland and put in a very nice effort finishing fourth at 21/1, only two lengths shy of the winner after breaking a bit slow.  Trained by Jason McCutchen, this gal is sired by the First-Crop sire, Thousand Words.  Her mare was 0 for 1 on the track and she’s by Sky Mesa, but she’s had five other foals of racing age.  Two of the five scored while they were two-year-olds.  She only brought $2,500 as a yearling (72/79) and then in April of this year, she RNAed for $90,000.  This gal has had one 5/8 of a mile work since her race and will be piloted by Declan Cannon.

#6 – Swiftwind (5/1) – Asmussen has prepped this daughter of Debut sire Complexity who is looking for the third winner of his young career.  This is her unraced dam by Curlin’s first foal to race.  Today’s contestant hammered for $50,000 as a yearling (51/84) and then went back through the sales ring this year as a two-year-old, but didn’t reach the $95,000 reserve that had been set.  She put in her first work back on 4/6/24 at KEE and then has been out three more times in Lexington before vanning over to CD where she’s completed one morning drill.  Bottom line, she’s worked a total of 18 furlongs.  Steve goes with his son in the saddle.

#7 – Slang (9/2) – Omaha Beach is the fine stallion that produced this filly on a mating with a Speightstown mare who never saw the track in the afternoon.  She has, however, thrown two other foals of racing age, both winners, but neither found the Winner’s Circle at age two.  The Omaha Beach/Speightstown cross is one for one in 2YO MSW races with a purse of $30,000+.  Today’s runner originally sold as a weanling for $77,000 (9/15) and then was pinhooked back for $190K as a yearling in 2023 (27/99).  Norm Casse manages this gal and he’s put her through three workouts, all here under the Twin Spires.  She showed some bounce in her penultimate work back on 4/28/24 when she covered four poles in 47.8 (13/60).  Ricardo Santana, Jr. picks up the mount.

#8 – Murphy Girl (5/1) – Dale Romans will sling the saddle across this War of Will filly who was also thrown by a Curlin mare.  Although mama was winless in three attempts as a racer, she has thrown one other foal of racing age – a 3YO filly who has won one of her four starts and has earned $74,000.  In the sales ring, this gal brought $50,000 as a yearling (47/67) and then was wheeled back as a 2YO for $180K (2/14).  Dale has soaked six works into this gal, all here at CD, for a total of 20 furlongs.  She’s earned three bullets with her best coming on 4/26/24 over 3f when she went in 35.4 seconds from the gate (1/8).  Martin Chuan will be atop her today.

Pick – #7 Slang – As stated above, this race is a dandy!  I’m going with this daughter of Omaha Beach who is trained by Mark’s son, Norm, who is six for 15 (40.0%) here at Churchill in the spring with the babies in MSW races over the previous five years.  I also like the 100% batting average for the cross, although the sample size is microscopic.  Santana is a solid rider and good away from gate, so let’s see how this one goes.  It should be a blast.

Churchill has an auction-restricted event on the calendar for Sunday, so be on the lookout for my piece on that one.  Until then, be safe and enjoy.  Thank you!

Contributing Authors

The 2YO Edge Man, Past The Wire

The 2YO EdgeMan

The 2YO EdgeMan started following horse racing when his family moved to Louisville, KY when he was 9 years old.  The story goes that he...

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Great writing my man, awesome, thank you so much. Well done.

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