2YO Maiden Special Weight ‘Picks, Plays and Pontification’ – Churchill Downs, 06/07/2024

June 5, 2024

Churchill Downs, Race 4 – Friday, June 7, 2024

By The 2YO EdgeMan

CD4:060724 – 5 1/2f on the Dirt.  Ten fillies will get after it in this one.  Six of them are firsters and the other four have only been out one time each.  Solid trainers abound, including Walsh, Asmussen, Lynch, Norm Casse, Beckman, Romans, Desormeaux, Mark Casse, and Tom Amoss.  In the sire column we’ve got Constitution, Daredevil, Omaha Beach (Spendthrift Farm), and Maximus Mischief (Spendthrift).  Add to that, five Freshman sires – Global Campaign, Complexity, War of Will, Thousand Words (Spendthrift), and McKinzie.  This race guarantees fun and excitement and lots of these entrants intrigue me – so, let’s closely analyze seven of these gals…

#1 – American Women (8/1) – A FTS daughter of Constitution, this filly comes from a dam by Smart Strike who only found the Winner’s Circle one time in the 11 starts that she made and brought home $78,000.  She’s tossed four other foals of racing age and one of those won in his seventh start while a 2YO in November at CD, but he did also finish first early that year, but was DQed back into the maiden ranks (and he’s already banked $367K).  Today’s filly sold for $280K as a yearling (23/66) to the powerful ownership group of X-Men Racing, Madaket Stables, and SF Bloodstock.  Trainer Brendan Walsh has pumped eight works into this gal (25 total furlongs) with the first coming over in northern Kentucky at Turfway Park, before vanning down I-71 to Louisville and three more drills over the Churchill oval.  Her second tune-up at CD was a bullet – 35.8 seconds for 3f from the gate on 5/25/24 (1/28) and her most recent was nifty, too, going a half mile on 6/1/24 in 47.2 seconds (6/166).  Cristian Torres gets the opportunity to pilot her.

#2 – Dare to Fly (10/1) – It’s not often that you’ll see an Asmussen firster that is 10/1 on the Morning Line, but this Three Chimney’s homebred gal is just that.  Daredevil is the stallion behind this filly and Bluegrass Cat is the dam sire.  Mom was two for 11 on the track, pulling down $78,000 in purse money.  In the breeding shed she’s thrown two others of racing age, but nothing to call out.  Like many of the other babies that he’s prepping, Steve has been working this filly exclusively in Lexington at Keeneland – four works for a total of 12 furlongs.  Her last two were solid half mile drills both done in 48.2 seconds (the one two back on 5/12/24 was from the gate).  Keith was named as the reinsman, but Steve will obviously have to make another call as he is out with significant injuries that he sustained from a recent fall.

#4 – Slang (6/1) – This filly has the benefit of one race over the track where she ran forwardly til the head of the stretch before fading a bit to end in fourth place, beaten by eight lengths.  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.  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 snuck in one work here since her last run.  Ricardo Santana, Jr. gets the return call to guide her again today.

#5 – Don’t Blink (6/1) – She’s by a First-Crop sire – Complexity – and her mom is 22 years old by Forestry.  She was a fine race mare back in the early 2000s having scored in five of the 13 events that ran, banking $219K.  She’s thrown 10 other foals of racing age, three that won while age two, however, two of those were in Maiden Claiming races.  $35,000 was the winning bid for today’s filly last year when she was a ‘short yearling’ (59/82) and then was pinhooked back later in 2023, still as a yearling, for $65,000 (39/82).  Whit Beckman has put her through seven morning works, all at Churchill’s training facility off Popular Level Road, and those spins have totaled 26 furlongs.  Three of her last four drills have been timed in 48.6 seconds for four furlongs, two of them coming out of the gate.  Jareth Loveberry will get the leg up from Whit.

#6 – Murphy Girl (7/2) – The Morning Line fav is trained by Dale Romans and is sired by Debut sire, War of Will, and she was thrown by a Curlin mare.  Although mama was winless in three attempts as a racer, she has produced 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).  This filly has the experience of one run and it was the same event that Slang ran in at CD on 5/17/24.  On that day, she stalked the pace and finished only one length back of the victor.  Romans has schooled her in the morning one time since her race – a half mile here at CD on 6/1/24.  Martin Chuan will slip into the saddle for his second try on her.

#8 – Minty (4/1) – Another filly making her second career start is sired by the Newby sire – McKinzie.  She also finished as the bridesmaid in her debut effort at 4 ½ furlongs over the Churchill strip on 5/2/24.  Her 21 YO dam hails from Talk is Money and she won $32,000 by going two for 14 on the track.  She’s produced six other foals of racing age – one who scored in their second outing at two at DMR (although it was a MCL race) and one who banked $263K, but it took him 56 starts (three wins) to do it.  In the sales ring this filly brought $130K as a ‘short yearling’ (47/120) and then $165K as a yearling later in 2023 (37/120).  Conditioner Mark Casse has worked her once since her afternoon competition – a half mile here at CD on 5/17/24 in 47.4 seconds (10/134).

#10 – Bowtie or Notie (6/1) – The mating of Second-Crop sire, Maximus Mischief, and a Lookin at Lucky mare produced this FTS who will be saddled by Tom Amoss.  Mom won four times in the 20 starts that she made and earned $157K.  One of her wins was in her second start in September of her 2YO campaign at Ellis Park when she logged a 75 EBSF.  She’s tossed three other foals of racing age, including one who won his third start while two years old, but that was in Mexico.  The hammer fell at $70,000 last year while this gal was a yearling (13/65).  This filly made her presence known in her first work when she fired a bullet at Keeneland – 35.8 seconds for three panels on 4/13/24 (1/46).  Tom then carried her down to Churchill where she’s put in a half dozen more drills which gives her a grand total of 28 furlongs, including a fine five pole spin in her penultimate work in 1:00.4 (4/51).  Edgar Morales will be Tom’s man in charge on top of her in this event.

Pick – #1 American Women – As I’m sure that you can tell from reading above, I can make a case for many of these youngsters, including a few who are making their second start.  However, I land on American Women for a few reasons.  First, Constitution wins at a 17.0% clip with debut runners and, as all of you Edgies know, I’m a big fan of him as a sire of two-year-olds.  Second, Brendan Walsh doesn’t run too many babies at this meet (only seven over the previous five years), but when he does, I take notice as he’s won two of them (28.6% strike rate, albeit a very small sample).  This gal’s last two works have been impressive and she worked in solid company on 5/25/24.  Lastly, she was purchased for a pretty strong number by a first class group of owners.

Have fun with this event – I know that I’m certainly looking forward to it!  Also, have a fantastic weekend with all the festivities at Saratoga and I hope that you pick the winner of the Belmont Stakes.  Stay safe, have fun and we’ll be back with you again next week with more insightful info on the two-year-old baby races.

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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Thanks for the great pick. Played the 10 to win and place based on your description and got the exacta.

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