2YO Maiden Special Weight ‘Picks, Plays and Pontification’ – Churchill Downs, 09/14/2023

September 13, 2023

Churchill Downs, Race 5 – Thursday, September 14, 2023

By 2YO EdgeMan

CD5:091423 – One mile and 1/16 on the dirt.  Churchill’s ‘middle meet’ (September) opens today and they are offering up a purse of $120K for these two-year-old MSW affairs.  This one is for the ladies and nine young gals have been dropped into the hat as entrants to do battle.  Eight of the nine fillies have raced one time and the other will be doing the racing gig for the first time.  Trainers to note that are participating:  two from McPeek and one each from Hamilton, DeVaux, Brisset, McCarthy, John Alexander Ortiz and Stall, Jr.  Sires that caught my eye include Connect, Justify and Mineshaft, along with Spendthrift Farm’s amazing First-Crop Sire – Maximus Mischief.  Let’s get after it and break down four of my favorites…

#1 – My Favorite Girl (6/1) – The first of Kenny McPeek’s two is by Connect and she’s the lone FTS in the field.  Her Tale of Ekati dam brought home $49,000 by going one for six in her racing days (she did win at first asking, but that was in March of her three-year-old campaign).  This filly hammered for $75,000 as a yearling at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky back in October of last year (8/53).  She started work at the Silverleaf Hills Training Center back in April where she breezed twice (both three panel bullets), then moved to Keeneland where she put in five efforts – the first four were at 3/8ths and her last was a half mile.  Two of the five were bullets and two others were 2/20.  Most recently, she’s been out twice at CD.  Brian Hernandez, Jr. gets the call to be her pilot.

#4 – Umeboshi (5/1) – Justify is the proud papa to this filly who was thrown by a Street Sense mare who was a big success while doing her thing on the track.  All told, she earned $330K while going 4 for 24, including a runner up finish at the Grade 2 level.  This is her third foal and first to make it to the starting gate.  She demanded $160,000 as a yearling last September at Keeneland (56/78).  She’s raced once previously, but didn’t ever contend in a race back in July at ELP going 7F on the dirt.  Since that event, she’s worked five times at KEE – on 8/27/23 she covered a half mile in 47.8 seconds (3/11).  Alex Achard will slide into the saddle for the second time on this filly.  

#5 – Remembering (3/1) – The Morning Line favorite comes to you out of the barn of Mike McCarthy.  She is sired by American Freedom and thrown by a Creative Cause mare.  Although she was unraced and two of her three other foals were nothing special, she did produce the winner of last year’s G1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes – Zandon.  Today’s filly sold for $200K which not only led her sire’s yearling class in 2023 (1/18), but the second highest amount was $160K less ($40K) than plunked down for Remembering.  In her one run, back on 8/18/23 on the dirt at Ellis Park, she did gain some ground late, but still finished fourth of 11, over 11 lengths shy of the winner.  McCarthy has put her back to work twice since her debut, both times under the Twin Spires, and on 8/31/23 she went four poles in 48 seconds flat (2/29).  Johnny V. will be her guide for the first time today.

#9 – Iuka Miss (7/2) – From the sensational debut sire – Maximus Mischief – this filly is trained by Al Stall, Jr. and her Broodmare Sire is Hold Me Back.  If mama is one thing, she’s certainly durable, as she competed 43 times back in her day and won three times for total purse money of $141K.  She’s thrown a 3YO filly by Twirling Candy that’s won once in 10 tries with earnings of $42K.  Today’s contestant also finished fourth in her only start – it was the same event that the #4 horse ran it at ELP.  She’s breezed four times at CD since her race for a total of 17 furlongs, but her times have not been spectacular.  Joe Talamo reunites with this filly for her second run today.

Pick – #1 My Favorite Girl – Although it takes a pretty special juvenile to win at a mile+ in their first asking, I think this gal has what it takes.  No doubt she has been working ‘lights out’ and she sold in the top 15% of her class.  McPeek is a solid 9 for 49 (18/4%) at this meet over the past five years with seven wins in the past two years.  

Belmont at the Big A and Churchill both have two of our 2YO MSW races on Friday, so we’ll dig into those opportunities and be back with you tomorrow on the terrific ‘Past The Wire’.  Until then, have fun with this one – I think it will be a dandy.  Take care, my Cool Edgies.

@jonathanstettin in the @PastTheWire seminar you told us a horse "Obviously" needed a cutback, and would be an "obvious" winner. Great Call!

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