2YO Maiden Special Weight ‘Picks, Plays and Pontification’ – Churchill Downs, 09/16/2023

September 15, 2023

Churchill Downs, Race 11 – Saturday, September 16, 2023

By 2YO EdgeMan

CD11:091623 – Six furlongs on the dirt.  The ladies are featured in this sprint and we’ve got a jam-packed docket of entries – 16 of them.  Of the 12 that are currently set to go post-ward, all but one of them will be making their first racing start today.  The other gal has just been out one time prior to today.  We’ve got a fine list of trainers set to tangle – Walsh, D’Amato, DeVaux, Catalano, McCarthy, Arnold and Brown.  Similarly, the sire contingent is strong and includes two from Gun Runner and one each from Run Happy, Justify, Kantharos, Munnings, Dialed In, Violence, City of Light, and WinStar’s Constitution.  Additionally, Spendthrift’s dynamite First-Crop stallion – Omaha Beach – has one entered.  Let’s get this party started…

#1 – Intricate (5/1) – The first of the two Gun Runner fillies is trained by Brendan Walsh and comes by way of a Distorted Humor mare that won once from eight starts and earned $35,000.  Today’s runner hammered for $280K as a 2YO at the OBS sale back in April (6/12).  She’s worked a dozen times going back to mid-June, with her first five coming at Keeneland and her most recent seven were right here at CD.  She’s been starting to rev up her engines in prep for her debut performance with her last four, half-mile efforts.  On 8/18/23 and 8/25/23 she turned in a time of 48 seconds in both, good for 5/103 and 2/62.  Her most recent on 9/8/23 was even a tad faster – 47.8 seconds (7/92).  Tyler is set to be in the saddle.

#3 – Irina’s Charm (8/1) – Phil D’Amato sends out this FTS Justify filly whose dam was a fabulous race mare who went 6 for 24 and banked $670K.  Three of her six wins came in graded events (one G2 and two G3s) and her highest Equibase Speed Fig was 123.  She’s thrown two other foals – her 3YO colt won last year at Turfway Park in December in his second start at two and logged a terrific 98 EBSF.  Today’s filly demanded $550K as a yearling in September last year at Keeneland (8/78).  She should know the Churchill surface well as all nine of her workouts have been under the Twin Spires.  Her first three were three panels, her next three were a half mile, and her latest set of three all covered 5/8th of a mile.  None of her breeze times have been eye-catching.  Joe Talamo has received the call to pilot her.

#8 – Bang Bang Fury (10/1) – Violence is the proud pops to this filly and her dam was unraced, although she claimed four foals that won north of $100K each.  She went through the Keeneland Yearling Sales in September last year and brought $80,000 (13/37).  Conditioner Donnie Von Hemel has had her working over at Churchill’s Training Center where she’s been out on 12 mornings, including five efforts that lasted 4f and five that were 5f.  Half of her works were bullets (although a few were ‘small’ bullets), with her last being her best.  On 9/8/23, she zipped a half mile in 47.8 seconds (1/22).  Francisco Arrieta will be her reinsman in her first-ever race.

#9 – Runway Lights (12/1) – This filly got part of her name from her sire – City of Lights – and her mama is an unraced Ghostzapper mare.  In the sales ring she sold for $175K as a yearling at KEE Sept (32/71).  Rusty Arnold knows how to get these babies ready and his formula with this gal has been 11 Keeneland breezes, nine covering a half mile and two at 5/8th of a mile.  Although her works have not been lightning fast, she did earn a small bullet by doing five poles in 1:00.6 (1/8) and also, two back, she motored a half mile in 47.6 seconds (8/46).  Rusty tapped Florent to guide her in this, her first race.

#10 – Regulatory Risk (2/1) – The Morning Line fav is yet another filly who will be making her first start this afternoon and she’s trained by Chad Brown.  Omaha Beach is the stallion behind this gal and her Candy Ride dam was a big success during her racing days.  Sporting a tremendous record of five wins in seven starts (including 3 for 4 as a 2YO), she ended with nearly $300K in purse money and posted a career-high EBSF of 105.  Like the #8 horse above, she has thrown four babies that have earned $100K or more.  Today’s runner went to the Keeneland Yearling September Sale last year and came out of the ring with a winning bid of $235K (28/87).  She’s worked 13 times, with the last 12 coming on the Churchill dirt, and four of these covered 5/8th of a mile.  On 8/18/23, she rifled off a big bullet when she went a half mile in 47.8 seconds (1/103).  Flavien will be her jockey.  

Pick – #1 Intricate – Although the M/L favorite looks to be formidable, I’m going with Intricate at 5/1.  Not sure that he’ll stay there, but with Brown training the #10 horse, I suspect that one will take big money and we may get a decent price on our selection.  I like that my pick is 1) sired by Gun Runner 2) comes from a Distorted Humor mare 3) gets the services of Gaffalione and 4) has an improving work pattern and has been over the CD strip seven times.  The owner of this gal in the Game of Silks is Lighthouse Racing – best of luck today!

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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@jonathanstettin is that your money that has Alpha Team into 11/10 Jon?! 9/2 in . spot intl just disappeared, still holding 3/1.

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