Anthony Fontaine delves deep into the closing day Stephen Foster card at Churchill Downs. We have also launched our new Gate to Wire podcast and Jonathan Stettin and Michael Vale look at some of the stakes on Saturday, true and false track bias’ and both like different long-shots in the Ohio Derby. Check out the new Gate to Wire podcast brought to you by Past the Wire:
Now back to Churchill Downs:
Race One Selections: 3-2-5-7
#3 Raison d’Etre ran well in debut and should be able to improve off that first race. Connections are hot and has the look of a runner. Ultimately will do better at longer races.
#2 Lucky Find is by the always hot sire Uncle Mo for connections that do their best on the lawn. Works are ok and this one can surprise and spice up the exotics. #5 Sea Garden has been burning up the track in the mornings and if this one runs close to his works everyone else is running for second.
Race Two Selections: 2-8-3-7
#2 Frost or Frippery looks to make it three in a row and may have caught a field that can make this likely. Runner likes the surface and the connections are top notch. One caution that this runner had a great set up last time and that is unlikely today however should be talented enough to be competitive in the lane.
#8 Parade Field goes for another set of connection that win everywhere they go. Horse has yet to win over the surface which is always a factor however against this field should be in the mix. #3 Hawaakom has lots of back class and even at 10 years old can surprise with a big effort in this spot at a nice number.
Race Three Selections: 2-8-1-7
#2 Nero tries the turf for the first time but is well bred for the surface and runner should be able to outrun the odds.
#8 Honovi ran well last out but had some traffic issues. Rider will need to avoid such a trip but if this one can find a clear path can be formidable late. #1 Zero Gravity is another that will need to work out a good trip as last time out rider had this one perfectly spotted and was able to pounce late. A slight rise in price should not present much of an obstacle to this competitive runner.
Race Four Selections: 5-7-9-2
# 5 Nautilus made a nice debut and closed late for a share. Connections do well second time out and rider has been one of the best in the business for decades. One to seriously consider.
#7 Whiskey Double is an expensive debuting runner for top connections. Works are good and this one figures to be a short-priced competitor. #9 Holland another high-priced runner by the same sire and connections of the 7. Another competitive looking runner in a nice race.
Race Five Selections: 6-9-7-3
#6 Bakers Bay ran the best race of the career last out going long on the dirt first time. Should improve off that performance and looks like one to consider.
#9 Mulberry Street showed little in debut yet this well-bred runner should improve in this spot. Post is not ideal however rider is good at booting home good priced runners. Do not ignore this runner. #7 Amani’s Eagle has had a few good races and looks to build off this foundation. Big money mike takes the call and should be highly competitive in the lane.
Race Six Selections: 1-6-5-10
#1 Stop Shopping Tammy ran wide in the stake race at the Fair Grounds and should be able to work out a better trip from this post today. Horse also figures to find this field a bit more palatable and is a surprise package at a nice number.
#6 Paris Lights annihilated the field last out and earned a big speed figure. Runner is not facing the toughest field today but fist time with winners is still a challenge for most horses. Expect a good performance but would be wary at too short a number. #5 Enjoyitwhileyou can gets back to the main track after a few races on the lawn. Trainer does well with his stock and would expect a nice run from this charge today.
Race Seven Selections: 7-1-6-5
#7 Carotari failed to fire last out after experiencing some traffic. Would line through that performance and expect this runner to improve and be competitive today.
#1 Captain Scotty had a good effort on the lawn out west and should be in the mix against this group. #6 Wellabled has lots of speed and may forget to spot late so would give this runner serious consideration.
Race Eight Selections: 6-4-1-2 BASHFORD MANOR GR III
#6 Cazadero ran a huge race in the debut and looks to prove it was not a one and done. Another sprint race against horses that have yet to run as fast providing this one gets out the gate good should emerge victorious again.
#4 Hyperfocus looks to be one of the main challengers to the favorite in this spot. The sire has produced some real nice runners and the debut was nice down in Florida. Look for a big effort. has been working gangbusters for this event and has more experience than the chalk to the inside. #1 Crown and Coke did not run a very fast race but was able to win by open lengths at Mountaineer a few weeks ago Connections may be taking a shot but why not as runner figures to break alertly and at the very least may hold for a share late. Some consideration warranted.
Race Nine Selections: 4-5-2-7 FLEUR DE LIS GR II
# 4 Serengeti Empress appears to be the lone speed and should be able to control the pace.
#5 Midnight Bisou will be the short-priced favorite and may be able to overcome the pace setup however if the 4 gets brave up from like in the Kentucky Oaks may pull off a huge shocker. #5 is coming off a nice layoff and no doubt will use this race as a building block and should be able to win this race. #2 Another Broad should be able to sit off the pace and close late for a share.
Race Ten Selections: 5-6-3-8 STEPHEN FOSTER GR II
#5 Tom’s d’Etat has class, loves the surface and is on a three-race winning streak. Will be a short price and the up and coming.
#6 By My Standards figures to be the main competition as these two figures to be in a battle to the wire. #3 Alkhaatam appears to have hit his best stride as last two dirt races were superb. No doubt this one would need to improve exponentially to challenge for the win however has the look of a runner that can pick up the pieces late.
Race Eleven Selections: 5-1-3-2 REGRET GR III
#5 Crystal Cliffs made a splash a few weeks ago in the first race this side of the pond and won nicely for same jockey and trainer. Has worked well since and appears poised to give another stellar performance.
#1 Dominga has had her share of bad trips yet still gives big efforts time after time. Rider should be able to work out a good trip today and expect this runner to be laying it down in the lane. #3 Stunning Sky is another runner that is due for a good trip. By nature of her running style she will always be at the mercy of the pace and traffic but there appears to be enough speed to set up her late kick at a nice number.
As always enjoy the races and go get em!