RT's Saturday Maiden America Churchill Downs Picks: Three $120K MSWs for 3yos and up – the 3rd, 5th, 8th races
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Finally, a sunny warm day in Louisville and I am heading to Churchill
Churchill Downs Race 3 - $120K Maiden Special
3yo’s↑ going six furlongs
I am going all in on 6-Woodline (4/1). The son of Gun Runner, he campaigned as a two year old at Churchill, Saratoga, and Ellis before being pastured for the winter. The maturity, size and strength were prevalent in his last race, his three year old debut on April 29. Woodline set the pace into the stretch before tiring to 5th, putting up his best Equibase figure. Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, you will see a marked improvement off his last, add in second Lasix, and that will be enough to best this group.
Churchill Downs Race 5 - $120K Maiden Special
Fillies and mares, 3yo’s↑ going 8.5 furlongs
There is only one four year old in this race and that is who I am taking. Of the seven remaining three year olds, only three have faced older horses and the nearest any of them came was five lengths. So, 2-Lady Commander (3/1) is my choice, and she ships in from Oaklawn with the best last Equibase number, just missing by a head in the mud. She put in a :12er work at five furlongs recently, so she is a live play.
Churchill Downs Race 8 - $120K Maiden Special
3yo’s↑ going 8.5 furlongs
Chad Brown sends out 3-Ridley’s Major (7/2) who has three races all on turf. Brown is a 28% winner switching to dirt and this Gun Runner colt just did a 1:00.8 work last Saturday morning. Todd Pletcher has 10-Pioneering Spirit (3/1) with Tyler Gaffalione in the irons and this American Pharoah colt has four races, all with impressive Equibase numbers on his resume. I am coming straight back to the four year old angle as before and taking the California Chrome gelding, 7-Bright Prospecter (6/1) with 40% route winner at Horseshoe Indy, Alex Achard. (an interesting article about French riders at CD). This 2019, $225K Keeneland September Yearling sale grandson of Broken Vow, has two works since being shipped here, a :48 and a :47.8.