God's Tipster's Saturday Churchill Downs Picks: 8 races including the Ed Brown, Grade 2 Golden Rod

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Friday’s Race Recap from Aqueduct:

(All odds US)


Race 1: 2nd@ 3.30/1

Race 2: 6th@ 1.60/1

Race 3: 5th@ 5.70/1

Race 8: 4th@ 7.50/1

In Race 1, Dorothy’s Dreams broke well and stalked the early pace, took a run at the leader turning for home but was rebuffed and had to settle for second. In Race 2, Youbetterbejoking pressed the early pace and faded. In Race 3, Win For Gold stalked the pace, took the lead turning for home but buckled when it counted and faded late. In Race 8, Daufuskie Island raced inside of a fast early pace. He got shuffled back on the turn and lacked room while checking and never having an opportunity to come with his run he had to settle for fourth.

We’ll shift to Churchill Downs for Saturday’s “Stars of Tomorrow” two year old races where fast and firm conditions are expected.

Churchill Downs:

Race 2: Linebacker - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 3/1)

Maidens sprint 7 furlongs and I think Linebacker will go off at lower odds than his 3-1 morning line. First time out he broke slowly but rallied 6 wide entering the stretch and was moving best late finishing just 3/4 of a diminishing length off from Mystic Dan who would return to post a 94 speed figure in his next start. A bullet since his last start tells me he’s ready. Value at 3/1 or better.

Race 4: Ice Cold - 2 pts win - BEST BET (US Morning Line Odds: 5/1)

Two-year-old fillies go a mile in this allowance/optional claiming race. Tarifa will be our heavy favorite off her blowout maiden score and her blue-blooded connections. I didn’t like the way she finished her debut effort. She looked like she was getting a little tired at the end of her 7 furlong effort and today she’ll be asked to go a mile facing winners for the first time. Ice Cold has already won at today’s distance - a blowout score last out at Indiana vs. cheaper but the way she leveled out tell me she’ll have no issue handling today’s route or even longer. These connections target these “stars of tomorrow” race cards. Value at 5/1 or higher.

Race 5: Shiloh’s Mistress - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)

Maiden fillies race a mile and a sixteenth. Shiloh’s Mistress gets the nod here and she’ll be making her second career start today. First time out she finished mid-pack in a field of 12 runners. Top rider John Velazquez took the mount that day and another top rider - Flavien Prat - will be riding today for a barn that’s won with 3 of 9 runners (33%) for the meet thus far with 4 second place finishes. She’s had three five furlong works since that most recent start and she’s got a right to improve as she’s a half to a multiple graded stakes winner Ahh Chocolate.

Race 7: Knicks Storm - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 10/1)

From the folks who brought you the great Knicks Go we’ve got Knicks Storm from the underrated barn of Ben Colebrook. This guy debuted facing high-priced maiden claimers and blasted that field while staying straight as a string through the stretch. He was 5/1 that day and with his lower profile connections he’ll be closer to to his 10/1 morning line today. I see no reason why he can’t repeat that effort.

Race 8: Hall of Fame - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 8/1)

Maidens go a mile and a sixteenth here and that’s a tough distance to navigate on debut, and when you’re hampered out in post 11 the task becomes even more daunting but with a $1.4 million price tag and a (ahem) Hall of Fame trainer, I’m optimistically thinking that Hall of Fame can overcome those hurdles for a debut maiden win. This well bred son of Gun Runner has had not one, not two but NINE, five furlong works in preparation for today’s race. I love those longer conditioning drills and his November 6th drill was faster than blowout maiden winner for this barn - Booth and Risk It, both of whom we’ll see later on in today’s race card in stakes action. Might get overlooked.

Race 9: Just Steel - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 6/1)

The Ed Brown at 6 1/2 furlongs is our first stakes on today’s program and features the return of flashy debut winner Booth for the Steve Asmussen barn. I prefer Lukas trainer runner Just Steel who’s got the most experience of the group with two Grade 1’s on his resume. After winning a battle of attrition to break his maiden, Just Steel raced in two Grade 1’s and most recently caught a sloppy track where he finished third at seven furlongs. Today he should catch a fast track at a shortened up 6 1/2 furlongs and I like him to rebound and take down favored Booth. 

Race 10: Central Avenue - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 5/1)

The Grade 2 Golden Rod at a mile and a sixteenth for two-year-old fillies is next up and features a bevy of promising runners. Central Avenue was my selection in the Grade 1 Frizette and at 18/1 she finished a closing second behind a filly named Just FYI, who would return to win the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. I like Central Avenue catching a fast main track again today and think she’ll be overlooked behind the flashy Cox and McPeek runners. Watch out!

Race 11: Stretch Ride - 2 pts win (US Morning Line Odds: 3/1)

The Kentucky Jockey Club is our co-feature on today’s card for two-year-olds. This race is at a mile and a sixteenth. I LOVED Stretch Ride last time out. Watching him battle on gamely to break his maiden was ultra impressive. He made a move that you don’t see most horses make and had to rally more than once to get that win. Last time out he won in blowout fashion at nearly 10/1. We won’t get those odds today as I’m afraid the secret’s finally out but this is a very promising two-year-old who’s worked smartly since his last start and he should only improve with more distance. He’ll be a handful today.

Best of luck to all our members playing Saturday’s races from Churchill Downs!  

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