Churchill Downs: September 23, 2017, By Trent Ledbetter

Bourbon, Bowties, and the return of Farrel. These are all in store for Saturday’s Churchill Card tonight with the first post being 6PM. The card features two stakes races and the highly anticipated Farrel makes her return to Churchill. We last saw Farrel in the Kentucky Oaks and Wayne Catalano gives her a long rest going into this one. Another Oaks starter Tequilita is featured in the race as well. Overall it looks to be a loaded card for a Saturday Night under the lights at Churchill. Without further ado here are my top 3 picks of the evening.

Race 2

The 2-Athletic Temper is second off the layoff here for Steve Asmussen and Ricardo Santana. Narrowly missed in his last out and drops in class here. I don’t think we get much of a price here, but there isn’t much to not like. He seems to be coming along just how Asmussen wants him and faces an underwhelming field here. The 6-Twinsanity could be a look for second here. Comes in off a good turf race and drops to class. Not sure this horse wants to return to the dirt, but could show improvement especially with a shortened trip.

Race 5

Race 5 is a 10000 Claimer and features a very evenly matched competitive field. While I feel the 1-Radiantrithym and 4-Like a Haint aren’t pushovers here, I like a price. 3-Scatmeifucan is 6-1 on the ML and she comes into this one off a handful of mile long races on the turf. She’s been close here and there, but seems to be a common trend that she tires out. She races at 6 furlongs for the first time in her career here and I think it suits her perfectly. The shorter trip makes her a real contender and with her previous performances I think she gets overlooked here. She is my price of the day and has a great chance here.

Race 9

Race 9 is the 7 furlong Dogwood and the highlight race of the card. Featuring a few KY Oaks runners and the surging Covenant this is a very competitive field. I think due to the name Farrel gets most of the money here because she is such a popular filly. I’m gonna go with a spoiled reunion here and play an exacta box 3,12,13. Tequilita comes into this race off the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga. Before that she had a rough trip in the Oaks after getting bounced around at the start. She gets a post position and is in a race I know she can win with a good trip. Jordan’s Henny is another KY Oaks runner who is featured in this race. 12-1 on the ML but she could go up with the presence of Tequilita and Farrel. I throw out her last race because I don’t think she took to the turf. She ran an optional claim at Churchill and ran away with it and seems to like this track. She gets Corey Lanerie and will be a big price here. Covenant comes off a Maiden winner at Saratoga and seems to be trending up. If those two horses can overcome the outside post positions, they could contend here. The major question will be how does Farrel respond after being pulled up in the Oaks. I think she takes another race to get back to form and that’s why I didn’t use her today.

Looking at the entire card there isn’t a bad race. A lot of highly competitive and great fields highlight this Saturday Night under the Twin Spires.

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