Churchill Downs: Betting trifectas in the Falls City Handicap
Churchill Downs will celebrate Thanksgiving Day with the $200,000 Falls City H. (G2), and depending on your point of view, the race could be considered easy or difficult to handicap.
On the one hand, #1 Envoutante (5-2) and #3 Bonny South (8-5) are class standouts. As the only graded stakes winners among the nine fillies and mares in the field, they appear to rank a cut above their rivals.
On the other hand, Envoutante and Bonny South have both done their best running from off the pace, and there is hardly any speed entered in the Falls City. A slow pace could make the race more competitive and give a longshot frontrunner a chance to steal the victory.
I was initially tempted to explore the latter possibility and focus my attention on the speedy Molly Pitcher (G3) runner-up #5 Our Super Freak (9-2), who will drop in class, after she finished last in the Spinster (G1).
But I turned back toward the favorites and figure their affinity for Thursday’s 1 1/8-mile distance will offset any disadvantage generated by a modest tempo.
A decisive winner of the 1 1/16-mile Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) during the spring, Bonny South enters the Falls City off game, runner-up efforts in the 1 1/4-mile Alabama (G1) and 1 1/8-mile Black-Eyed Susan (G2). In the latter, Bonny South fell too far off the early pace but gained 7 1/4 lengths through the final furlong to miss by just a neck.
Envoutante isn’t quite as proven over extended distances, with a fourth-place effort in the Alabama her lone start beyond 1 1/8 miles. But the daughter of Uncle Mo drew away strongly to win the 1 1/16-mile Remington Park Oaks (G3) two months ago, and it is worth noting that she broke her maiden in gate-to-wire fashion. Envoutante has enough speed to stay in touch with the leaders early, which gives her a tactical advantage over Bonny South.
Let’s key Envoutante and Bonny South in the trifecta and require them both to finish in the top three to cash a ticket. For the remaining slot, we’ll spread deep, with Our Super Freak, #2 Another Broad (10-1), #4 Smooth With a Kick (5-1), and #9 Market Rumor (15-1).
$2 trifecta: 1,3 with 1,3 with 2,4,5,9 ($16)
$2 trifecta: 1,3 with 2,4,5,9 with 1,3 ($16)