Churchill Downs: How to bet the 2021 Mighty Beau Stakes
A solid field of 10 will speed five furlongs on the Churchill Downs turf in Saturday’s $110,000 Mighty Beau S. The feature of a strong 11-race card will showcase some fleet horses in a well-matched cast, although I have to give top billing to the slight morning line choice.
Grade 3 winner #10 Totally Boss (3-1) will make his seasonal debut for conditioner Rusty Arnold, and I am expecting a top performance from the six-year-old. The gelded son of Street Boss raced just three times in 2020 while going winless, but his four-year-old campaign stamped Totally Boss as one of the top turf sprinters in the country.
The Kentucky-bred bay was a nose shy of winning five consecutive dashes on the green in 2019, and he was respected enough to start at 5-1 odds in the Breeders’ Turf Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita that season. Totally Boss has posted a few strong morning drills at Keeneland as of late, and he's also run well over the Churchill turf with a victory in the past. A course with some give in it will only aid Totally Boss with Brian Hernandez riding the stout closer.
#5 High Crime (10-1) is the only other contender in the race with a win over the local lawn, so I will surely include the Darrin Miller pupil. The talented son of Violence is not overly consistent, but he can fire a big shot when on his game, and he performs well on turf with moisture in it. The five-year-old will be equipped with blinkers in this dash under James Graham.
There will be a swift and contested pace in the Mighty Beau, which will benefit Ian Wilkes’ #9 Elusive Mischief (15-1) at a big number. The bay is winless at Churchill Downs from three local performances, but he didn’t run poorly last time behind a superb winner, and he intrigues racing as a gelding for the initial time. He shows improving Brisnet Speed ratings and would boost the exotics in a big way if he grabs a share late.
I have respect for both #2 Just Might (9-2) and #3 Carotari (4-1), but I will limit each of their inclusions to the vertical exotics. Both of the stakes winners are good enough to take down this field, but their combined 12-0-2-4 line at Churchill makes each more valuable to me underneath.