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Homeracing

Churchill Downs Pick of the Week for May 24

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

May 23rd, 2019

Friday’s 8TH race at Churchill Downs is an $80,000 allowance/optional claiming event which carries a robust $91,000 purse. A field of 10 will vie in the stakes-quality cast and I think there is good value in the field, even with lukewarm favorite CASINO STAR (#9) (4-1). Trained by Thomas Van Berg, the lightly raced son of Flatter began his ascension in his 2018 finale with a powerful allowance tally on this course in November. The bay tracked the pace and was much the best in the lane at 28-1 odds. Though winless this campaign, Casino Star shows a quartet of quality races in succession and seems poised to pick up his first win of the year. He was a good allowance runner-up at Oaklawn Park three back, and followed that with a nose second in the Fifth Season Stakes. Casino Star ran at Churchill Downs most recently in the Alysheba Stakes (G2) on Kentucky Oaks Day. He finished what I thought was a solid fifth behind the powerhouse McKinzie, and he was just a half-length behind Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) runner-up Seeking the Soul in the process. The six-year-old lands in a cast with a lot of questionable form on Friday. In addition, the field lacks an abundance of early foot. Edgar Morales could place Casino Star in a nice spot while tracking the early tempo before taking command inside the final furlong. PHOTO: Casino Star captured an allowance/optional claimer at Churchill Downs on November 2, 2018 (c) Coady Photography/Churchill Downs

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