Churchill Downs: Sequences of the Day for Saturday, September 13

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TwinSpires Staff

September 13th, 2019

by J. Keeler Johnson The first Saturday of the September meet at Churchill Downs is a big one with four stakes races on the agenda, including the $200,000 Iroquois Stakes (G3) and the $200,000 Pocahontas Stakes (G2), the first steppingstones toward the 2020 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1). The 11-race card is packed with multi-race wagers, such as daily doubles, Pick 3s, Pick 4s, and Pick 5s. With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to know which direction to turn. That’s why we’re here to help you identify the most interesting and potentially lucrative sequences of the day. Whether you want to play a simple double or aim big with a Pick 5, here are some of the most appealing options for you to consider: Daily Double: Race 9 If you concede that the 19 1/4-length Ellis Park maiden winner Dennis’ Moment (#8) (9-5) is an unbeatable favorite in the Iroquois (Race 10), then it might be possible to play this double cold and nail a nice payoff. In the Pocahontas (Race 9), I’m excited to support Morning Gold (#6) (3-1), who broke her maiden running two turns on grass at Saratoga. This Kenny McPeek-trained daughter of Morning Line is bred to handle dirt and will race on Lasix for the first time on Saturday, an angle McPeek has employed successfully many times with juveniles in graded stakes races. Morning Gold is the 3-1 co-favorite on the morning line, but I suspect she’ll start at a slightly higher price. A cold Morning Gold/Dennis’ Moment double might be my best bet of the day. Pick 3: Race 3 This monstrous Pick 3 sequence features 34 runners before scratches, all of them lightly-raced juveniles offering little in the way of established form. Workout reports could be critical for narrowing down your tickets. The opening leg is a $150,000-$130,000 maiden claiming race in which I’m inclined to oppose 4-1 morning-line favorite Indian Cross (#2) (4-1). This Steve Asmussen-trained youngster crossed the wire first in a $75,000 maiden claiming race at Saratoga on August 21, only to be disqualified for drifting out in the homestretch. It might seem appealing to back a maiden who has already “won” a race, but Indian Cross ran a hard race at Saratoga, dueling through quick fractions over a sloppy, sealed track before growing leg-weary late. Now he’s wheeling back 3 1/2 weeks later while stretching out in distance, and he’s drawn poorly in post two, which means he’ll likely face pace pressure right from the start. A more appealing alternative might be Tiny Danza (#7) (8-1), who showed some signs of life when rallying to finish fifth behind Dennis’ Moment at Ellis Park in July. Pick 4: Race 2 While the Late Pick 4 starting in Race 8 offers three graded stakes, the sequence could be chalky with some short-priced favorites in the mix. The early Pick 4 starting in Race 2 has the potential for a higher payoff since it includes the three competitive juvenile races mentioned above. You might even be able to kick off the sequence with the 10-1 shot War Veteran (#1) (10-1) in Race 2. In terms of BRIS Speed figures he might seem slower than his rivals, but I suspect this son of Tiznow has a lot of upside. After finishing fourth in his debut at Monmouth behind the next-out winners Keeping the Peace and Bal Bay Drive, War Veteran dropped into a $12,500 maiden claiming race and obliterated his rivals by 21 lengths while eased up at the finish. Another step forward can put him in the mix on Saturday. Pick 5: Race 7 The logical favorites in the stakes races might hurt the Pick 4 payoff, but on the bright side, they could make the harder-to-hit Pick 5 a little less expensive to play. And you definitely want to be involved in this high-value bet, which offers a low 15% takeout rate. The challenging part will be cashing in the last leg of the sequence, a one-mile maiden race for juveniles that drew 13 entries. Celtic Mischief (#10) (9-2) is a logical favorite for trainer Brad Cox, who went three-for-four with juvenile first-time starters at this meet last year. Sold for $450,000 as a yearling, this son of Into Mischief is bred to win early. But Celtic Mischief is hardly the only promising young runner in the field. Sounion (#8) (6-1) rallied off a slow start in his debut to finish third behind Iroquois Stakes favorite Dennis’ Moment, while Continental Clash (#1) (5-1) (a $550,000 2yo-in-training purchase) endured a troubled trip when fifth on debut for Dale Romans, who wins at a 20% rate with first-time starters. My best advice? Check out the workout reports and spread as deep as you can afford. Good luck! PHOTO: Dennis' Moment (c) Coady Photography/Churchill Downs