Churchill Downs Trip Notes and Horses to Watch (Sept. 19-22)

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Noel Michaels

September 23rd, 2019

The following are trip notes for horses who had sharp efforts or tough trips at Churchill Downs during the week of September 19-22, and who figure to improve or repeat in their next races. Add these runners to your horses to watch list, and bet them back next time out if they land in a reasonable spot.

Racing for the week was run under good weather conditions on a fast main track and firm turf.

All of these have good chances to run well, outrun their odds, and/or win in their subsequent starts.

BLACK KAT TAPS: First starter outran 15-1 odds for second despite getting forced out at the start and needing to close from last in a nine-horse field. Unlikely to remain a maiden for long.

FOLLY: Dueled for the lead with separate rivals and never got a breather up front and still fought hard to the finish to suffer an unlucky head loss to a perfect-trip winner while seven lengths clear of the third horse. His turn next time.

FROST OR FRIPPERY: Arlington invader handled the local competition running away to a big win despite breaking poorly and racing six lengths last in the early going. Likely repeater.

KAZIRANGA: Foreign invader was a lot better than 17-1 odds indicated, closing for third despite a terrible trip up the rail in the stretch as the only horse in the race to gain ground from off the pace.

MISS BIGLY: Del Mar invader closed to within two lengths of the lead in the late stages until checking hard and dropping out of it in traffic in deep stretch. Live overlay based on that seventh-place finish.

MO ZONE: Came in off a win at Saratoga but lunged out of the gate to start last and lost best chance at a repeat. Recovered for third, less than a length out of second in a solid effort behind a track record performance. Worth another shot.

PUNISH: Improved off a five-month layoff to outrun big odds for second after blazing into a fast duel and beating the early challenger. Don't ignore anymore.

STARSHIP ZEUS: Couldn't get close to a blazing runaway winner, but passed everyone else from last to be second best as the only late runner in the race to make a dent from off the pace.

STARTING POINT: Landed in an impossible assignment off an 11-month layoff, chasing a loose-on-the-lead runaway wire-to-wire winner. Finished third, a length out of second when needing the race, and should be good in next.

SUNFLOWER ROSE: First starter was live on the tote board but then broke slowly and chased the leaders for third, just a head out of second. Just needs a better start.

ULELE: Sent for the lead and got hooked in a three-length-gap battle up front and set the race up for the closers. Settled for third but finished far ahead of the other speeds and can shake loose in a turf route.

WASABI GIRL: Battled on a blazing :21.1 pace and shook loose to win again, adding a CD win to her Ellis Park victory. Likely to repeat up at the next level at Keeneland.

WEDDING BELLE: Bumped and bothered at the start to begin last in a 10-horse field and then closed sneaky good for fourth, just a neck and a head out of second. Just needs a decent break to beat local maiden claimers.

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