Hanson: Pick 3 play for Churchill Downs on Memorial Day

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

May 25th, 2020

Churchill Downs' Memorial Day program is highlighted by a strong second-level allowance for 3-year-olds going 6 furlongs, which is the middle leg of a Pick 3 we'll take a swing at this afternoon.

Race 7

No standouts in this maiden event, filled primarily with 3-year-old fillies with little to no racing experience. #2 UNION MAIDEN (7-2) an odds-on favorite on debut at Gulfstream in February but hit the gate at the start but managed to get involved late in a fifth-place effort. #3 MAGIC MOTION (12-1) a non-factor last summer at Saratoga in her only start, but bred to be much better and graded stakes-winning dam has had two runners win second out.

A trio of first-time starters also appealing. #7 KINDA LUCKY (5-1) and #8 STRIPPING (5-1) working fast over at Keeneland for Brad Cox, while #9 RAISON D'ETRE (6-1) an $825,000 juvenile-in-training buy last year for Stonestreet/Casse.

Race 8

#8 MERU (7-2) highly impressive at Monmouth last summer and simply find a mile a bit too far in November when a distant second to Independence Hall in the Nashua (G3). #4 HOP KAT (8-1) blew away his competition when debuting here last May, and recent captured a Gulfstream allowance in the slop over a next-out stakes winner.

Race 9

This second-level turf allowance doesn't appear too tough for the likes of #7 MOROCCO (8-1), who's run well in his last couple after serving as an unexpected pacesetter in the Mac Diarmida (G2). Placed in only previous try on this course. #9 AWARD WINNER (9-2), a photo away from being a G3 winner last summer, could receive an ideal stalk-and-pounce  trip in a replication of his allowance win here last season with Leparoux at the controls again.

Here's the 50-cent ticket:

  • 2,3,7,8,9 with 4,8 with 7,9 = $10.