Hanson: Singling the Stephen Foster in All-Stakes Pick 5
A 50-cent all-stakes Pick 5 is one of the wagering highlights on an excellent "Downs After Dark" program Saturday night at Churchill Downs, highlighted by the Stephen Foster H. (G1) and an appearance by Triple Crown winner Justify. Here's how we'll be playing the sequence.
Race 5 -- Matt Winn (G3)
#7 AX MAN will be heavy favorite and is the one to catch after blowing away his rivals in the Sir Barton in the Pimlico slop, including next-out Easy Goer winner Prince Lucky. A modest worktab since arriving at Churchill and reports that he's not a good shipper temper our enthusiasm to single him. #5 COMBATANT earned his lone victory to date here before stringing together minor awards in five classic preps. Obviously below his best form in the Kentucky Derby (G1), which is best ignored.
Race 6 -- Wise Dan (G2)
Reigning turf champion #4 WORLD APPROVAL will be left off this ticket as he seems to have taken a slight step back this year. #2 SHINING COPPER failed to go on over highly testing ground on Derby Day against a tougher field. Form prior to that was strong and he's the one to catch. #1 DIVISIDERO is undefeated in three starts over this course, including back-to-back wins in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1). Recent comeback at Monmouth for new barn was strong. #5 MR. MISUNDERSTOOD failed to factor in his last couple, but eligible to bounce back over his home course over which he is two-for-two.
Race 7 -- Fleur de Lis (G2)
#3 BLUE PRIZE romped over the track and distance in the Falls City H. (G2) last November, and no disgrace losing narrowly to #5 SONG OF SPRING in the Allaire du Pont Distaff (G2) after building up a lead over a rain-saturated track. #2 MOPOTISM is certainly fast enough on her best day. In the wrong spot on grass last time, and hope is that front wraps are not part of her attire this evening. #6 AWESTRUCK appears ready to step back up to stakes company after two blowout allowance wins for a barn that's been on fire all meet.
Race 8 -- Stephen Foster H. (G1)
#6 BACKYARD HEAVEN appeared a star in the making when pressing 2017 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming into defeat last month in the Alysheba (G2). Lightly-raced colt simply looks faster than these right now at a short price.
Race 9 -- Regret (G3)
Stakes winner #2 CONSOLIDA is short on relative accomplishment but should continue to improve. Hails from a female family that has produced Grade/Group 1 standouts Conduit, Blond Me, and Glass Harmonium, and gets one of the best turf jocks in the biz tonight at a price. #6 CASH OUT showed early promise finishing a solid third to Rushing Fall in the Jessamine (G3) at Keeneland last fall. Ineffective in Florida, she came back to Kentucky with a much better effort against #11 ROMANTIC MOMENT, a stakes debuter tonight for Shug and whose dam and siblings all ran well over this course. #8 BEYOND BLAME seemed to lose all chance in the Edgewood (G3) when forced to check in the clubhouse turn. Form prior to that hard to fault.
Here's the 50-cent ticket:
5,7 with 1,2,5 with 2,3,6 with 6 with 2,6,8,11 = $36.