Holland's Halloween free racing plays for Oct. 31
Frightening prices with lucrative odds dwell among the races today from handicapper Tim Holland, including Churchill Downs, Belmont Park, Laurel Park and Woodbine.
Maiden fillies include #11 Minute Waltz (10-1), a debuting daughter of leading freshman sire Nyquist and out of a half-sister to Justin Phillip, who won the Vanderbilt (G1). Trainer Bauer wins with a slightly-low 9% of his first-time starters but with 15% overall in maiden special weight events, and filly’s works include a bullet 5-furlong move in 1:00 1/5 from the gate this month. $425K yearling purchase appears ready for a good first outing under Bejarano, who has won with two of his last five rides for the barn.
#11 Plainsman (10-1) makes his first start since returning to the Brad Cox barn and was last seen when fading to finish unplaced at this distance at Oaklawn in February. Son of Flatter won the Discovery (G3) in his last start for Cox and has been working well for his return. 5-year-old has tactical speed and can be forwardly placed from the start with Geroux riding.
A competitive field for the Zagora includes #9 Hungry Kitten (5-1), who has shown improvement in her two latest outings when tried over longer distances, most recently when closing from off the pace to win at Saratoga in early August. Trainer McGaughey wins with 19% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days and daughter of Kitten’s Joy is out of Hungry Island, who won the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2). Chestnut can be along late with Jose Ortiz again in the saddle.
#7 Quickstrike (9-2) lost chances with a rough trip when third as the favorite at this distance at Delaware this month in her second outing. Daughter of Distorted Humor is a half-sister to one winner and trainer Pecoraro wins with 28% of his runners in maiden claiming events. Filly can be in good position throughout with Cedeno retaining the mount.
Josie Carroll is having an excellent meet and saddles #10 Admiring (10-1), who took betting action but was not a factor when unplaced in her debut over the course and distance last month. Daughter of War Front is out of a full sister to Starlet (G1) winner Streaming and blinkers are added by Carroll, who wins with 15% of her second-time starters. Filly may show more here with Husbands remaining aboard.