How to bet the 2022 Dogwood Stakes
Seven sophomore fillies will run seven panels on the Churchill Downs dirt in Saturday’s $275,000 Dogwood S. (G3). Conditioner Steve Asmussen has a formidable duo signed on for the affair, but I will be seeking an upset with another talented three-year-old filly in the heat.
Two-time Grade-1 placed #4 Tarabi (4-1) has never run a bad race in her five-race career and seems poised for another good showing in this affair. Trained by Cherie DeVaux, the daughter of First Samurai was a good second on the course in her seasonal debut and followed that up with a game victory in the Wilton S. at Saratoga last time out.
Tarabi has trained in smart fashion in the interim, and the Kentucky-bred will improve while making her third start off the layoff. She has good gate presence as well as a fine turn of foot, and I expect her to sit a very good trip from the break under the guidance of Javier Castellano.
Champion #1 Echo Zulu (1-1) is the class of the field for conditioner Steve Asmussen. The brilliant filly was last seen finishing a brave fourth in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) in a race that was much better than it might appear on paper, and her best performance will make her nearly impossible to upend on Saturday.
Echo Zulu is equipped with substantial early speed and looms as the one to catch and beat from the break beneath Ricardo Santana. The daughter of Gun Runner might be a bit short for this tilt with bigger goals in mind later in the season, however, and if there is ever a time to try and upset the favorite, now seems like the best opportunity to do so.
Dual Grade-2 heroine #7 Wicked Halo (7-2) was ultra-game in annexing the Prioress S. (G2) in her latest venture to move her win streak to three for Asmussen. Also by superb sire Gun Runner, the gray miss registered a lifetime best Brisnet Speed number most recently and looms large with a repeat of that outing. Tyler Gaffalione will be in the silks atop the win threat.
#5 Gunning (8-1) ran third as the favorite in the Audubon Oaks at Ellis Park in her latest venture, and the Kenny McPeek trainee will be a factor with expected improvement in her second stakes attempt. The chestnut Gun Runner filly has flashed a lot of potential from just a trio of lifetime engagements to date, and I expect her to make the frame from off the pace under Brian Hernandez, Jr.
- $20 win: #4 Tarabi ($20)
- $5 superfecta: 1, 4 with 1, 4 with 5, 7 with 5, 7 ($20)
- $1 superfecta: 1, 4 with 1, 4 with 5, 7 with all ($16)