How to bet the 2023 Leonatus Stakes
A solid field of nine three-year-olds will travel one mile on the Turfway Park synthetic oval in Saturday’s $125,000 Leonatus S. Conditioner Ben Colebrook saddled a stakes winner at this venue last weekend and I will tab the trainer to make it two black-type wins in succession for the barn in this tilt.
- $10 win and place: #8 Raise Cain ($20)
- $3 exacta: key box 8 with 3, 6, 7 ($18)
- 50-cent superfecta: 3, 8 with 3, 8 with 6, 7 with all ($12)
#8 Raise Cain (3-1) was outrun in his debut at Churchill Downs in September but showed marked improvement second time out with a strong maiden special weight victory at Keeneland. The $180,000 yearling purchase faced stakes foes in his initial attempt with winners and checked in third in the Bowman Mill S., prior to gamely earning the place spot while making his initial route try in the Gun Runner S. at Fair Grounds most recently.
By Violence, the Kentucky-bred bay posted a solid half-mile on the Turfway oval in the interim and gives me the impression of a colt who will thrive on the move to the All-Weather on Saturday. Raise Cain has positional speed and will likely stalk the proceedings early on with Luan Machado in the stirrups.
#3 Funtastic Again (5-2) aced his first try on the course with a dominant allowance score to cap his juvenile season for trainer Wesley Ward. The chestnut showed pace and was full of run late in that victory, and if the chestnut receives a favorable trip, he will be a dangerous commodity for a barn having a fine local meeting. Gerardo Corrales retains the mount atop the son of Funtastic.
A lot of attention will be on local maiden victor #6 Itzos (9-2) for conditioner Paulo Lobo, should he start here in preference to the Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds. The three-quarters brother to the remarkable Rachel Alexandra was especially game late to graduate in his second lifetime try and will benefit from getting more ground to work with while making his stakes bow. The $1.4 million son of Bolt d’Oro will be forwardly placed from the opening bell with Joe Ramos in the silks once again.
Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) third #7 Hayes Strike (9-2) will be plenty fit for his local and synthetic debut for Kenny McPeek. The dark bay son of Connect has a solid turn of foot and will be dangerous late if he takes to the local ground. The Dixiana Farms homebred will have Alex Achard in the stirrups.