Churchill: How to bet the Cardinal Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

November 22nd, 2022

A total of 10 fillies and mares will go postward in Thursday’s $300,000 Cardinal S. (G3) at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile turf affair boasts a solid field from top-to-bottom, although the pair of morning-line choices will be tough to upend in the event.

Cardinal Wagers

  • $20 exacta: 5 with 6 ($20)
  • $5 trifecta: 5, 6 with 5, 6 with 3 ($10)
  • 50-cent superfecta: 5 with 3, 6 with 3, 6 with all ($7)
  • 50-cent superfecta: 5 with 3, 6 with all with 3, 6 ($7)

The Al Stall-conditioned #5 Dalika (2-1) does some of her best work beneath the Twin Spires, as evidenced by her 7-3-3-0 local line. Led by her signature win in the Beverly D. (G1) on the course in August, the Pastorius six-year-old had what I thought was a good prep for this when running a mile in a deep field at Keeneland last time out, and the mare will be sharp in her second performance off of the short absence.

Dalika performs best when being on the front end early on, and I expect her to secure the edge shortly after the break. If the German-bred can navigate through moderate early splits, then it will be difficult for her foes to catch her. Brian Hernandez, Jr. is back aboard.

Grade 3 heroine #6 Adventuring (9-5) finished a stubborn fifth in the E. P. Taylor S. (G1) in her most recent endeavor for conditioner Brad Cox. The Pioneerof the Nile filly has been mostly consistent when racing on the green in her lifetime, and the Godolphin homebred has captured two of her last three races in advance of this test.

The four-year-old bay has ample gate speed and will track the tempo from second early on with first run turning for home. Joel Rosario, who guided Adventuring to a tally at Kentucky Downs two prior, will be in the controls on Thursday.

I will also include #3 Perseverancia (12-1) in the vertical exotics in hopes of finding value. Transferred to the barn of Cherie DeVaux prior to her last assignment, the deep closing type finished a positive fourth in a solid allowance test at Keeneland most recently and has every right to move forward in her second showing for this outfit. The California Chrome filly is one-for-one at the distance and will benefit if the pace is honest from the start. Julien Leparoux has the call.