How to bet the Wise Dan Stakes
A well-matched field of 11 will go postward in the $200,000 Wise Dan (G2) at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
Wise Dan Analysis
The pace of the race will be established by #3 Factor This, with #6 Ritzy A. P. forcing him from the opening bell. I am expecting a lively early tempo in the Wise Dan.
Wise Dan Contenders
#1 JUST HOWARD -- Grade 3 winner from the Motion barn draws well to secure the rail in the big field. Chestnut 6-year-old had a very good prep on the course when coming from last to be a closing fourth in a deep recent allowance tilt. Son of English Channel has every reason to improve second time out in 2020 with Bejarano in the irons.
#2 ENGLISH BEE -- Second from the Motion shedrow was a three-time stakes hero last campaign, but he is winless from a trio of starts as a 4-year-old. Calumet homebred did run well to be a close fifth last time out against some of today’s foes, and improvement will give him a chance inside the final furlong on Saturday.
#3 FACTOR THIS -- Potential one to catch and beat comes in with a pair of graded stakes tallies at Fair Grounds in succession for Brad Cox. The Factor 5-year-old has never been better, and he shows a pair of swift drills on the course in anticipation of his return. Shaun Bridgmohan will be up.
#4 EONS -- Grade 3 winner from the Delacour barn makes his seasonal debut in a tough spot. Son of Giant’s Causeway flashed plenty of potential as a sophomore, but this is a tough spot for his first stakes assignment facing elders. Adam Beschizza will be in the irons.
#5 AQUAPHOBIA -- One of three in the cast for Mike Maker, the bay will make his local bow on Saturday. Giant’s Causeway bay was an excellent runner-up in the Sunshine Forever S. last time out, and any improvement off that makes him a viable win player in the Wise Dan.
#6 RITZY A. P. -- Speedy chestnut finished a good second in a local allowance heat while making a first start for Sisterson. Chestnut has early presence and could be in the hunt late on Saturday with improvement second time out in 2020.
#7 MARCH TO THE ARCH -- Casse pupil never fired in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita most recently, but the Arch gelding had very good form prior to that endeavor. Defending champ has kept fine company over the past two seasons, and his best effort makes him especially dangerous from off the pace. Florent Geroux riding adds to the appeal.
#8 EMMAUS -- Conor Murphy charge was a winner in his 2020 debut with a nice triumph in a Fair Grounds allowance event. Dark bay will run as a gelding for the initial time, and he performed fairly well in his lone local attempt as well. Brian Hernandez has the call.
#9 CASA CREED -- Jimmy Creed colt is a Grade 2 star who has won or placed in four races in succession dating back to last season. Bay has good tactical speed combined with a nice turn of foot, and he gets the slight nod while making his second run as a 4-year-old. Martin Garcia rides.
#10 HEMBREE -- One-run closer has won just once since 2018 and is hard to back for the win, but the son of Proud Citizen could surely rally for a minor award with his top effort. The top-three contender, who was a smart third in an allowance race on the lawn last time out, owns a 3-0-1-1 local mark.
#11 PARLOR -- Lonhro gelding brings excellent form to the field from the outside post for Maker. Dark bay gelding made a huge move in a recent allowance tilt prior to being caught late, and the two-time local winner rates a big chance if he receives a sensible trip on Saturday. Kentucky-bred drilled a bullet 5 panels most recently and picks up sharp turf pilot Gaffalione as well.
Wise Dan Wagers
- $20 Win: #9 Casa Creed ($20)
- $1 Exacta Box: 3,5,7,9,11 ($20)