Include Betty, The Pizza Man top weighted in Churchill Thanksgiving features

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

November 21st, 2016

Include Betty, one of the more productive three-year-old fillies of 2015, has had a rather quiet campaign of three starts this term. However, a recent second against allowance company could be a spring board to better things in Thursday's $200,000 Falls City H. (G2) at Churchill Downs.

The 1 1/8-mile Falls City, for fillies and mares, highlights a 12-race, Thanksgiving program at the Louisville track. The card also includes the $100,000 River City H. (G3) for older horses on the turf.

A maiden at the beginning of 2015, Include Betty went on to secure wins in the Mother Goose (G1), Fantasy (G3), $200,000 Remington Park Oaks, and $100,000 Suncoast, and also placed in three other graded events. However, after running third and fifth in a pair of stakes in New York early in the season, Include Betty was out of action for five months until October 22.

Returning in a one-mile allowance at Parx, the typically deep-closing filly rallied to finish second by a half-length to Savings Account, winner of the $200,000 Treasure Chest at Delta Downs this past Saturday. In addition to adding blinkers, Include Betty is sure to benefit stretching out an extra furlong second off the bench.

The Dale Romans barn, reeling from the unexpected retirement of their hot Kentucky Derby (G1) prospect Not This Time on Monday, sends out the three-year-old Go Maggie Go. The lightly-raced Ghostzapper miss captured the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) and Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) in the spring, but has not been out since a distant sixth-place effort in the Alabama (G1) behind Songbird.

The field of 11 also includes Apple Blossom H. (G1) runner-up Streamline, third in a six-furlong allowance prep at Churchill on November 5; the multiple graded-placed No Fault of Mine and Sweetgrass; and Indiana-bred star Lady Fog Horn, who has won 10 of her past 15 starts.

Multiple Grade 1 winner The Pizza Man figures to be a strong favorite in the 1 1/8-mile River City. The 2015 Arlington Million (G1) hero captured the Northern Dancer (G1) at Woodbine two back, and followed up with a fourth in the Canadian International (G1).

Canadian champion Are You Kidding Me and three stakes winners from the Churchill spring meet -- Pleuven (Wide Dan [G2], Bullards Alley (Louisville H. [G3]), and Thatcher Street (Opening Verse) -- also figure in the overflow field of 14.

(Adam Coglianese Photography)