Onus the key to Saturday’s plays at Churchill Downs

Profile Picture: James Scully

November 14th, 2015

Saturday’s Mrs. Revere (G2) highlights an excellent 12-race program at Churchill Downs, with the last nine races all drawing at least 11 horses. I’ve got a strong opinion in the Mrs. Revere and will give my thoughts on a couple of other races.

Race 10 (Mrs. Revere): ONUS (#7) faces a tough assignment in her second stakes attempt, with Celestine, Devine Aida, Isabella Sings, Partisan Politics, Robillard and Tammy the Torpedo providing serious depth in the 1 1/16-mile turf affair for 3-year-old fillies, but I believe she’ll be up to the task. The gray daughter of Blame stamped herself a promising prospect rolling to daylight wins over maiden special weight and entry-level allowance foes before stepping up to face stakes opponents in the September 26 Commonwealth Cup (G3) at Laurel Park last time out.

Onus made short work of a nice field, scoring by 4 ½ lengths, and registered an outstanding 109 BRIS Late Pace rating as well as a 103 Speed number. Among those left in her wake was Stormy Regatta, who defeated Partisan Politics in her previous outing at Saratoga. Onus is an up-and-coming type who looks poised to win major stakes as she continues to mature, and I’ll stick with the hot horse today.

I’ll save on back-up multi-race tickets with TAMMY THE TORPEDO (#5), who returned from a near 12-month layoff with a smashing allowance triumph at Belmont Park 27 days ago.

Onus is a win bet and I’ll recommend the following vertical exotics:

Straight Exacta: 7-5
Trifecta Part-Wheels: 7 with 5 with all
                                      7 with all with 5

Race 6: With a trio of speedballs entered, RAP (#4) appears capable of carrying her improving form forward with a victory. The Blame filly broke her maiden when trying a turf sprint three starts back and followed with a pair of encouraging placings versus solid allowance fields at Indiana Downs and Keeneland. The promising turf sprinter possesses the tactical speed to sit midpack before rallying boldly beneath Brian Hernandez and trainer Thomas Drury Jr. (28% win rate this year) can post his first victory of the November meet. And the 12-1 morning line odds only add to her appeal.

Race 7: None of the favorites have shown much and the one-mile maiden special weight lacks speed; I’ll tab TARPON BAY ROAD (#10) for a front-running upset. By leading sire Tapit and out of G3 winner Pretty Prolific, who finished second in the Humana Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs as well as the Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, Tarpon Bay Road showed good speed when making his debut in a 6-furlong maiden special weight at Saratoga and the 2-year-old appears to be training forwardly at Churchill Downs for his second outing, and first under the direction of new trainer James Baker. Calvin Borel takes over the reins and figures to send the chestnut straight to the lead at the break. He's listed at 10-1 on the morning line.

Onus photo courtesy of Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club

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