Player Quick Pick: Churchill Downs for 9/27/2014

Profile Picture: Ryan Dickey

Ryan Dickey

September 27th, 2014

by Ryan Dickey  

Churchill Downs 10| 5:20 pm ET

G3 Jefferson Cup for 3 yo going 1 mi. (T)  

MOST LIKELY WINNER: 3-Heart to Heart  

Finding his niche as a turf miler, Heart to Heart is trying graded stakes company for the first time.  Starting his career last year in poly-track sprints, the colt was entered in his first turf race (and first route race) in October at Keeneland, but it was moved to the fake stuff due to rain.  He finally got his first turf start at a mile in Lexington this April, and won “in stylish fashion” drawing away from Jessica’s Star who is a very nice horse in his own right.  Last time out, he went wire-to-wire in the Better Talk Now Stakes at Saratoga at this same distance.  He appears to be the best bet on paper, but the odds will not be in the favor of value bettors.  Play him on top of exotics and in multi-race bets.  

VALUE HORSE: 8-Hesinfront  

Today sets up to be a very good day for trainer Dale Romans.  Not only may he win back-to-back races at Churchill (race 9 and here in race 10), he also saddles Medal Count in the G1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and Prayer For Relief in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes, both at Belmont today.  In fact, he has TWO chances to win this 10th race here at Churchill, as he is also the trainer of the 1-Sportscaster.  Hesinfront must have the most misleading name in horse racing as the colt has NO inclination to get out to a lead.  He seems to be more comfortable the longer the race gets (his two wins are at 9 furlongs), but has hit the board in 5-of-8 turf races.  He’s coming in second of a layoff here, and he doesn’t need to progress too much to be a contender.  His poor results in his previous graded stakes races should dissuade many bettors, and his post-time odds could be closer to 6-1 or 8-1 (9/2 on the morning line).  He’s the pick for win bets.  Play on top and underneath in exotics, and in multi-race bets.

OTHERS TO CONSIDER: 4-Speightsland  

If this race were held at Woodbine, Speightsland would be the top choice.  However, he’s making his American debut for Mark Casse, and although he’s a nice colt with a great pedigree who is taking well to the turf, today may not be the day for him to win.  Play underneath in exotics, as he will get out front with Heart To Heart and appears to have enough to be able to stay for a shot at hitting the board.


$10 WIN 8 ($10)

$2 Exacta 3 over 4,8 ($4)

$1 Trifecta box 3,4,8 ($6--total $20)  


$20 WIN 8 ($20)

$8 PLACE 8 ($8)

$5 Exacta 3 over 4,8 ($10)

$2 Trifecta box 3,4,8 ($12--total $50)