Scully: Pick 3 play at Churchill Downs on Sept. 3

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September 2nd, 2020

The $200,000 Pocahontas (G2) for 2-year-old fillies has some intrigue on Thursday’s 11-race card at Churchill Downs (“Thurby”), but I will focus upon a three-race sequence earlier on the program that includes the $115,000 Opening Verse S. for older turf horses.

Here is how I will be playing a Pick 3 on races 6-8.

Race 6

A competitive field of 10 will contest the $20,000 claiming event at a one-turn mile. I think the top two choices on the morning line, #10 Oxide (3-1) and #8 Sea of Hope (7-2), are potentially vulnerable, and will punch the “All” button.

Race 7

Twelve juveniles, including an entry, will square off in the 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight, and #1A Mahomes Money stretches out to two turns for his second start. He took money (1.90-1 odds) when debuting in a solid maiden special weight on the Aug. 9 Ellis Park Derby undercard, but weakened to sixth after rushing forward to press the pace following a terrible start. Bred for longer distances, the dark bay son of Not This Time has trained forwardly in the interim, working a half-mile bullet over the track last Saturday, and Dale Romans isn’t known for cranking his first-time starters. Mahomes Money figures to improve significantly, especially if he gets out of the gate from an outside post, and I expect him to show speed from the break. I will single him.

Race 8 – Opening Verse S.

Some speed is entered in the one-mile turf test, and I like a pair of late runners.

#1 Captivating Moon switches back to turf after splitting a tough field when sixth in the Oaklawn H. (G2). A good second in the New Orleans (G2) two back, the versatile 5-year-old has proven more than capable on turf, and ran well when placing in a pair of graded events on Churchill’s turf earlier in his career. And he likes the mile distance (4-2-1-1). #4 Mr. Misunderstood is another logical contender. He’s posted five stakes wins over the course and appears to be rounding back into form for Brad Cox following a closing second in the Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Mile S. at Ellis Park.

$1 Pick 3 Ticket (Races 6-8)

All with 1A with 1,4

Ticket Cost: $20