Scully’s Churchill Downs signature plays for Sept. 1

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August 31st, 2020

Happy Kentucky Derby week! Live racing begins Tuesday with a nine-race program, and here are some thoughts on the program:

Look forward to playing: #5 Silver N Lai (9-2 morning line) in 8th race. Improving gelding won his first two turf starts by open margins and exits a commendable second in a salty conditioned allowance at Indiana Grand, taking pace pressure from a pair of well-backed rivals before accelerating clear into the stretch only to be caught on the wire by Split the Wickets, who came back to finish third in Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup at Ellis. Silver N Lai should receive a better set-up today as the controlling speed, and I like his chances on the front end.

Live longshot: #1 Mulberry Street (10-1) in 2nd race. Throw out last on turf. Two back, colt offered a fine showing from off the pace against loose-on-lead winner, rallying boldly on the far turn and into stretch, and was out-bobbed for second on wire. That effort came at 1 3/16 miles, and Mulberry Street is eligible to run well at today’s 1 1/4-mile if he can avoid being too far back in early stages.

Favorite against: #9 Harvey Wallbanger (7-2) in 7th race. Drops in class with dull form and lower Brisnet Speed ratings. Broke maiden over track in 2018, but confirmed closer has rallied belatedly for second in last two appearances and probably won’t receive a favorite setup here.