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Homeracing

Spot Plays for 2019 Kentucky Derby Day

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

May 2nd, 2019

A smashing 14-race card will take place at Churchill Downs on Saturday which is headlined by the 145th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1). As was done with the Oaks card, I have tabbed some long shot runners who figure to show improvement over the expected wet going. RACE 3 I’m Looking Up (#8) (10-1) will make his first run of the season with a trainer change to Dallas Stewart. The Speightstown colt is bred to thrive with the wet conditions. His half-brother, multiple Grade 2-winning millionaire Smooth Air, was two-for-two in the slop including a tally in the 2008 Hutcheson Stakes (G2). This four-year-old will show speed coming in fresh. RACE 6 – HUMANA DISTAFF (G1) Trainer Bob Baffert has two in the field, and it’s the longer-priced one who appeals to me. Emboldened (#6) (8-1) is a deep closer who will appreciate the extra furlong in this spot. The Elusive Quality filly lacks the credentials of many in the affair, but she has big upside and figures to move forward over the off-going. The chestnut will be running on late beneath jockey Joel Rosario. RACE 8 – CHURCHILL DOWNS STAKES (G1) The Mike Maker-trained Do Share (#1) (10-1) sports a 6-3-1-1 mark on wet surfaces, and he comes in off of a smashing Tom Fool Handicap (G3) victory when registering a sensational 116 BRIS Speed figure. The Candy Ride gelding has a big turn of foot and lands in a field with a trio of confirmed front runners. The Kentucky-bred will have Irad Ortiz Jr. in the silks. RACE 9 – AMERICAN TURF STAKES (G2) Transylvania Stakes (G3) third The Black Album (#12) (12-1) endured an awful voyage in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) when a somewhat unlucky eighth. The dark bay colt faces a tough task from this post, but he will appreciate some give in the ground in his second run of 2019. Jose Ortiz riding adds to the confidence level on the Rodolphe Brisset trainee. RACE 12 – KENTUCKY DERBY Grade 2 star War of Will (#1) (15-1) was a 5 3/4-length maiden winner at Churchill Downs over a sloppy, sealed surface last fall. The Mark Casse pupil is training up a storm of late and will be a serious pace presence at the very least in the Run for the Roses. RACE 14 Tony Small (#5) (12-1) finished a smart runner-up from the 12 post position going two turns on debut at Fair Grounds. The Tom Morley trainee possesses a strong wet-track pedigree and could be the one in the get-out race on Saturday. He figures to improve with a race under his belt. PHOTO: Roses on Kentucky Derby Day (c) Coady Photography/Churchill Downs

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