Thoughts on Saturday's Fleur De Lis Pick 4 at Fair Grounds, Churchill Downs

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

November 29th, 2019

Thanksgiving weekend is the only time all season when racing at Fair Grounds and Churchill Downs overlap, thus the reappearance Saturday of the 50-cent Fleur de Lis Pick 4. The sequence features two races from New Orleans and two from Louisville, including all three of the stakes events scheduled for the two tracks.

What races are in Saturday's Fleur De Lis Pick 4?

  • Races 7 and 9 at Fair Grounds
  • Races 9 and 10 at Churchill Downs

Leg 1 -- Race 7 from Fair Grounds (N1X allowance)

#4 THE LAST ZIP (3-1) a possible single on many tickets given the company he's kept this year, placing in the Secretariat (G1) and American Derby (G3) plus finishing a close second to graded winner English Bee last out in a Parx stakes. The only flub on his record came over the tricky Kentucky Downs course two back. However, Sam-Son homebred #13 COUNT AGAIN (5-1) also seems worth including. Making a belated start to his career in August, he could not have been more impressive breaking his maiden at first asking on the turf at Keeneland in October. A half-brother to multiple G1-winning sprinter Ransom the Moon, his second dam was an upset winner of the Matriarch (G1) back in the day.

Leg 2 -- Race 9 from Churchill Downs (Golden Rod [G2])

#1 Finite is the one to beat on paper, especially if she gets a clear lead, but she doesn't necessarily stand out over a distance she's yet to try, and fondness for off going is likely required if the weather forecast is correct. We don't know yet if #7 IVYETSU (12-1) has that or not, but a turf-leaning pedigree could help in that regard and she stylishly won around two turns second out and could surprise on the step up in class. Likely haven't seen the best yet of #4 BEAN (12-1), who unluckily dumped her rider at the start of a local allowance in which she was favored. Synthetic form might still transfer over to dirt and she's bred to appreciate this longer trip. #3 SHE CAN'T SING (8-1) lulled maiden rivals to sleep in graduating on the main track here last time, but more likely to revert to the closing tactics she displayed on the grass in two prior starts. Distance, for sure, will suit despite class hike.

Leg 3 -- Race 9 from Fair Grounds ($75,000 Richie Scherer Memorial)

#5 Hotshot Anna clearly the most consistent and classiest of these, though main drawback is that she's superior on synthetic and is 0-for-4 on the Fair Grounds turf (though three were around two turns and she endured trouble in a one try sprinting last March). We'll take a stand against her with #3 BLUE ULURU (12-1), who's managed to win five of 11 on turf despite racing almost exclusively against males over in Ireland. Also has some needed left-hand turn experience from her days overseas. More interesting, if she gets in from the also-eligible list, is #13 PLAY ON (8-1), whose turf sprinting career got off to a promising start last winter before faltering in Kentucky last sprinting. Could fire fresh for dangerous Brad Cox barn.

Leg 4 -- Race 10 from Churchill Downs (Kentucky Jockey Club [G2])

#3 TIZ THE LAW (7-5) will be a strong favorite to win this and thus the Eclipse Award as champion juvenile after wisely bypassing a topsy-turvy renewal of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1). Big win in the Champagne (G1) last out, and two turns and potential slop probably won't be too much of a hindrance. #1 ENFORCEABLE (8-1), however, also looms an interesting long-term prospect. Though no match for either Maxfield or Gouverneur Morris in the Breeders' Futurity (G1), that does seem now to be one of the better races in the division this year, and plenty of room for this half to New Year's Day and Mohaymen to move forward here.

The 50-cent ticket:

  • 4,13 with 3,4,7 with 3,13 with 1,3 = $12