Saturday, May 11, 2019
Wesley Ward runners look strong in Mamzelle at Churchill -- Preakness possibles
Churchill Downs has a 100 K Stakes race going on Saturday. Gee, I wonder where they found the money to do that?
Anyway, it's the Mamzelle Stakes, it'll go on the turf and it's a sprinter for 5 furlongs. It is RACE 9 ON THE CHURCHILL CARD
Wesley Ward has entered three runners and I definitely like two of them
#5 Chelsea Cloisters will get Brian Hernandez, Jr to ride. This one ran a huge race in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint last year at 24-1 against Bulletin to finish second. "C.C." went toe-to-toe with the winner before fading near the wire. A trip to Keeneland this spring in another Stakes race produced a third place finish, once again, contending and fading late. The works have looked good and Chelsea could get the win today. Maybe 7/2 odds, if you're lucky. My top pick.
#7 Catherinethegreat has Julian Leparoux riding for Mark Casse and this filly goes to the turf for the first time and at a shorter distance than she did in the fall, where she ran against Restless Rider and other top quality horses at Keeneland and Saratoga. She had a graded stakes win at Saratoga last summer and has been training great for her 2019 opener. She should love the turf and the shorter distance
#9 Abyssinian is the second of three Wesley Ward entries and one I do like a lot. Tyler Gaffalione takes over in the saddle. This gal ran into Bulletin this spring at Keeneland and finished a closing third. Nothing but "bullet" works since that one indicate to me she's ready to try the Churchill turf.
Bulletin isn't in the house today. My second pick.
#12 Play On. Brad Cox goes to Shaun Bridgmohan for the ride today. She did finish behind Chelsea Cloisters this spring at Keeneland but Shaun wasn't on her that day and she won three in a row with him piloting at Fairgrounds and Gulfstream over the winter. She'll contest the early pace and have something to say about the finish.
(Ward's other horse is #1 Iva. She seems to win when Julio Garcia is on board and that's the case today but she got blown out in the Grade III Beaumont this spring at Keeneland and I have a hard time seeing her making a difference today. )
PAULIE PICKS 5-9-7-12
Next Saturday they'll contest the second jewel of the Triple Crown. The Preakness is run at Pimlico (for now...the track is falling apart, Maryland won't put any money into it and Laurel Race Course and others want that jewel....)
No Country House. No Maximum Security. No Code of Honor. No Tacitus. No Game Winner. No Omaha Beach or Roadster. Almost all the horses getting Derby chatter aren't contesting the Preakness. Only four of the 21 who were Derby considerations go to Baltimore, as of now.
Here's 11 who could show up.
ALWAYSMINING -- DANIEL CENTENO rides. Won the Tesio Stakes last out
ANOTHERTWISTAFATE -- JOSE ORTIZ up. 2nd in the Lexington
BODEXPRESS -- (NO JOCKEY NAMED) -- 13th in the Kentucky Derby
BOURBON WAR -- IRAD ORTIZ, JR on board. 4th in the Florida Derby
IMPROBABLE -- MIKE SMITH the jockey. 4th in the Kentucky Derby.
LAUGHING FOX -- RICARDO SANTANA gets the call. Won the Oaklawn Park Invitational
OWENDALE -- FLORENT GEROUX in the saddle. 1st in the Lexington
SIGNALMAN -- BRIAN HERNANDEZ, JR pilots. 3rd in the Blue Grass
WAR OF WILL -- TYLER GAFFALIONE returns. 7th in the Kentucky Derby
WARRIORS CHARGE -- JAVIER CASTELLANO jocks. Won an allowance race at Oaklawn
WIN WIN WIN -- JULIEN PIMENTEL has the reins. 9th in the Kentucky Derby.
You have a week to figure this mess out. As of right now, I'm looking at Improbable, War of Will and the Ortiz brothers mounts...Anothertwistafate and Bourbon War. We'll review it more on Friday.