An all-graded stakes Pick 4 highlight's an excellent Saturday night card at Churchill Downs this week. Here's what I noted on my first pass through the PPs.
The Pick 4 begins at 7:57 ET with the Matt Winn Stakes (G3), for three-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on dirt. I could see myself going deep in this five-horse field on my main ticket (four of the five!?). But Macho Macho is interesting to me in here if I can get a price going first-time around two turns. He broke slowly two back in the loss to Bourbon Courage (watch that replay, 3-24-12 FG R10) and then won a very fast allowance race on May 5.
Next up is the Regret Stakes (G3), for 3yo fillies going 1 1/8 miles on the turf. I think I will bet against the ML favorite Coup in here. She's a nice filly, but the field she beat at Pimlico was just ok. Three fillies catch my eye. Centre Court is just coming off a maiden win, but she was a tough-luck runner-up in her previous two starts behind very strong winners. She came home in 35-flat after being checked and earned a fast speed figure under a hand ride here on May 19.
The filly who beat Centre Court two back at Keeneland, Colonial Flag, was really impressive when she came back to win a NW 1 at Belmont. This 3/4 sister to Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) winner Shared Account is a gangly filly with a big, energetic stride.
I also might take a flyer at 8-1 on Funny Proposition. This Medaglia d'Oro filly goes first-time turf and her dam was all turf. Funny Proposition was wide pressing a very strong pace on May 4 and still drew off to win.
Next up will be the Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2), where 2011 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (G1) winner Royal Delta is 4-to-5 on the ML. This will be Royal Delta's first race since finishing 9th in the world's richest race the Dubai Wold Cup. Royal Delta got shuffled back in Dubai and it did not look like she liked the surface that day. She is a tempting but uncreative single. Probably a good idea to work up a second ticket using 2nd-off-the-layoff St. John's River and pace presser Afleeting Lady, who has three wins and two seconds in six starts at CD
The sequence ends with the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1), which drew a very nice field of nine older horses going 1 1/8 miles on dirt. Note that Wise Dan is expected to run, and stablemate Successful Dan to scratch. The two price shots that jump out at me are Fort Larned and Nehro (who gets in light and should get a nice pace to run at). I would also cover Ron the Greek and Alternation.
Who do you like on Saturday?