The race offers 50-20-10-5 Road to the Kentucky Derby points to the top four finishers. That 50-point bonanza to the winner means whoever crosses the wire first is virtually guaranteed a spot in the Kentucky […]
Grade 2 Chilukki Features Strong Field at Churchill
The Grade 2, $200,000 Chilukki is the featured race of the day Saturday, November 5 as an intriguing group of eight fillies and mares is set to contest the one-mile event on the main track.
Birdatthewire (2/1) was well-fancied in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks May 1 at Churchill, but finished fifth and hasn't made a start since. The Dale Romans trainee shows a steady work tab, but will have to overcome her slow-starting tendencies while shaking off some racing rust. She will break from the rail with Cory Lanerie in the irons. Romans connects at just 8% with runners coming back from layoffs exceeding 180 days.
Gold Medal Dancer eyes strong return
Gold Medal Dancer (5/2) also returns from the bench after finishing sixth in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap June 13 at Churchill. Prior to that effort, the five year-old mare had been enjoying a successful and consistent 2015 campaign, including a win in the Grade 2 Azeri to go with a trio of graded stakes placings. Gold Medal Dancer is trained by Donnie Von Hemel who hits a 17% clip with runners returning from layoffs of 180 days.
Spelling Again could shake loose
Spelling Again (8/1) won't have to deal with any layoff rust and looks to be the speed of the race for trainer Brad Cox. The four year-old Awesome Again filly has two wins in four starts this year, including a sprint victory in the Open Mind Stakes September 12 at Churchill. She's also won at the one-mile distance with an optional allowance tally at Indiana Downs August 12. Both defeats this year have occurred over wet racing surfaces.
The field is set for the 2019 Preakness Stakes, and looking at the 13 rivals on paper is enough to make any serious handicapper's mouth water. There's simply a ton of betting value here.
Post positions have been drawn, and the oddsmakers have instilled Omaha Beach as the morning line favorite for the running of the 145th Kentucky Derby. The race goes Saturday, May 4th, with 20 runners set to battle 1 1/4 miles on the Churchill Downs dirt track, chasing a purse of $3 million and the first leg of the US Triple Crown.
The defending champ is back in the field for the 2016 Arlington Million on Saturday, but he's being overshadowed by a strong group of foreign invaders.