Churchill Downs goes prime time with a Saturday night card under the lights, the second “Downs After Dark” program with a 6:00 ET post time.
There are three graded stakes on the 11-race card, races six through eight, and the finale on the evening card is slated at 11:10 ET.
The stakes action kicks off with the $100,000 Winning Colors (G3) for fillies and mares who will go six furlongs on the main track.
The race drew a wide open field of eight led by Carousel winner Beat the Blues, Eight Belles (G2) runner up Good Deed, and Happy Ticket winner Speedacious.
The seventh race is the $100,000 Aristides (G3) for male sprinters going six furlongs.
The Ken McPeek trained Noble’s Promise, winner of the race last year, is the 5-2 morning line favorite.
The race drew eight, with Riley Tucker, Rothko, and Will’s Wildcat likely to garner some attention at the betting windows.
The feature on the Saturday evening card is the $100,000 Mint Julep (G3) for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the Matt Winn turf course.
The race drew nine including Tapitsfly, winner of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, who is coming off a solid runner up finish in the Distaff Turf Mile (G2) at Churchill Downs on May 5 and is the 3-1 morning line favorite.
Michael Dempsey provides his selections for Belmont Park and Churchill Downs each racing day. Mike’s Best Plays Report is available each day Thursday through Sunday, with his strongest plays and selections including the top stakes races.
Let’s head out to Churchill Downs for Saturday night’s featured race of the evening:
Churchill Downs Race 8 The Mint Julep (G3) Post time 9:36 ET
Bizzy Caroline 4-1
Artemus Kitten 5-1
Snow Top Mountain 4-1
Bizzy Caroline stalked the early pace and did not have enough punch left late in a third place finish last out at Keeneland against third level optional claimers. The effort was her first go off a five month layoff and was on her first trip on poly. That effort should have her fit and ready to go as she switches to her preferred surface here. Two back last fall she ran second in the Mrs. Revere (G2) here behind Marketing Mix, who came back to beat a strong group of allowance runners in her next start at Keeneland. Three back our top pick ran second in the Valley View (G3) at Keeneland behind another next out winner, Daisy Deville coming back to win her next three starts including the Jenny Wiley (G1) this spring at Keeneland. Our top pick posted a bullet work on May 26 at Keeneland over the ply and looks primed for a top effort here.
Tapitsfly was beaten just a neck and a nose in this race last year in a third place finish. The mare comes in here off a good runner up finish to Hungry Island in the Distaff Turf Mile (G2) over ground labeled as good. She was only beaten 1 ½ lengths to daisy Devine in the Jenny Wiley two back and three back won the Honey Fox (G2) at Gulfstream Park. The mare seldom runs a bad one and fits with her best, but her 3-1 morning lie may look lighter by the time they load them into the gate.
Artemus Kitten failed to fire after a wide trip last out on poly at Keeneland and returns to the grass., Two back she won a hard fought photo to take the Bayou Handicap at Fair Grounds by a neck over Upperline, who came back to win the Bewitch (G3) and Arlington Matron (G3) in her next two starts. She figures to bounce back here with the switch back to turf for the Maker barn that is 25% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from synth to turf.
- WIN: Bizzy Caroline to win at 3-1 or better.
- EXACTA: 1,3 / 1,2,3,8
- TRIFECTA: 1,3 / 1,2,3,8 / 1,2,3,4,8
Michael Dempsey’s Belmont Stakes Day Report
Michael’s Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire Belmont Stakes Day card.
The third jewel of the Triple Crown features an outstanding day of horse betting. The supporting stakes include the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap (G1), $500,000 Just A Game (G1), $400,000 True North Handicap (G2), and the $400,000 Woody Stephens (G2).