The finale at Churchill Downs on Saturday drew a dozen that will go 1 ½ miles in the $100,000 Louisville (G3) led by Grade 1 winner Arklow.
The Brad Cox trained Arklow is the 8-5 morning line favorite and drew the five post with Florent Geroux in the irons. The six-year-old was last seen checking in fifth in the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) at Gulfstream Park back in January.
Admission Office is the second choice on the morning line at 3-1 and drew the outside 12 post for trainer Brian Lynch. The five-year-old will be ridden by Julien Leparoux and was fourth in the Sunshine Forever at Gulfstream Park in his last outing on May 9.
The defending champion is Tiz a Slam, who took the field gate to wire last year at 5-2. He went on to win the Singspiel (G3) and Nijinsky (G2) at Woodbine in his next two starts, but then lost his last two starts of 2019.
The feature at Belmont Park this afternoon is the $300,000 Ogden Phipps (G1) for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
Ollie’s Candy and Point of Honor, the runner up and third place finishers in the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) faceoff again.
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My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my nine strongest plays from Churchill Downs and Belmont Park.
Let’s head out to Churchill Downs for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Churchill Downs Race 11 The Louisville G3 (Post time 6:22 ET)
12 Admission Office 3-1
5 Arklow 8-5
6 Tiz a Slam 7-2
4 He’s No Lemon 15-1
The Lynch trainee tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fourth last out in the Sunshine Forever at Gulfstream Park. He earned a career top speed fig two back in a runner up finish behind the ultra tough Zulu Alpha in the Mac Diarmida (G2) going 1 3/8 miles. He only won one of six last year and that was an allowance race but was competitive versus graded stakes company. He is better than he showed last out and he can handle the extra ground.
The morning line favorite makes his first start since a disappointing fifth in the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1). He won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) last year and lost photos in the Belmont Gold Cup (G2) and Man O War (G1). He has earned triple digit Beyers in five of his last seven starts and has been working well at Keeneland and here. Cox is 21% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day break. He is the class of the field and will be tough but his price is going to be on the light side.
Tiz a Slam
The six-year-old is the defending champ of this race, taking the field gate to wire last year at 5-2. He then shipped to Woodbine to win back to back graded stakes before his form tailed off. He comes back off the bench here for the Attfield barn. He is quick and should be out in front setting what should be moderate fractions.