Road to Derby: Kentucky Jockey Club Analysis

Kentucky Jockey Club

Two stakes for two-year-old led by the Kentucky Jockey Club are on tap at Churchill Downs on Saturday. (Photo credit: Churchill Downs, Inc.).

A full field of 14 along with a pair of also-eligibles were entered in Saturday’s $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2), a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race.

All eyes will be on Knicks Go, the Ben Colebrook trainee who has been dismissed in the betting in his last two starts but that likely ends this afternoon.

The colt pulled off the upset in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland at 70-1, then despite that victory was overlooked again in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) where he rallied to finish in the runner up spot at 40-1.

Horseplayers will have to settle for a much shorter price and will need him to overcome the 13 post.

Signalman is the second choice on the morning line at 5-2. The Ken McPeek trainee ran second in the Breeders’ Futurity at 10-1 and then rallied for third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at 67-1. The colt breaks from the one post with Brian Hernandez again in the irons.

Eight Go in Golden Rod

The co-feature on Saturday’s card at Churchill Downs is the $2000,000 Golden Rod (G2) for two-year-old fillies. The race offers up points toward entry into the Kentucky Oaks (G1) next spring.

Eight go to the post led by the McPeek trained Restless Rider, who was second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) behind Jaywalk.

She won three of her first four career starts including winning the Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland and the Debutante over the Churchill Downs main track.

There are three stakes on tap at Aqueduct on Saturday, two that are scheduled for the turf—the $400,000 Long Island (G3) and the $125,000 Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship.

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The other stake on the card is the $200,000 Discovery (G3) which drew seven but three ran yesterday meaning the race will scratch down to a field of four.

My Best Plays for Saturday includes my nine strongest plays from Aqueduct and Churchill Downs.

Let’s head out to Churchill Downs for Saturday’s featured race of the day:

Free Horse Picks

Churchill Downs Race 11 The Kentucky Jockey Club G2 (Post time 5:56 ET)

#6 Blue Steel   15-1

#4 Dunph   6-1

#12 King for a Day   8-1

#13 Knicks Go   2-1

Blue Steel

The Dale Romans trainee stretches out to a route of ground for the first time and certainly has the pedigree to move forward on the stretch out. He was a $270,000 Keeneland purchase by Will take Charge out of a stakes placed Candy Ride mare. The colt took the field gate to wire to break his maiden last out here at seven furlongs. Two runners have come out of the race to run back and they both won. He has come back with a couple of sharp works for the Romans barn that is 20% winners moving runners from sprint to route. he could jump up with a big effort here and should be a generous price.


This gelding is perfect in two starts and has not been tested He graduate din his debut by 8 1/2 lengths at Penn and then won the restricted Spendthrift last out over the main track here at seven furlongs by 7 3/4 lengths. The edging should be able to handle the stretch out to two turns. He is by Temple City out of a Sky Mesa mare.  He can be in the mix here at a decent price.

King for a Day

Trained by Todd Pletcher, this colt ships in from New York. The colt took the field gate to wire to break his maiden in his second career start and first going long. He was third in his debut at the Spa behind the winner Complexity, who came back to win the Champagne (G1) in his next start. The colt owns a solid pace profile throughout with good early and mid pace numbers. He is out of a French Deputy mare that has dropped six other winners including a pair of stakes winners, top earner Let’s Parlay ($322,712).


WIN: #6 to win at 8-1 or better.

EX: 4,6 / 4,6,12,13

TRI: 4,6 / 4,6,12,13 / 1,4,6,12,13

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