A pair of rumens exiting the Kentucky Derby (G1) are back in action on Saturday with a field of eight going in the $150,000 Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill Downs.
The Greg Foley trained O Besos is the 2-1 morning line favorite. The colt was fifth in the Run for the Roses in his last outing. Mark Casse will saddle Helium, who was eighth in the Kentucky Derby in just his fourth career start. The colt is the co-second choice on the morning line at 5-2.
The Matt Winn is one of seven stakes on the 11-race card at Churchill Downs on Saturday, dubbed as Stephen Foster Preview Day. The co-feature is the $150,000 Regret (G3) for three-year-old fillies going 1 1/8 miles on turf.
Helium went into the Kentucky Derby off an impressive win in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) off a 5 ½ month layoff. The colt made his first two starts at seven furlongs on the Tapeta last fall at Woodbine.
“He ran a solid effort in the Derby,” Casse’s top assistant David Carroll said of Helium. “I think he will be able to sit a better trip in the Matt Winn from just off the pace and I think he matches up with this field better.”
In a race void of much speed, it would not be a shock to see Helium on or very close to the lead in this spot.
Trainer Brad Cox saddles Fulsome (5-2), who won the Oaklawn Stakes going nine furlongs in his last outing. The colt kicked off his career with four starts on turf, then passed his first allowance condition in the slop at Keeneland before winning his first stake.
Fulsome Wins Oaklawn Stakes
First post at Churchill Downs on Saturday is 12:45 ET. I will include my strongest plays in Saturday’s Best Plays Report along with action from Belmont Park.
“America’s Day at the Races” on FS2 will cover the action from both tracks from 12:30 to 6:00 ET.
Let’s head out to Churchill Dows for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Churchill Downs Race 9 The Matt Winn G3 4:55 ET
2 Helium 5-2
5 Fulsome 5-2
3 O Besos 2-1
7 Sittin On Go 8-1
This guy is one of two to exit the Kentucky Derby (G1). The colt chased the early pace and faded to finish eighth, beaten 10 ½ lengths at 38-1. The Casse trainee won the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) in his first start on conventional dirt and off a 5 ½ month layoff. That race did not come up as tough in years past but featured a few talented runners. The third-place finisher Moonlite Strike won the Roar in his most recent start on May 15 at Gulfstream Park. The fourth-place finisher Unbridled Honor ran second in the Lexington (G3) and then was sixth in the Preakness (G1). Sixth place finisher King of Dreams was the runner up in the English Channel in his next start. The colt looks primed for a top effort third off the bench here and has enough tactical speed to be forwardly placed in a race void of much early zip.
This colt made his first four starts on turf including his maiden breaker. He beat Alw-1 foes two back at Keeneland in the slop in a race taken off the turf. Last out in his first start on a fast dirt surface he won the Oaklawn going nine furlongs as the favorite. He reunites with the barn’s go to jock Geroux who was aboard the colt for his maiden score. He looks as if he should still have some upside making just his second start over a fast dirt surface and he has had two good morning drills over the main track here since his last outing.
The Foley trainee made up some ground late to check in fifth in the Kentucky Derby, beaten 5 ½ lengths at 41-1. He was third in the Louisiana Derby (G2) behind Hot Rod Charlie and Midnight Bourbon and fourth two back in the Risen Star (G2) which was won by Mandaloun who ran a game second in the Kentucky Derby and may end up the winner. His late running style and the cut back to 1 1/16 miles as well as the lack of pace in here makes him look like an underlay in this spot.
WIN: Helium to win at 2-1 or better.
EXACTA: 2 / 3,5,7 and 2-5 box.