Churchill Downs Saturday (7/2): Stephen Foster Analysis

Chris Adams

The marquee event at Churchill Downs on Saturday is the Stephen Foster. The grade 2 is a win and you’re in for the Breeder’s Cup. Mandoloun makes his return in the race.

No Wise Dan

The Churchill Downs card was supposed to have 3 graded stakes races on it. That number has decreased by one. It was announced earlier this week that the Wise Dan, a grade 2 on the the turf, would not be run in 2022.

New Turf Remains Closed

Horses run over the Matt Winn turf course at Churchill Downs
Matt Winn Turf Course | Photo Credit Blood Horse

The reason for the cancellation was that the newly renovated turf course is not ready. A long renovation of the track caused Churchill to run exclusively on dirt. in 2022 they were ready to unveil the new Matt Winn turf course.

Unfortunately the endeavor was short lived and the grass was closed for repair. The Matt Winn course was worked on in hopes of helping the root structure take hold in time for one of the most prized turf races of the meet, the Wise Dan.

That dream was not realized as the course is still not deemed safe for the equine athletes. The Wise Dan was removed from the card.

Full Card Analysis

Churchill Downs Race 1

Post: 12:45 PM ET; Purse: $120,000 Maiden Special Weight, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 11

  • #5 BOXSTER (7-2) has a great shot in the race given the speed & form.
  • #9 CIGARETTE BOAT (4-1) has to be respected based on the connections.
  • #8 MO'S TREASURE (10-1) should be in the right spot early to give this horse a chance to get the job done.
  • #2 HALLOW POINT (4-1) is well bred to be a factor in this spot.

Selections: 5-9-8-2

Churchill Downs Race 2

Post: 1:16 PM ET; Purse: $148,000 Allowance, 5 1/2 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 8

  • #4 SPECIAL RESERVE (7-5) looks tough to beat here given the edge in a number of key categories including speed & class.
  • #2 JALEN JOURNEY (8-1) is a major player based on speed figures.
  • #1 NECKER ISLAND (4-1) will likely have the stamina to outlast these in the final jumps of the race.
  • #6 LONG RANGE TODDY (5-1) always puts forth an honest effort and has to be considered here.

Selections: 4-2-1-6

Churchill Downs Race 3

Post: 1:47 PM ET; Purse: $120,000 Maiden Special Weight, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 12

  • #2 EASY BIG BOY (5-1) is a major player in today's race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including speed & race flow.
  • #4 MABUHAY (5-1) is a major player in today's race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including stamina & pace.
  • #12 FROSTED DEPARTURE (4-1) has to be respected based on the connections.
  • #10 NAK NAK BOLT (12-1) should be competitive based on the pedigree which has it among the top in the group.

Selections: 2-4-12-10

Churchill Downs Race 4

Post: 2:19 PM ET; Purse: $120,000 Maiden Special Weight, 7 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 16

  • #4 GUNNING (4-1) should be competitive today based on the horse's speed & form.
  • #5 PLEASE BE KIND (5-1) is a major player based on speed figures.
  • #6 LIL TOWN SIS (30-1) is worth a look here given edges in class & blood lines.
  • #9 AMERICAN PYRAMID (12-1) is worth a look here given edges in race flow & pace.

Selections: 4-5-6-9

Churchill Downs Race 5

Post: 2:51 PM ET; Purse: $127,000 Allowance Optional Claiming, 6 1/2 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 11

  • #6 SPANKSTER (7-2) merits consideration in this spot given edges in speed & pace.
  • #9 SACRED SAMURAI (3-1) has to be respected based on the connections.
  • #11 SWING SHIFT (4-1) could get a perfect pace scenario today.
  • #8 PATIENT CAPITAL (8-1) is worth a look here given edges in class & power rating.

Selections: 6-9-11-8

Churchill Downs Race 6

Post: 3:23 PM ET; Purse: $200,000 Tepin S., 1 Mile on Dirt; Entries: 7

  • #4 WICKED HALO (9-5) has a great shot in the race given the speed & class.
  • #2 PATNA (3-1) is worth a look here given edges in record at the distance & form.
  • #1 HEARTYCONSTITUTION (7-2) has hit the board at 7 furlongs and has to be considered a threat in this spot.
    #6 RUNAWAY WIFE (6-1) goes out for connections who can be dangerous at this price.

Selections: 4-2-1-6

Churchill Downs Race 7

Post: 3:55 PM ET; Purse: $200,000 American Derby, 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 11

  • #5 MCLAREN VALE (4-1) is in with a great chance based on the horse's class & pace.
  • #9 RATTLE N ROLL (3-1) should be competitive today based on the horse's speed & connections.
  • #3 SEARCH ENGINE (12-1) has recent form to suggest that 12-1 is more than generous on this runner.
  • #8 KUCHAR (5-1) comes into the race signaling a big performance in the near future.

Selections: 5-9-3-8

Churchill Downs Race 8

Post: 4:35 PM ET; Purse: $350,000 Fleur de Lis S., 1 1/8 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 5

  • #5 SHEDARESTHEDEVIL (9-5) makes her return to the races and looks tough to beat here given the edge in a number of key categories including speed & class.
  • #1 SUPER QUICK (2-1) is a major player in today's race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including speed & recent form.
  • #4 PAULINE'S PEARL (5-2) is a solid horse, but she burned me and I’ve never forgiven her. Could she win? Sure, but she won’t have a dime of mine.
  • #3 AVA'S GRACE (6-1) is a cut below the top trio, but probably the next likeliest winner.

Selections: 5-1-4-3

Churchill Downs Race 9

Post: 5:16 PM ET; Purse: $160,000 Kelly's Landing Overnight S., 6 1/2 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 9

  • #3 KNEEDEEPINSNOW (8-1) is probably less likely to win than others but the price makes it hard to ignore this one.
  • #4 ALOHA WEST (2-1) has a great shot in the race given the speed & class. This one is a must include.
  • #1 AWESOME GERRY (8-1) comes into the race signaling a big performance in the near future.
  • #2 HEART RHYTHM (15-1) could get a perfect pace scenario today.

Selections: 3-4-1-2

Churchill Downs Race 10

Post: 5:47 PM ET; Purse: $750,000 Stephen Foster S., 1 1/8 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 7

Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs
Mandaloun (Orange Saddle Towel) defeated by Medina Spirit | Photo Credit HRN
  • #3 OLYMPIAD (5-2) is worth a look here given edges in record at the distance & form.
  • #2 AMERICANREVOLUTION (7-2) looks tough to beat here given the edge in a number of key categories including speed & class.
  • #6 MANDALOUN (2-1) returns to the races and will likely be ready to roll here. This is a hard trying runner who always puts up a good effort.
  • #1 CADDO RIVER (10-1) has ability has been an enigma since becoming among the favorites midway through the 2021 Derby trail.

Selections: 3-2-6-1

Churchill Downs Race 11

Post: 6:17 PM ET; Purse: $134,000 Allowance Optional Claiming, 7 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 11

  • #11 MILLEFEUILLE (3-1) has to be respected today edging the field in several key handicapping factors including stamina & power rating.
  • #8 ALTERED SHOT (4-1) is worth a look here given edges in record at the distance & form.
  • #4 REGAL RETORT (9-2) merits consideration in this spot given edges in speed & class.
  • #5 LINDALEVESOLTA (15-1) has to be respected based on the connections.

Selections: 11-8-4-5

Churchill Downs Race 12

Post: 6:45 PM ET; Purse: $127,000 Allowance, 1 3/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 12

  • #11 TIZ RYE TIME (10-1) has speed numbers to put him in the mix.
  • #10 ALEJANDRO (3-1) has gone this longer distance and done so well. Definitely worth a look.
  • #3 BOURBON THUNDER (10-1) merits consideration in this spot given edges in speed & stamina.
  • #7 MR. TIP (12-1) should be in the right spot early to give this horse a chance to get the job done.

Selections: 11-10-3-7

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