Oddsmaker Mike Battaglia offers his take on Wednesday’s racing card at Churchill Downs.
GENTLE RULER has been in the money in seven of her 10 races for Ian Wilkes and appears to be in a good spot to pick up her maiden win with Brian Hernandez back aboard. SHEZALEMONDRIPKID is also trained by Wilkes. She is lightly raced and figures to improve. LIMARI has been off for over a year but is training steadily for Brad Cox.
AMERICAN MANDATE has had two solid races for Steve Asmussen and gets the nod in what looks like a well-matched maiden race. CHASE THE GHOST was no match for the top pick in his debut but showed big improvement last out and looks dangerous for Dallas Stewart. SOUPER JACKPOT had trouble in his only race and should improve.
DANCING WAVES has two wins over this track and drops back in for a tag today. Her best would make her a winner in this one. PROUD DIXIE comes off of a third-place finish against better and looks dangerous in this spot. INDIAN GEM has the speed to be a contender.
MISS HARRY came back after a six-month layoff and flashed speed against better at Keeneland. Kenny McPeek, who had a terrific first week of the meet, drops her in for a tag and she looks best in this one. HAPPY’S REFLECTION also takes the class drop for Chris Hartman and is the one to beat. MOM I FORGIVE YOU debuts for Brad Cox, who always has to be respected.
VORTICES has raced mainly on the grass for Buff Bradley but can handle the move back to the dirt today. She drops in for a tag for the first time and can beat this bunch with her best performance. FLOSS DANCER has only had one race and should move forward off of that effort. LASER LADEE is a solid threat.
MACHA’S REWARD was beaten by several of these same rivals last out but that was his first start in three months and he probably needed the race. He could spring the mild upset in a well-matched claiming test. RUSHIN TOTHECIRCLE drops to a career-low claiming level and will be hard to beat. NAPLES TRADER broke his maiden against cheaper company but looked good doing it and is a contender.
AERIAL ASSETS is a consistent runner from the barn of Kelly Breen. She comes off a game runner-up effort and has the speed to be in contention throughout. Give her a slight edge. GOLDEN AWARD was an easy maiden winner at Belmont and the runner-up in that one came back to win by 8 lengths next out. She will be tough to beat. CLEVER SERVE will be running late.
HINT OF MINT ran fourth in a tougher race last out back in September. She broke her maiden over the Churchill strip last year and appears to be in a good spot to win this one for Wayne Catalano with Channing Hill aboard. ASCOT DAY was no match for the top pick last out but may not have cared for the slop and is working well for this one. SUN STUDIO broke her maiden in her debut for Brad Cox and is a solid threat.
GALTON exits a very tough field at Keeneland and loves the Churchill turf. Give him the edge with Adam Beschizza aboard for Joe Sharp. APPLICATOR was a game win in his second start for Brad Cox and a repeat of that one makes him very dangerous. SONIC BOOM has the speed to be dangerous.
KEY MOMENT gets the nod in a weak maiden claimer. CURLIN’S PRIDE has been a beaten favorite in her last two and is the one to beat. UNDISPUTED JUSTICE rates a chance.