Welcome to Churchill Downs!
Belle will be taking on a full field of $5000 claimers in the 10th race this afternoon (about 6:10 our time – watch and wager at Canterbury whilst enjoying Day 1 of the Breeders’ Cup).
Our girl drew the outside for the six furlong dash and will have Rafael Mojica Jr. aboard.
Prom Theme (Danner/Burke) – An off the pace type, she ships in from Ohio after faltering in conditioned $5000 claimers.
Wildwood Kantheros (Litfin/Lanerie) – Nevada’s other entry certainly got the better of the draw. A stalking type, she’s been off since Canterbury and should be well positioned early.
Honey C (Tapp/Zuniga) – Stepping up from the bottom in Indiana and Ohio.
Kate N Abs Reward (Valenzuela/Jimenez) – While a little flat her last few starts, she’s also been running a bit higher. She drops in here and could be prominent early.
Titfortat (Caldwell/Canchari) – Won at the bottom at Ellis but faded a bit in her last at Churchill in September. She’ll be quick and one of the pacesetters.
Muddle (Lauer/Miranda) – Couldn’t break through at the lowest levels against home breds in Ohio, faces open today.
Lucy B (Fosdick/Pompell) – Big class drop and speed should have this one playin catch me if you can.
Leanne n Susan (Romans/Gazader) – Won at $8000 here before a summer break. She came back w/ a lackluster performance on a class drop and had another 6 weeks off.
Alittlecomplicated (Garcia/Torres) – Reeled off a pair of wins in a row at Thistledown and has come south for a shot at Churchill where she’s 1 for 4. Will be running late.
Big Island Blonde (Holthus/Sarvis) – Four very rough performances at Oaklawn led to a layoff after the Hot Springs meet. This is her first back since then and she returns at the bottom.
Teacup Twirl (Walsh/Perez) – Indiana bred taking on open company where she is yet to break through. Early speed out of post 11 is rough.
BRILLIANT BELLE (LITFIN/MOJICA JR)
I won’t sugar coat it – this one is going to be tough. While she is certainly not outclassed here (she’s certainly worth more than the $5000), being mired in the 12 hole as alertly as she breaks will be problematic.
She absolutely cannot push the pace the way she did last our or her chances to win will against disappoint through the first quarter mile. That said, it is very hard to get a stalking trip from outside without some help.
If the break can be spread out a bit, Rafael may be able to get her into a decent position during the first furlong and settle off the pace. Another potential partner could be the weather. If it’s wet enough we could see some scratches and that would shift us inward a few spots which would be very helpful/
A lot is going to depend on where we can be the first quarter mile and if she can get first jump on the early leaders and take advantage of the stretch to grind out a win.
Good luck, everybody!