Admission Office can make the grade in River City Handicap

The Grade III, $175,000 River City Handicap is the feature on an 11-race Saturday card at Churchill Downs. A field of 10 will do battle over 1 1/8-miles on the turf course. The River City Handicap carries an approximate post time of 5:36 p.m. ET as Race 10 on the program.

#9 ADMISSION OFFICE (3-1) was overmatched in the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile when last seen, but his efforts from earlier this year put him in the hunt here. The Brian Lynch trainee placed in both the Grade II Dixie and Wise Dan, the latter of which came at Churchill, following a successful start to the campaign in an allowance heat at Keeneland. ADMISSION OFFICE tends to start slowly, so the increase in distance should improve his chances at doubling his 2019 win total. Jose Ortiz is in town for the assignment.

#4 MR. MISUNDERSTOOD (5-2, morning-line favorite) seeks his first win of 2019 and his second straight River City Handicap score. He’s hit the board three times this year but none were in graded stakes. He even lost to SPACE MOUNTAIN when last seen in the Remington Green Stakes. However, MR. MISUNDERSTOOD is 4-for-5 over this course and fits with this field speed figure-wise. Florent Geroux has the call once more.

#2 EMMAUS (5-1) took a tough allowance race at Keeneland last time out going 1 1/16th-miles. He had never raced beyond a mile previously but he seemed to appreciate the stretchout. EMMAUS may improve going 1 1/8-miles in the River City Handicap. The Channing Hill mount placed in the Elusive Quality and Connaught Cup earlier this year, so he’s classy enough to compete with these.

#8 GET WESTERN (5-1) moves up if there’s a scratch. There’s an outside chance he sets a slow pace and never looks back in race devoid of early speed types. He’s also 4-2-0-1 over the Churchill turf course. Brian Hernandez Jr. will be aboard.

The play: $5 exacta 9/4, $3 exacta 9/2, $2 exacta 4/9 ($10)

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