Marquee Prince a contender in crowded Commonwealth Turf

The Grade III, $175,000 Commonwealth Turf is the Saturday feature at historic Churchill Downs. A field of 14 three-year-olds (plus two AEs) flooded the entry box for this 1 1/16th-mile turf heat. Post time for the Commonwealth Turf, Race 10 of 11 on the day, is 5:36 p.m. ET.

#5 MARQUEE PRINCE (8-1) had a solid 2019 campaign derailed after fading to 11th in the American Turf at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby day. However, he bounced back strong in an allowance/optional claiming race at Indiana Grand in late September, topping 10 others. MARQUEE PRINCE beat SPECTACULAR GEM in an ungraded stake at the Fair Grounds earlier this year. He should offer solid odds in a wide-open renewal of the Commonwealth Turf under Tyler Gaffalione.

#6 SPECTACULAR GEM (6-1) has won two straight starts, both in gate-to-wire fashion. Despite the large field size for the Commonwealth Turf, SPECTACULAR GEM should be able to set a comfortable pace. James Graham was aboard for this one’s victory in the Jefferson Cup over this course last month against TRACKSMITH and FARAWAY KITTEN.

#7 TRACKSMITH (5-1, morning-line favorite) had won two straight, one at Churchill Downs, before dropping both the Virginia Derby (fourth) and Jefferson Cup (second). He needs a fast pace to close into in order to score as the race favorite, so he’s not the best available bet in the field. Brian Hernandez Jr. will be aboard for Joe Sharp.

#11 MR DUMAS (6-1) has never missed the board in five career starts and crushed the competition in the lone turf route of his brief career last time out. However, he needs to improve a bit in the speed figure department and steps up in class here. Joe Rocco Jr. has the call on MR DUMAS once more.

The play: $2 exacta key box 5/6,7, $1 exacta key box 5/11 ($10)

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