The Grade II, $300,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes puts two-year-olds in the spotlight at Churchill Downs this Saturday. The 1 1/16th-mile heat, which carries 17 total points toward the Kentucky Derby (10-4-2-1), drew nine juveniles carrying dreams of wearing roses in May. Post time for the Kentucky Jockey Club, Race 11 of a scheduled 12, is 5:56 p.m. ET. The forecast calls for rain, so bettors should adjust accordingly.
#3 TIZ THE LAW (7-5, morning-line favorite) has been patiently handled since his open-length debut win at Saratoga, running just one other time. That start occurred in Belmont’s Grade I Champagne, which TIZ THE LAW also won with ease. Forgoing the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, the Barclay Tagg trainee has been working sharply and steadily for the Kentucky Jockey Club. He’s the obvious horse to beat on Saturday under Manny Franco.
#2 FIGHTING SEABEE (8-1) was last seen running second to #4 SOUTH BEND (9-5) in the Street Sense Stakes over this course last month, but he has a good chance to break up the chalky exacta. FIGHTING SEABEE was forced five-wide on the turn last time out, losing precious ground to the rail-skimming SOUTH BEND. The margin of defeat was just a length, so it seems that FIGHTING SEABEE could have won if the trips were flipped. He and Brian Hernandez Jr. will be rolling late in the Kentucky Jockey Club.
#9 SHOTSKI (12-1) also lost ground to SOUTH BEND in the Street Sense, taking the turn four-wide before fading late to finish fourth. The son of Blame has worked forwardly since then and could improve with some luck and the extra 1/16th. Sheldon Russell ships in for the assignment.
SOUTH BEND is 3-for-3 lifetime but the margin of victory has been a length or less each time. He may not be worth the price under Julien Leparoux this Saturday.
The play: $3 exacta 3/2,9, $1 exacta box 2/3/9, $3 trifecta 3/4/2,9 ($18)
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