The day has a history of nice-price winners, so look outside the box, as we offer a glimpse into the Champion’s Day lineup.
A field of eight will do battle in this race, but only a few figure to seriously contend for top honors. Home’s the Best opted for this race, rather than the Sixty Sails, and that might prove to be a prudent decision by those connections. This mare had some traffic issues in the Strate Sunshine Stakes, and a cleaner trip would make her tough. Stop a Train deserves a mention, if only because she is the defending champion and is normally a terror in these kind of races. Boudoir and Mongoose Gold both offer a puncher’s chance and are hard to eliminate.
The field in post position order, jockey, weight, odds:
Boudoir, Perez, 116, 6-1; Lawn, Emigh, 116, 5-1; Home’s the Best, Wade, 120, 3-1; Labar, Alvarado, 118, 9-2; On the Quiet, Silva, 113, 8-1; Archipelago, Ferrer, 112, 8-1; Stop a Train, Compton, 121, 7-2
The Milwaukee Avenue Handicap-3-year-olds and up, 1 1/16-miles
Stonehouse enters this race, near or at, the form of his life. The son of Chester House just missed winning this race last year, and despite lugging high weight of 124 pounds and giving no less than six pounds to each competitor, he’ll still be tough to beat. Instill beat Stonehouse in this event last spring, earning a huge figure in the process. He returns to his favorite track and might offer some value. Not easy to find strong arguments for other players, but Stumbling Block, Da Grizz and Best Buddy are all possibilities should the top two falter.
Da Grizz, Sukie, 113, 12-1; Stumbling Block, Thornton, 116, 9-2; Best Buddy, Razo Jr., 116, 5-1; Navy Wings, Emigh, 117, 6-1; Sword and Shield, Silva, 114, 12-1; Gathering Kings, Meier, 114, 15-1; Stonehouse, Compton, 124, 5-2; River Bear, Ferrer, 115, 8-1; Instill, Campbell, 118, 10-1.
The Pretty Jenny Stakes-Filly 3-year-olds, 6 furlongs
Named after the filly who won this race (Lady Hallie Stakes) in 2005, the Pretty Jenny Stakes appears to be an excellent betting affair with numerous possibilities. Happy Henrietta, winner of last year’s Showtime Deb, and Cumulonimble, a solid second in the same race, figure to get their share of wagering support. Cases can be made for at least six others: B N Graced N Glory has been super sharp in her last two, but over sloppy tracks; Miss Fontana has the right connections, but has been sidelined since August; Cart’s Linda has been no worse than second in four career starts; Lose None is talented enough, but hard to back; Tessies Tilbury is lightly raced but sharp; and Bow Tie Pasta, the probable favorite, looks vulnerable, but capable.
Lose None, Emigh, 113, 4-1; Miss Fontana, Karlsson, 115, 10-1; Tessies Tilbury, Perez, 113, 6-1; B N Graced N Glory, Pitty, 115, 6-1; Fashionable Lady, Geroux, 113, 12-1; Cart’s Linda, Wade, 115, 5-1; Bow Tie Pasta, Razo Jr., 115, 8-1; Cart’s Zenforus, Hernandez, 113, 20-1; Cumulonimble, Meier, 113, 12-1; Happy Henrietta, Thornton, 121, 9-2; Aptitude in Me, Riggs, 113, 20-1.
The Governor’s Lady Handicap-Fillies and Mares 4-years-old and up, 6 furlongs
Secret Kin won this race a year ago, but has been out of action since November. Still, jockey Eddie Perez opted for this mount rather than Runningatem, winner of four straight races. Nicks won the Powerless Handicap in the fall and will likely be sharper than she was in the Merry Colleen Stakes; If Mongoose Gold opts for this race, she should be considered; and both Flyin’flirt and Ripe Tomato seem like realistic plays from the Roger Brueggemann stable.
Appeal with Zeal, Razo Jr., 117, 12-1; Flying’flirt, Thornton, 118, 8-1; Secret Kin, Perez, 120, 4-1; Ripe Tomato, Meier, 117, 8-1; Magnetic Miss, Compton, 118, 20-1; Nicks, Wade, 121, 3-1; Lune Rouge, Campbell, 116, 15-1; Taylor Madison, Emigh, 117, 6-1; Runningatem, Karlsson, 119, 8-1; Mongoose Gold, Riggs, 120, 5-1.
The Land of Lincoln Stakes-Colts and Geldings 3-year-olds, 6 furlongs
Possibly the best race of the day. Devil’s Halo returns from injury, but in his brief 2-year-old campaign, he displayed enormous talent; My Dominick James lost to Devil’s Halo in the Sun Power Stakes, and like Devil’s Halo, has not been seen since; Will’s Honey has been a model of consistency in his five-race career and looks to be improving; Sorrel of the Sea looks enormously talented, and after failing in his last start, adds Lasix today; Angel Talk, Agnostic and Johnnies Breeze are not easily dismissed.
King Ajax, Sukie, 116, 12-1; Last Wompus, Alvarado, 114, 15-1; Will’s Honey, emigh, 116, 5-1; My Dominick James, Thornton, 118, 4-1; Devil’s Halo, Silva, 122, 3-1; Sorrel of the Sea, Perez, 114, 6-1; Angel Talk, Meier, 116, 8-1; Agnostic, Wade, 114, 10-1; Cart Doctor, Hernandez, 114, 15-1; Johnnies Breeze, Karlsson, 114, 8-1.
The Robert S. Molaro Handicap-4-year-olds and up, 6 furlongs
Formerly the Chicagoland Handicap, High Expectations will look for an unprecedented third straight victory in this event, although he’ll need to improve upon his recent return try; Caruso, a very talented, but often sidelined gelding was amazingly game in his return win, and is clearly the horse to beat; Edge of Chaos brings dangerous speed to this sprint and has experience over the track; Wildeydsouthernboy and the classy Mighty Rule each will get their share of support.
U Teachem Cart, Wade, 113, 10-1; Dakota Rebel, Riggs, 116, 12-1; High Expectations, Emigh, 122, 6-1; Edge of Chaos, Thornton, 116, 6-1; Dontcallmeshorely, Ferrer, 114, 12-1; Lui Luhuk, Compton, 115, 10-1; Caruso, Silva, 117, 4-1; Carson’s Hawk, Meier, 113, 12-1; Wildeydsoutherboy, Torres, 118, 7-2; Mighty Rule, Campbell, 118, 6-1.