Jeff Siegel’s Blog: National Best Plays for Saturday, September 23, 2023

September 23, 2023

(listed in chronological order)

Churchill Downs First Race
Post time: 6:00 ET

5-Luz Divina (4-1)

This daughter of Palace Malice outran her odds in her debut at Saratoga, where she overcame a slow start (trailed early) and an extremely wide trip into the lane to close with courage when winding up a strong third in a legitimate turf sprint for juvenile fillies. While we’d prefer to see another sprint on her resume, the Timothy Hamm-trained 2-year-old should be able to project that form over a distance of ground and seems likely to produce a significant forward move on the stretch out. The barn’s “go-to” rider takes the call, so in what appears to be a moderate race for the level and at 4-1 on the morning line, she’s a win play and strong push in the various rolling exotics.


Churchill Downs Eighth Race
Post time: 9:39 ET

6-Everso Mischievous (2-1)

Has developed into a quality 3-year-old while continuing to improve in each of his four career starts while producing rising speed figures, most recently when gamely prevailing in a strong allowance sprint at Saratoga early last month. The son of Into Mischief has the proper pace-pressing style for this extended sprint distance, and in a race that projects to have moderate early fractions he projects to be where he needs to be every step of the way. The Brad Cox-trained colt offers strong value in the win pool and in rolling exotic play at 2-1 on the morning line.


Churchill Downs Ninth Race
Post time: 10:11 ET

4-Poblano (3-1)

Displayed promise in a pair of runner-up efforts during a brief juvenile campaign last year but left that form behind with a highly impressive runaway main track mile maiden score at Ellis Park last month that produced a powerful speed figure despite never being asked for her best. The daughter of Curlin has the makings of an exceptional prospect and should get nothing but better with distance, age, maturity, and experience. This boost into overnight stakes company should be within her capabilities and represents a strong sign of confidence, so at 3-1 on the morning line we’re expecting the Brendan Walsh-trained sophomore to come right back at score again.

Jeff Siegel’s Blog: National Best Plays for Saturday, September 23, 2023

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