Jeff Siegel’s National Best Plays
Churchill Downs – Second Race. Post time: 1:14 ET
6-Key of Life (2-1)
Blistered a quarter mile in 9 4/5 seconds at the OBS April sale and looked terrific doing it, after which the daughter of the freshman stallion Mo Town (stud fee $7,500) brought $350,00 through the ring. Since then, the powerful-looking juvenile shows a steady, healthy series of workouts leading up to her debut for a barn that hits at a solid 19% with first times starters. This appears to be a stronger than par race for the level but if she breaks with her field, the Brad Cox-trained filly should justify her 2-1 morning line price.
Churchill Downs – Nine race. Post time: 4:55 ET
The Chicago Stakes is a Grade-3 extended sprint for older fillies and mares but on paper looks very much like a Grade-1 affair, what with the likes of Sconsin, Bell’s the One, and Lady Rocket among those in the lineup. Pennybaker, though unproven at the level and listed at 8-1 on the morning line, could easily be this good. The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro won her last four starts in France with rising Timeform Ratings and then was extremely impressive when capturing the listed Heavenly Cause Stakes in her U.S. debut at Laurel Park in-mid April. She hasn’t missed a beat in the morning since, so at the price the Michael Stidham-trained filly is worth a play in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.
Belmont Park – Sixth race. Post time: 3:34 ET
This second-time starter offers a reasonable gamble at 6-1 in this maiden special weight turf router for fillies and mares. The Irish-bred 3-year-old walked out of the gate and fell far back in her debut at Churchill Downs last month, was asked for run entering the lane and despite racing greenly closed a good gap to be fourth, beaten just over two lengths, in an outing that she seems certain build upon. The Brendan Walsh-trained daughter of Caravaggio picks up Jose Ortiz, lands the rail, and with any type of forward move should be a major player in a below standard race for the level.
Monmouth Park – Eleventh Race. Post time: 4:47 ET
6-Bout Time (4-1)
Lightly-raced and improving with each race, the daughter of Not This Time has found her niche as a turf sprinter and looks to verify her impressive allowance win at Churchill Downs in this listed stakes for fillies and mares. Lightly-raced (four starts) but with excellent tactical speed and a quick turn of foot, the Cherie DeVaux-trained four-year-old projects to enjoy an ideal pace-pressing trip and then have every chance to go on with it when given her cue. This will be her toughest race to date, but at 4-1 on the morning line she’s worth a play.