Dan’s Double: Churchill Saturday Night Selections

Gambling
Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing

Dan’s Double of the Week, featuring handicapping analysis from America's Best Racing's New York correspondent Dan Tordjman, is brought to you by Horseplayers.com, the official online qualifying site of the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and National Horseplayers Championship (NHC). Horseplayers.com offers low-cost feeders every day and BCBC and NHC qualifiers every weekend, and it’s the only site where you can qualify for the $1 million BCBC. It’s free to sign up – click here to get information about registering and how to enter contests.

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Saturday, June 17

Churchill Downs, Race 7, $200,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap, 9:09 p.m. ET

#7 Apologynotaccepted: Let’s see if we can’t catch a big price in this spot, which features a number of pretty classy horses either coming in off long breaks or in poor form. The classiest of the bunch is #1 Forever Unbridled – you’ve got to respect her based on the multiple Grade 1 wins, but she might need a race, and trainer Dallas Stewart doesn’t win many off of this long of a layoff.

Assessing the projected pace situation in this race, Apologynotaccepted stands out as your likely pacesetter. #5 Big World has early speed and was able to steal one on the lead when winning the La Troienne Stakes on the Kentucky Oaks undercard, when she got to the front and wasn’t really challenged (on top of it, the track was playing kindly to speed and the rail). I would imagine Big World may sit just off of Apologynotaccepted on Saturday. Lightly-raced for a 6-year-old mare, Apologynotaccepted has shown marked improvement this year for trainer Bill Mott, who absolutely owns big races at Churchill Downs. The horse gets a bit of an acid test, here but she’s won her last three by a combined 16 lengths and could get a very favorable setup.

$10 Budget

$2 win, place and show on #7 Apologynotaccepted ($6)

$1 exacta 1,7 with 1,3,7, ($4)

$25 Budget

$4 win, place and show on #7 Apologynotaccepted ($12)

$1 exacta box 1,3,7,9 ($12)

$50 Budget

$8 win, place and $4 to show on #7 Apologynotaccepted ($20)

$1 exacta box 1,3,7,9 ($12)

$1 trifecta 1,3,7 with 1,3,7 with 1,3,5,7,9 ($18)

Saturday, June 17

Churchill Downs, Race 8, $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap, 9:43 p.m. ET

#4 Honorable Duty: This race has all the feelings of one that is ripe for a mild upset. All eyes will be on #3 Gun Runner, who comes off a second-place finish to Arrogate in the Dubai World Cup in March. If he’s cranked up and ready to go after the time he’s had off, he’s going to be tough. But if there was ever a spot to take a shot against him, this might be it.

I’ve had my eye on Honorable Duty all spring long. He’s managed to hang below the radar despite scooping up back-to-back graded-stakes scores at Fair Grounds and finishing a game second in his last race at Churchill, the Alysheba Stakes. In that race, the pacesetter and returning challenger #1 Bird Song was also loose on the lead on a golden rail. Despite adverse conditions, Honorable Duty made his patented late run but it wasn’t enough over that track, on that day. Given the presence of #8 Stanford, the pace here is guaranteed to be hot, and the race should set up perfectly for the improved Honorable Duty, who also draws the services of the best jockey in the world, Javier Castellano.

$10 Budget

$10 to win on #4 Honorable Duty ($10)

$25 Budget

$1 trifecta 4 over 2,3,7 over all ($18)

$2 exacta 2,3,7 over 4 ($6)

$50 Budget

$20 to win on #4 Honorable Duty ($20)

$1 trifecta 4 over 2,3,7 over all ($18)

$1 trifecta 3,4 over 2,3,4,7 over 2,3,4,7 ($12)

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