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Churchill Downs Stakes Previews

Author: Ryan Knuppel
Published: Friday May 28, 2021

 

This weekend, there is graded action around the United States, which includes two Grades 3s at Churchill Downs. There is the Grade 3 Regret Stakes and Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes this weekend, and we will assess the runners lining up in both below.

 

Regret Stakes Preview & Contenders

 

The Regret Stakes is the first of the two Grade 3s that will be taking place at Churchill Downs this weekend. It is the eighth race on the card, as fillies that are three years old race across 1 1/8 miles on turf. The horses that will be going to post for the race are:

 

  • Oyster Box
  • Munnyfor Ro
  • Line Dancing
  • Spanish Loveaffair
  • Barista
  • Postnup
  • Gam’s Mission
  • Flown
  • Saranya

 

It looks set to be a competitive renewal of the Regret Stakes this weekend, but the favorite in the betting for the race will be Spanish Loveaffair for trainer Mark Casse. The three-year-old comes into this race after reappearing twice this season after finishing sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in November. 


She returned to graded action in February, as she finished fourth in the Herecomesthebride Stakes and followed that up with a sixth in the Grade 2 Appalachian Stakes. There could be better value elsewhere this weekend.

 

Oyster Box has been progressive so far this season and will be looking for a first graded victory after winning two allowance races so far in her career. She was fourth in the Memories of Silver Stakes last time out and could be a main player. 


Barista would be our pick, as we expect her to kick on from the form that she showed at Churchill Downs on her last start. She won her maiden at this very track and recently finished second in the Grade 2 Edgewood Stakes in April.

 

Matt Winn Stakes

 

The Graded action continues in the very next race at Churchill Downs, as two of the horses that competed in the Kentucky Derby will be back on the track. Three-year-olds will race over 1 1/16 miles on the dirt for a purse of $300,000 in this Grade 3. The horses entered for the race can be found below:

 

  • Ready to Pounce
  • Helium
  • O Besos
  • Southern Passage
  • Fulsome
  • Hello Hot Rod
  • Sittin On Go
  • Game Day Play

 

All eyes will be on the two horses that competed at the Kentucky Derby in this race, with improvement expected by both horses. Helium finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby, which was an excellent run at bigger odds. However, the Grade 2 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby winner wasn’t able to get within fighting distance of the leading pack. 


The leading chance from the Triple Crown runners will instead come in the form of O Besos, who finished strongly to claim fifth. That was a career-best run from the Gregory Foley-trained horse and came after a third in the Louisiana Derby and a fourth in the Risen Star Stakes. He could be among the first to finish here.

 

Sittin On Go and Game Day Play also have leading chances and are competitive in the betting. However, both will need to improve further in the Matt Winn Stakes. Fulsome has taken a different route to the other two main contenders in this race, as he sidestepped in the Triple Crown series. 


The three-year-old for trainer Brad Cox could make a statement win at Churchill Downs this weekend, as he has won his last two. His most recent victory came in the competitive Oaklawn Stakes, but the conditions at Churchill Downs should suit him, and if he takes to the ground, he could be difficult to beat this weekend.

 

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