Churchill Downs Saturday (6/25): Chicago Stakes Ships

By | June 24, 2022

Churchill Downs will run the Chicago Stakes on Saturday. The race will be a source of contention for many horseplayers around the country.

Arlington Park

It may seem odd that the Chicago is being run in Kentucky. However, the race was previously run at the beloved Arlington Park, located in Illinois.

Churchill Steps In

Churchill Downs Inc (CDI) the parent company that runs the track by the same name, merged with Arlington Park in 1998. Since then hopes of the company working to bolster Illinois racing faded away.

Calder Race Course and Hollywood Park, both under the CDI label, shuttered their door under the watch of the twin spires and the paranoia grew in Illinois. In recent years CDI has made their interest in Arlington Park very clear.

Arlington Park Closure

After investing heavily in a rival casino in the same area CDI appeared to be actively working to limit the success of Arlington Park to protect their financial interests in the other entity.

As a final nail in the coffin CDI failed to file for racing dates in 2022. To many this signaled the obvious intent to close the Illinois track. These fears were realized when CDI announced they were selling Arlington and specifically turned down parties that were vocal about purchasing the track for the purposes of reviving racing.

The marquee races from Arlington are now part of the Churchill Downs program. Many horse players who loved the Chicago area track see these races as a constant reminded of the way the situation was handled by one of racing’s most prominent companies.

Full Card Analysis

The card is devoid of turf racing as the new surface which just opened this year after a massive renovation, has been closed for further review. The early reviews of the new track were less than favorable.

Churchill has announced they are trying to get the course back on line during the first week in July.

Churchill Downs Race 1

Post: 12:45 PM ET; Purse: $42,000 Maiden Claiming, 1 Mile on Dirt; Entries: 9

  • #7 SWEET BEAUTY (9-2) is a major player in today’s race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including speed & race flow.
  • #1 WILDCAT DREAM (10-1) feels like the right type to outrun this odds in this spot.
  • #2 JE SUIS RAPIDE (4-1) is worth a look here given edges in connections & form.
  • #9 SCONCE (10-1) is worth a look here given edges in class & record at the distance.

Selections: 7-1-2-9

Churchill Downs Race 2

Post: 1:14 PM ET; Purse: $120,000 Maiden Special Weight, 5 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 7

  • #6 KEY OF LIFE (2-1) comes into the race signaling a big performance in the near future.
  • #4 TOPSY (3-1) comes into the race signaling a big performance in the near future.
  • #5 UNIFIED DECISION (12-1) should be competitive based on the pedigree which has it tops in the group.
  • #7 WATCH THIS MUNNY (6-1) is a fringe contender who is in with a shot here.

Selections: 6-4-5-7

Churchill Downs Race 3

Post: 1:43 PM ET; Purse: $32,000 Claiming, 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 6

  • #6 SONIC CITY (8-5) is in with a great chance based on the horse’s record at the distance & power rating.
  • #4 JUSTIN’S QUEST (5-2) has a great shot in the race given the speed & stamina.
  • #1 SPHEROID (2-1) does look like a reasonable player in this spot and should be considered.
  • #2 MARKET DEVELOPMENT (10-1) is a price horse that I like to run bigger than the odds suggest.

Selections: 6-4-1-2

Churchill Downs Race 4

Post: 2:13 PM ET; Purse: $32,000 Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 9

  • #8 SKYSCANNER (3-1) is worth a look here given edges in race flow & power rating.
  • #2 CHARGE THE LINE (10-1) is in with a major shot holding speed & class.
  • #6 MY MAN FLINTSTONE (4-1) makes sense here at a decent price. This one feels like value if the price holds.
  • #9 YES SIR ROBERT (5-2) will likely have the stamina to outlast these in the final jumps of the race.

Selections: 8-2-6-9

Churchill Downs Race 5

Post: 2:45 PM ET; Purse: $148,000 Allowance Optional Claiming, 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 7

  • #4 FULSOME (8-5) is worth a look here given edges in stamina & power rating.
  • #3 TWILIGHT BLUE (3-1) is proven as a good bet to at least hit the board under today’s distance and surface conditions.
  • #5 CHESS CHIEF (9-2) is worth a look here given edges in class & form.
  • #1 SPRAWL (6-1) should be competitive today based on the horse’s speed & pace.

Selections: 4-3-5-1

Churchill Downs Race 6

Post: 3:18 PM ET; Purse: $134,000 Allowance Optional Claiming, 5 1/2 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 9

  • #1 SHORT SUMMER DRESS (4-1) should be competitive today based on the horse’s speed & power rating.
  • #5 BOMBDIGGITY (3-1) makes a lot of sense in this spot based on the overall numbers.
  • #3 ALBERTA SUN (7-2) could get a perfect pace scenario today.
  • #6 LOVE OF MY HEART (8-1) is a price that looks like the kind that could fill out some decent exotic tickets.

Selections: 1-5-3-6

Churchill Downs Race 7

Post: 3:50 PM ET; Purse: $120,000 Maiden Special Weight, 6 1/2 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 9

  • #9 ENGRAVE (5-2) looks formidable here given the edge in a number of key categories including speed & class.
  • #4 CALL ME FAST (5-1) has to be respected based on the connections.
  • #8 INEXORABLE (12-1) is a long shot that could be an interesting option.
  • #1 LORD CAPTAIN (15-1) will have to get the job done from the rail which isn’t ideal in these maiden contests, but sometimes the rail can be the place to be at this track.

Selections: 9-4-8-1

Churchill Downs Race 8

Post: 4:22 PM ET; Purse: $141,000 Allowance Optional Claiming, 7 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 9

  • #5 GUN IT (5-2) is worth a look here given edges in pace & power rating.
  • #1 SURVEILLANCE (7-2) should be competitive today based on the horse’s speed & record at the distance.
  • #7 GET HER NUMBER (3-1) is in with a great chance based on the horse’s stamina & form.
  • #4 COUNTY FINAL (8-1) could get a perfect pace scenario today.

Selections: 5-1-7-4

Churchill Downs Race 9

Post: 4:55 PM ET; Purse: $200,000 Chicago S., 7 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 7

Lady Rocket | Photo Credit Blood Horse
  • #3 LADY ROCKET (5-2) looks tough to beat here given the edge in a number of key categories including speed & pace numbers.
  • #2 PENNYBAKER (8-1) is worth a look here given edges in connections & record at the distance.
  • #4 BELL’S THE ONE (7-2) looks to have to have kept the best company in the previous starts.
  • #7 SCONSIN (2-1) is proven as a good bet to at least hit the board under today’s distance and surface conditions.

Selections: 3-2-4-7

Churchill Downs Race 10

Post: 5:26 PM ET; Purse: $127,000 Allowance, 6 1/2 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 11

  • #3 FAVORITE OUTLAW (5-2) is a major player in today’s race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including speed & early pace.
  • #8 RIGHT TONE (8-1) could get a perfect pace scenario today.
  • #7 ANGKOR (8-1) is a major player in today’s race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including stamina & power rating.
  • #4 TOP OF THE CHARTS (2-1) merits consideration in this spot given edges in speed & record at the distance.

Selections: 3-8-7-4

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