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Thanksgiving Weekend at Churchill Downs

WAVE Louisville logo WAVE Louisville 11/26/2020 Mike Hartnett
a person riding a horse: Four big stakes races on tap for this weekend. © Provided by WAVE Louisville Four big stakes races on tap for this weekend.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As the Churchill Downs’ fall meet winds down, the track has lined up some interesting contests for the next three days. The Thanksgiving day card is highlighted by the $200,000 Grade II Falls City for fillies and mares. The favorite in this one is the Brad Cox-trained filly, Bonny South, who is listed as the 8-5 morning line choice.

Bonny South should be a serious contender, coming off runner-up efforts in both the Alabama and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. Trainer Cox is enjoying his career-best season, a season which includes those four victories at the recent Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland. He will likely be named top trainer for 2020 when the Eclipse Awards are handed out early next year.

Friday’s lineup features the return of Dennis’ Moment, who a year ago was considered the early favorite for the Kentucky Derby. Dennis’ Moment, trained by Dale Romans, is slated to go in the day’s third race and it will be the colt’s first start since running last in February’s Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream. This runner has had to deal with health issues, but in 2019, he flashed signs of brilliance as a 2-year-old. Can he recaptured that magic beginning with this comeback?

Friday also serves up the Grade I Clark which offers a purse of $500,000. A full field of runners will go to the gate and there are several contenders. Code of Honor, second in last year’s Kentucky Derby, is the probable favorite. The colt took last year’s Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup, but only owns one win in his four 2020 starts. Still, Code of Honor’s trainer, Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, thinks enough of his 4-year-old to make the trip to Churchill.

By My Standards is wheeling back from a disappointing eighth place run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. That effort was puzzling as he usually fires his best shot. By My Standards, who captured a trio of Grade II races his year, including the Alysheba at Churchill, could bounce back in the Clark. Owendale and Mr. Freeze could be major players in this one as well.

That bring us to Saturday at the Downs, a day that showcases all 2-year-old races. The Golden Rod is headed by the filly, Simply Ravishing, who ran fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies just three weeks ago. She had an excuse in that race as she stumbled out of the gate. Back in October, Simply Ravishing was simply terrific in taking the Alicibiades Stakes by six lengths. Trained by Ken McPeek, she’s one to watch.

For the colts, there’s the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, which has drawn a field of nine. Keepmeinmind, third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, is one of the top challengers having finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Two other runners that competed at the Cup are returning for the Kentucky Jockey Club: King Fury and Sittin On Go. The Dale Romans trainee, Sittin On Go finished ninth in the Juvenile but had shown much promise in his previous start which was a solid victory in the Iroquois on Kentucky Derby Day.

King Fury, trained by Ken McPeek, will attempt to improve off his seventh place in the B.C. Juvenile.

The always-dangerous Brad Cox will be represented two runners, Swill , to be ridden by Florent Geroux and Inspector Frost, who will have Hall of Famer, John Velazquez aboard.

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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