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Keeneland Select Pick of the Day | June 27, 2020

June 25, 2020

Race 11 at Churchill Downs | Saturday, June 27 | Post Time 6:20 PM Eastern Time

Regret Stakes – Grade 3| Purse $100,000 | One Mile and One Eighth on Turf | Fillies, Three Years Old


While I would have loved for Dominga (1) to have won the Tepin Stakes five weeks ago over the Churchill Downs turf at odds of 17/1, I am happy enough to make her a KEY BET to end the Stephen Foster Day card. Having won in her career debut last September going a mile and one-sixteenth on turf at Churchill Downs, a very tough task, Dominga showed a good deal of talent. After disappointing badly one month later she got back on track with a strong win in December at the first allowance level, followed two months later by a bang-up second place finish in a stakes at Fair Grounds. She won the LaCombe Memorial Stakes in March with an eye-catching rally from eighth with a quarter mile to go then after forced time off due to the pandemic and being locked in at Fair Grounds, when Churchill was allowed to start taking horses she shipped in for the Tepin. That was a problematic race for the filly to say the least. As usual, Dominga lagged far back, 12th of 13, early and didn’t start running until the stretch when she shied as another horse bumped her sideways, then got steadied in traffic. Still wanting to rally late jockey Bridgmohan did not ask her in the last 16th of a mile as there was nothing she could do to get a placing, YET Dominga ended up just 1 ½ lengths from third and she earned a 100 Equibase Speed Figure only bettered by two horses in this race which finished in front of her (In Good Spirits and Pass the Plate, with 103 figures). She’s come back to put in three super works, the last two on the Churchill Turf, and from the rail and with any kind of racing luck this filly can win based on her last quarter mile fraction of 22.8, not to mention the horse which won the race, Sharing, flew to England for a huge runner-up effort in the Coronation Stakes a week and one-half ago.

Crystal Cliffs (5) made her U.S. debut four weeks ago, at this nine furlong turf trip at Churchill Downs, and won easily as the 2 to 1 favorite in a field of 11. She had broken her maiden in France prior to that in December and came back to the races as if she had never been away. Now in the hands of Graham Motion and with John Velazquez in from New York to ride her back, the filly logically should improve nicely off the 96 figure she earned following the time off. She earned a 103 figure in her win before the layoff and can get back to that form so is definitely a contender for all the honors here.

Pass the Plate (12) closed fast from 10th to third in the Tepin but had no trouble like Dominga. Still, she is stakes placed three times now, finishing second in the Bourbonette Oaks prior to that and third in the Shantel Lanerie Memorial before that, two and one-quarter lengths behind runner-up Dominga. Pass the Plate won on the Churchill Downs turf last November in her third career star and she has every right to improve second off the layoff. She should not be hindered by the 12 post given her late running style and because at this nine furlong trip there’s a long run to the first turn in which Leparoux can get her back and near or to the rail to save ground before he, like Dominga, unleashes a powerfully rally in the stretch.

Michelene (6) won the Honey Ryder Stakes at Gulfstream Park last month and two before that missed by three-quarters of a length in the Sweetest Chant Stakes so has stakes credentials and is in top form. Except for a poor effort in the Florida Oaks in March, the filly has run big in her last three stakes and can’t be left off our exacta and trifecta tickets at the least.

Witez (11) was outfinished by Crystal Cliffs when second in that allowance race over the course at this distance on May 31 and as a two year old finished second in the Jessamine Stakes on grass at Keeneland so could have a say in the outcome, while Hendy Woods (13) is a perfect two-for-two in her career and with a 96 figure effort to improve upon has a look at the outcome as well. Unlike Pass the Plate, Henley Woods has tactical speed as she raced in third in the early stages in both start to date so jockey Carroll will have to use a bit of her energy to keep from being too wide, or too far back, in the early stages.


Betting Strategies:

Win Bets:

Dominga (1) to win at 2 to 1 or more.

In addition, a win bet for about half whatever you wager on Dominga may be justified on Crystal Cliffs (5) at odds of 3/1, and possibly on Pass the Plate (12) or Michelene (6) at odds of 9 to 2 or more.


Dominga (1) over Crystal Cliffs (5), Michelene (6), Witez (11), Pass the Plate (12) and Hendy Woods (13).

For half the amount you play the above exacta (for example $2 instead of $4 on the above combination)

Crystal Cliffs (5), Michelene (6), Witez (11), Pass the Plate (12) and Hendy Woods (13) over Dominga (1).

Dominga (1), Crystal Cliffs (5), Michelene (6), Pass the Plate (12) over Dominga (1), Crystal Cliffs (5), Michelene (6), Witez (11), Pass the Plate (12) and Hendy Woods (13).



Dominga (1) over Crystal Cliffs (5), Michelene (6), Pass the Plate (12) over Dominga (1), Crystal Cliffs (5), Michelene (6), Witez (11), Pass the Plate (12) and Hendy Woods (13) over Dominga (1), Crystal Cliffs (5), Michelene (6), Witez (11), Pass the Plate (12) and Hendy Woods (13). (The cost of this bet at the $0.50 level is $40)

(Optionally, you can play ALL in the third position, which changes the cost to $26.50 but opens up the possibility of a big profit if two longshots come in under Dominga). 

Dominga (1) and Crystal Cliffs (5) over Dominga (1) and Crystal Cliffs (5) over ALL.