|Uni||Ivar||Circus Maximus||Raging Bull||Siskin||Kameko||12-11/1-5-14-4/2-10-6-13/9-8|
(Uni / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
Just a year ago, Chad Brown’s talented mare Uni travelled to Santa Anita and the Breeders’ Cup Mile fresh off a sparkling win in the G1 First Lady Stakes at Keeneland. It was her second win in the first three starts of the 2019 racing calendar. And, it was supposed to be her spring board to greatness in the Breeders’ Cup.
Supposed to be.
Suppose it was.
In the 2019 version of this same race, Uni rallied from as far back as 10th at one time to win going away at the wire, whipping some of the best colts from around the world in the process.
Now, speed forward — which is what Uni loves to do in the deep stretch.
She wins the 2020 version of the G1 First Lady, bringing her career record to 2 wins in 3 starts over the Keeneland sod. It was her third start of the calendar year and her first victory. And, it was supposed to be her spring board to greatness in the Breeders’ Cup — again.
Supposed to be.
Very well may be. On Saturday, we shall find out.
Here’s a look at our top picks:
- Uni (More Than Ready — Unaided, by Dansili): At this 1-mile distance over the turf, Uni has raced a total of 11 times in her life. She has won 8 of them, and run third in two more. Try that on for mental size for just a second. Have you thought? Don’t think too much. Don’t over think it. Uni is amazing.
- Ivar (Agnes Gold — May Be Now, by Smart Strike): This Brizillian-bred mare is the newest shinny penny in the sandlot at Keeneland. Just about a month ago, she won the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile over this course, whipping two of Chad Brown’s finest in that affair. Now, she will get to face another one of Brown’s talented sod runners. Or two. Since coming to NA, she has run just four times. Has 2 wins. Has 2 sub-par performances. Seems she may be good — as in really good — every other race type. And, she gets the riding services of Joe Talamo. Hmmm.
- Circus Maximus (Galileo — Duntle, by Danehill Dancer): This one ran, perhaps, his worst race of his career last time out at Ascot. Was 10th in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup, every pressing the pace early on. Has a 1-1-2 record in 5 starts this year, but just doesn’t look as sharp as he ran in 2019, when he posted 3 wins in 7 starts. Hmmm. But he did run 4th in last year’s version of this race as one of the PT favorites, even though he should much prefer this surface to the one at Santa Anita. Could upset the odds here.
- Siskin (First Defense — Bird Flown, by Oasais Dream): This is my “Upset Special of the Day.” In 7 career career starts, has 5 wins and has a win in 3 starts at the distance. But this one has “the look” coming in, off two tough struggles over the past two. Had traffic issues and troubles. But this one could find a nice spot over this turf course.
How Do We Play It?
I will key on both Uni and Siskin. I will play both of these across the board, and then box those two in the exactas. I will key those two over/under the “all button” in the exacta.