Review of Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs on November 22

Race 9. Cardinal Handicap. For three-year-old and up fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Purse $100,000.

PP Filly /Mare Jockey Trainer M/L
1 I Remember Mama Brian Hernandez, Jr. Thomas Drury, Jr. 5/2
2 Amboseli Florent Geroux James Cassidy 8/1
3 Space Cadet Rafael Mojica, Jr. Sam Logsdon 12/1
4 Coachwhip Ricardo Santana, Jr. Jack Sisterson 8/1
5 English Affair Corey Lanerie George Arnold, II 5/1
6 Lipstick City Tyler Gaffalione David Fawkes 10/1
7 Unbridled Escape Jose Betancourt Kelly Deiter 30/1
8 Coco Channel Edgar Morales Charles Lopresti 10/1
9 La Manta Gris Declan Cannon George Arnold, II 6/1
10 Bonnie Arch Chris Landeros Ian Wilkes 4/1

The weather forecast for Thanksgiving at Churchill is dry with lots of sun. The  last couple few dry days should give the turf a chance to dry out a bit and be called  either good or yielding.

Bonnie Arch has tactical speed combined with the outside draw should be to her advantage. She should  be sitting behind the pace setters Unbridled Escape and Space Cadet down the back stretch. She likes the turf at Churchill, two wins. She should be on the board.

English Affair ran a mile and a half on October 21 in the Dowager (G3); she kept on well late off a troubled trip in the lane, and now cuts back in distance.  The distance should suit, as should the course and footing: she was second in a classy allowance going a mile and an eighth over good Churchill turf earlier in the year.  She has shown real versatility with respect to pace; she has rallied to score from well off the pace.  She can also sit just behind the leaders and rally down the stretch.

I Remember Mama will be running late. She needs a solid pace to set-up her kick down the lane. She will be making her graded stakes debut.  She been a consistency filly through her career, with three wins and four other money finishes in seven starts.  She also likes Churchill, with a win and a close-call third in both her tries.  Nine furlongs on the turf is a new test for her but should not be a problem. She likes to come from off the pace , she has been able to make a rally whether the pace in front of her was blazing hot or merely modest.  And, she should be able to handle the turf no matter the listed condition. She won over soft ground at Keeneland last month.  I Remember Mama is the 5/2 Morning Line favorite and is the horse to outrun Cardinal Handicap.

Coachwhip possesses tactical speed and handles any turf footing. She hit the board in her last three turf starts and was a bit more than a length behind I Remember Mama at Keeneland last time.

Our Top Three Picks:

  • I Remember Mama
  • English Affair
  • Bonnie Arch



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