A field of 11 fillies and mares will travel 1 1/16 miles over the Churchill Downs turf in the Saturday feature, the $150,000 Mint Julep S. (G3). The grassy endeavor is led by the recent Jenny Wiley S. (G1) queen Juliet Foxtrot, who will be tough to upend with her best performance. The Juddmonte homebred failed as the favorite in the race last season, but she has been very sharp in her three outings following that showing and rates a huge chance in this spot. She is the Expert Pick of the Week.
Trained by Brad Cox, the six-year-old mare is a winner on the course and has carried very good form for the better part of three campaigns. The British-bred daughter of Dansili put her speed on full display at Keeneland last time out when leading at every call en route to a comfortable score over a yielding surface, which she thrives upon.
The Mint Julep has a lot of pace signed on, but since she will be breaking from a post near the fence, Juliet Foxtrot figures to receive a forwardly-placed voyage while saving ground every step of the way. She will be dead-fit following five morning drills in preparation for Saturday, and the bay also figures to move forward in her second attempt of 2021. Tyler Gaffalione retains the mount.
I will tab Sister Hanan to complete the exacta at a fair price for conditioner Ben Colebrook. The twice graded stakes-placed daughter of Orb has been consistent from a trio of ventures at marathon trips this season, and I fully expect the five-year-old to thrive on the cutback to 1 1/16 miles. A winner on the surface, the Kentucky-bred is also 2-for-2 at the trip, which includes an allowance triumph at Churchill Downs in May of 2020. Corey Lanerie will take the lightly-raced mare off of the swift early tempo before making one run in the stretch.
An exacta with Juliet Foxtrot on top of Sister Hanan is the Best Bet of the Week.