Expert Pick of the Week: 2023 Chilukki Stakes

Nov 15, 2023 John Mucciolo

Hot and Sultry wins in The American Beauty S. at Oaklawn Park

Hot and Sultry wins in The American Beauty S. at Oaklawn Park (Photo by Coady Photography)

A total of nine fillies and mares will go postward in Saturday’s feature at Churchill Downs, the $300,000 Chilukki S. (G3). The one-turn affair at eight furlongs attracted a few very good ones in the competitive contest, including the Norm Casse-trained Hot and Sultry. She is the Expert Pick of the Week.

Bred in the Bluegrass State, the $475,000 yearling purchase broke her maiden at second asking in 2022 and followed that up with an allowance victory at Oaklawn Park prior to being transferred to Casse. She returned off of a long layoff to have a very productive winter and spring, led by a triumph in the American Beauty S. and a third-place finish behind a pair of standouts in the Apple Blossom S. (G1) in April. The four-year-old was last seen coming home a respectable fourth in the deep Derby City Distaff S. (G1) at Churchill Downs in May.

The daughter of Speightster has been training in swift fashion leading up to her return, and I feel that the one-turn mile is the perfect voyage for her to come back from, as well. She possesses very good tactical speed and will be in the clear throughout after drawing the widest post in the cast. Ricardo Santana, Jr. will be in the stirrups atop the leading selection.

Bill Mott’s Nostalgic ran a pair of big races at the one-turn mile distance at Saratoga in the summer and rates an obvious chance with something resembling those efforts in this affair. By Medaglia d’Oro, the four-year-old Godolphin homebred was outrun by a pair of really good ones in the Beldame S. (G2) at Aqueduct when third most recently, but she will improve second time off the short break while cutting back in distance from the rail. The filly has some positional speed and will be closing best of all in the lane with Florent Geroux taking the reins.

Expert Pick

An exacta with #9 Hot and Sultry on top of #1 Nostalgic in the 2023 Chilukki Stakes is the Best Bet of the Week.

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