A deep field of 14 juvenile prospects will go postward in the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) at Churchill Downs on Saturday. The 1 1/16-mile endeavor attracted a slew of good-looking youngsters that could make noise in the race, and beyond, in what appears to be an excellent rendition of the event.
The Dale Romans-trained Howling Time is perfect from a pair of lifetime tries to date led by a superb victory in the Street Sense S. on the surface last time out. By Not this Time, the precocious Kentucky-bred has put in a pair of solid morning moves on the oval in advance of his graded stakes debut. He is the Expert Pick of the Week.
Howling Time debuted beneath the Twin Spires on September 25 in a six-furlong dash, and the colt rallied from off the pace to win in going-away fashion while posting a solid final time. The Albaugh Family Stables’ homebred has a good combination of early presence and a fine closing kick, and he seems poised to take another step forward on Saturday.
Regular rider Joe Talamo will be in the silks and likely have the selection tracking the pace from the second or third flight while always in striking range. I expect him to move his mark to a perfect three-for-three in the Kentucky Jockey Club S.
Conditioner Kenny McPeek has a pair of well-meant two-year-olds in the field, including fantastic debut winner Smile Happy. The son of Runhappy raced at 1 1/16 miles at first asking and aced his route debut, drawing off by 5 ½ lengths like a horse with an especially bright future.
The $185,000 yearling purchase was well backed in his first offering, and he seemingly bounced out of that victory well with two good morning moves on the oval in the interim. Corey Lanerie inherits the mount atop the dark bay, who will be rallying from off the pace once again.
The Brian Lynch-trained Classic Causeway has speed and the rail, and the son of Giant’s Causeway finiushed a creditable third in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland in his second lifetime try, as well. Chestnut colt has obvious room to develop, and if his recent morning breezes are any indication, then he will be primed for a big effort while leading the way from the start on Saturday.
An exacta with #5 Howling Time over #8 Smile Happy and #1 Classic Causeway in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes is the Best Bet of the Week. Bet Churchill Downs live racing at TwinSpires!