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Post Time: Kentucky Derby day undercard thoughts

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Jackie's Warrior

Jackie’s Warrior highlights the Derby undercard races on Saturday at Churchill Downs


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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Kentucky Derby undercard includes six graded stakes leading to the $3 million Grade 1 Kentucky Derby.

The flagship network NBC Sports will broadcast the undercard races at 2:30 p.m. through the Derby, which will go to post at approximately 6:57 p.m. ET. USA Network will have coverage from noon to 2:30 p.m. ET and FS2 from 10:30 a.m. to Noon.

Here’s a capsule look at Saturday’s five graded races heading into Race 12, the 148th running of the Run for the Roses.

Race 7 – Pat Day Mile (G2) – 1 mile (Dirt) – 1:56 p.m. EDT

The race that typically attracts non-qualifiers from the Derby trail that are cutting back in distance to a mile. It’s the 3-year-old debut of 5-Jack Christopher (2-1) who comes in off a long layoff. Looking for 3-Pappacap (6-1) to spring the upset on the cutback. 1-Major General (9-2) is a player and should also relish the shorter distance. Long shot 6-Tejano Twist (10-1) will round out the superfecta. 

Post Time Outlook:  1 – Pappacap; 2 –Major General; 3 –Jack Christopher; 4 –Tejano Twist

Race 8 – Derby City Distaff (G1) – 7 furlongs (Dirt) – 2:48 p.m. ET

Lots of speed in the race, so we’ll hope it falls apart for late closer and horse for the course 6-Bell’s the One (5-1). 5-Obligatory (7-2) won at a big price on Oaks day last year and the race sets up for her as well. 1-Lady Rocket (5-1) is the speed that I think will hang on with Irad in the irons. Tough to leave off 2-Just One Time (3-1) based on class. Could go five horses deep in the multis with 7-Edgeway (4-1).

Post Time Outlook:  1 –Bell’s the One 2 –Obligatory; 3 –Lady Rocket; 4 –Just One Time

Race 9 – The American Turf (G2) – 1 1/16 miles (Turf) – 3:40 p.m. EDT

Trainer Chad Brown and jockey Joel Rosario on the turf where there’s not a lot of speed. Sign me up with 6-Portfolio Company (9-2). Only other speed in the race is 2-Main Event (5-1), who will have Jose Ortiz aboard for George Weaver. Transylvania winner 7-Sy Dog (7-2) is interesting, but can Irad Ortiz Jr. get to the front runners? 5-Balnikhov (5-1), a Euro invader ships in from Santa Anita, where the gelding made his U.S. debut. 

Post Time Outlook:  1 –Portfolio Company; 2 –Main Event; 3 –Sy Dog; 4 –Balnikhov

Race 10 – Churchill Downs (G1) – 7 furlongs (Dirt) – 4:31 p.m. EDT

3-Jackie’s Warrior (5-2) will be a single on a lot of tickets and is the one to beat. Commonwealth winner 6-Prevalence (6-1) is on the improve and another step forward puts him in the mix. 5-Reinvestment Risk (7-2) is a win threat after facing a monster in the Carter. Breeders’ Cup Sprint champ 1-Aloha West (7-2) won’t get the dream trip he got at Del Mar and comes in off the layoff for his 2022 debut.

Post Time Outlook:  1 –Jackie’s Warrior; 2 –Prevalence; 3 –Reinvestment Risk; 4 –Aloha West

Race 11 – Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1) – 1 1/8 miles (Turf) – 5:27 p.m. EDT

6-Shirl’s Speight (3-1) has her eyes on Royal Ascot after this race and comes back off three weeks rest from her win at Keeneland, so now is the time to try and beat her. 5-Mira Mission (10-1) is the upset pick as she was only just over a length behind her in the Maker’s. 3-Public Sector (5-1) and 10-Santin (6-1) are also in the mix. 

Post Time Outlook:  1 –Mira Mission; 2 –Shirl’s Speight; 3 – Public Sector; 4 –Santin

Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.


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