Xpressbet writer Jeff Siegel offers his top plays for Saturday.
Churchill Downs Race No. 11 (5:58 p.m. ET/2:58 p.m. PT)
#5 Grand Love (9-2)
Won at first asking over a deep and tiring Saratoga main track like a high-quality filly while earning a powerful 84 Beyer Speed Figure, and with a pedigree that should allow her to handle this stretch out in trip she should be quite capable of repeating on the raise in this year’s edition of the Grade 3 Pocahantas Stakes. The juvenile daughter of Gun Runner has breezed impressively since that race, lands a comfortable mid-gate draw, and picks up top rider Joel Rosario. Let’s gamble on this Steve Asmussen-trained filly in the straight pool and in the various rolling exotics and hope to get close to her morning line of 9-2.
Los Alamitos Race No. 9 (7:35 p.m. ET/4:35 p.m. PT)
#9 Gandolfini (5-2)
This debuting son of Justify has trained like one of Bob Baffert’s better juvenile prospects, and after failing to draw in from the also-eligible list earlier this month at Del Mar he finally gets his chance to show his stuff in this one-mile maiden event. A $475,000 yearling purchase despite an unusually light female family, he’s a big, strong 2-year-old with plenty of scope and moves like a colt that will relish a distance of ground. Outside draw and all, he’s a strong play in the Win pool and a rolling exotic single at anywhere near his morning line of 5-2.