05/15/2013 12:02PM

Churchill Downs: Friday twilight card features three wide-open allowances

Tom Keyser
Gentlemen's Bet will get class relief in an allowance Friday at Churchill Downs after finishing third last month in the Grade 3 Count Fleet.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Churchill Downs is billing it as “the city’s best happy hour,” which may or may not be false advertising. Still, no other venue in town offers three allowances among 11 races on any given Friday after 4 p.m., a fact that gives this track a big edge with Louisville’s sizable horseplayer population, if not the public at large.

The Friday twilight program begins at 2:45 p.m. Eastern, with those allowances dotting the card as races 4, 6, and 10. The most obvious common thread – besides jockey Corey Lanerie starting from the No. 1 post with every mount – is that there is no huge favorite in any of them.

Here is a brief rundown of those three races:

Race 4 (4:18 post): This is a $57,000 third-level main-track sprint for older horses, with three of the four top choices never having raced at Churchill. The other favorite, Hamiltonian, won a one-mile maiden race here last June before eventually making it through his first two allowance conditions, but his latest effort on the closing-day card at Keeneland was quite uninspiring.

The bottom line is that either Triumph and Song (post 3, Leandro Goncalves) or Gentlemen’s Bet (post 4, Shaun Bridgmohan) is the most likely winner. The former enters on a three-race win streak, while it took graded-stakes company in last month’s Count Fleet at Oaklawn Park to deal the latter his first loss.

Race 6 (5:22): Track linemaker Mike Battaglia listed Funny Proposition (post 6, Bridgmohan) as a 2-1 favorite in this $54,000 second-level main-track mile, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Awesome Flower (post 2, Joe Rocco Jr., 5-2) inherit that role. After all, Awesome Flower is coming off an eye-catching win at Keeneland for the still-hot team of owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Mike Maker.

Toxis (post 1, Lanerie) and Young and Lovely (post 3, Alan Garcia) are other viable contenders among six 3- and 4-year-old fillies.

Race 10 (7:24): Taty’s Gold is entered by Chicago-based trainer Mike Dini for a $62,500 claiming option in this filly-and-mare turf sprint, which is otherwise governed by a second-level allowance condition and carries a $54,000 purse. Taty’s Gold (post 7, Bridgmohan) is listed as a 3-1 morning-line favorite despite not having raced in six months.

One obvious threat is the second choice among the eight entered, Sweet and Lowdown (post 4, Ricardo Santana Jr.), a 4-year-old filly in off four workouts at Keeneland.

“I could’ve run her in this same kind of spot at Keeneland, but I wanted to give her just a little more time between races,” said Wesley Ward, who owns and trains Sweet and Lowdown. “She’s better than her Gulfstream form shows, I know that.”