11/05/2012 2:50PM

Churchill Downs: Three allowance races brighten card


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Wednesday’s racing at Churchill Downs offers a break from the usual weekday fare from across the country that involves a steady diet of claiming races. Among the 10 races are three maiden special weight contests and three allowances – two entry-level races and a second-level allowance on the grass for older fillies and mares.

The first allowance goes as the sixth, a $52,000 mile turf contest that features a group of 10 juveniles in the body of the field, plus one main-track-only entrant in Almost English. The stakes-placed Midas Dancer is the narrow 5-2 favorite in a race in which perhaps half the competitors have about the same chance of victory.

Other talented 2-year-olds entered include Zoloto, one of the few closers in the speed-laden lineup; stakes droppers Slamarama, Cerro, and Jump for Kitten; and lastly, Rocking Hall, an easy maiden winner at Keeneland in his turf bow.

Race eight, another $52,000 first-level allowance, this one for older males going 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track, is less competitive.

Three-year-old Hardtap, making his return to the races after a flashy first-out victory at Churchill Downs in May, has long been considered one of Winchell Thoroughbreds’ top young horses. And he lived up to the billing in his one performance, scoring by 8 3/4 lengths in the slop despite a poor break.

A series of steady works lead up to his return, including a bullet five-furlong work in 1:01 on Oct. 23. Robby Albarado rides for Steve Asmussen.

Drawn on the rail, he has as his chief opponents Seven Lively Sins, who placed in the Grade 3 Iroquois last year at Churchill Downs, and Tiban, a former nickel claimer who remains eligible for a first-level allowance despite an 8-for-19 record.

Race nine, like the sixth, is another competitive race – one that drew a deep overflow field that includes 10 in the body of the race, plus three also eligibles.

Warm Glow and Lily the Pink, both coming off come-from-behind victories at Keeneland, are among the leading contenders, along with the stakes-placed Appealing Cat.

Two Wednesday carryovers

Both the Super High 5 and pick six weren’t hit Sunday, leading to Wednesday carryovers of $11,263 and $1,819, respectively.

Although the $1,819 pick six carryover is negligible by that wager’s standards, the $11,263 carryover in the Super High 5 is significant relative to its usual pool size.

Churchill Downs has gone to offering the Super High 5 twice a day to build carryovers more rapidly. So the first chance to take a crack at the carryover in the Super High 5 comes in Wednesday’s third race, and a second Super High 5 goes with the more traditional last-race positioning.

Daily handle has been noticeably smaller for the third-race Super High 5, seemingly in part because horseplayers aren’t as accustomed to its placement there. This presents a favorable wagering scenario for those aware, however – with fewer bettors vying for a large carryover.