Cardinal scouting report


Saturday, Nov. 21, Churchill Downs

The Low-Down: Nine fillies and mares provide the roll call for this 1 1/8 miles turf test, which carries Grade 3 status and a $100,000 purse. With jockey Julien Leparoux traveling to Hollywood Park on Saturday to partner with promising 2-year-old American Lion for Eoin Harty in the Hollywood Prevue, the grass becomes greener, and the wagering sweeter, for those trying to unravel a tough handicapping puzzle at Churchill.

Our Eyes: Five of the entrants have won stakes races within their four most-recent starts, so not only do we have a deep and talented field, but it's one in great current form. TIZFIZ is a G2-level winner, ACOMA is a multiple G3 winner, SOCIAL QUEEN owns a score at the G3 level, and LEMON CHIFFON is G2-placed over this course.

The Cardinal should have a very legitimate early pace with TIZFIZ and MY BABY BABY capable pressers between a front-running duo of ZASKAR and LEAMINGTON. The advantage should be to the finishers.

ACOMA carries high weight of 121 pounds, but the spreads are only between 2 and 6 pounds and should not be a major impact. The David Carroll trainee loves this turf course, winning the G3 Mint Julep and G2 Mrs. Revere here over the past calendar year. Interestingly, the Mrs. Revere win came over MY BABY BABY, and both now return to the Cardinal at age 4.

Another former Mrs. Revere runner-up deserves a long look, and that's YOU GO WEST GIRL, a 5-year-old New York-bred for trainer Tom Proctor. She's won two straight restricted stakes at Belmont and is in career form, while certainly already having answered the class and course questions.

LEMON CHIFFON comes east for trainer Sean McCarthy, who perhaps is most well-known for his analyst role on HRTV. This daughter of Lemon Drop Kid does not finish with tremendous flair, but is an exotics contender every time out and exits a strong fourth in the Yellow Ribbon in G1 company.

SOCIAL QUEEN figures to get overlooked, but this deep closer from the highly underrated Alan Goldberg barn will be traveling well late and has strong company lines.

The Bottom Line: We'll be using YOU GO WEST GIRL as the key, playing her to win and keying her in the exactas and trifectas on top (along with ACOMA). Underneath in the exacta, use LEMON CHIFFON, while using SOCIAL QUEEN as well in the trifecta plays.

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