One Mean Man favored in Saturday’s Commonwealth Turf

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The 2016 Mystic Lake Derby winner, One Mean Man, is favored in a field of 12 for Saturday’s $100,000 G3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs. Since capturing Canterbury’s richest race in August, One Mean Man won the Jefferson Cup, a Churchill dirt stake. Robby Albarado has the mount for trainer Bernard Flint.

In a race without any dedicated front runners it is possible Scholar Athlete sets the fractions if not challenged by Ikerrin Road, one of three from the Mark Casse barn. Trainer Graham Motion removes the blinkers for this race however and Scholar Athlete’s accomplishments are slim.  He has twice finished behind Sir Dudley Digges, the 9/2 second choice on the line.

Assuming there is a pace to run at, One Mean Man should track just off of it. Consistent and classy, he can win but does not tower over this evenly-matched field.

Blackout should provide a fair price. This is also a Casse entrant with Geroux aboard. A quick check of the DRF jockey/trainer stats shows the two clicking at 30+ percent. Blackout is a closer that can save ground.

Hay Dakota spent the summer in Shakopee. He won his last out at Hawthorne after a brutal trip on Canterbury’s closing day. Denny Velazquez was aboard for that win and will ride at Churchill as well. Prior to that he finished a neck behind One Mean Man in the Mystic Lake Derby. He is 20 to 1 on the line but deserves a look, for sure on the underside of exotic tickets. Tactical speed should put him mid pack and his closing move is as good as any in here. lack of class may get believers that 20 to 1 price.

The Commonwealth Turf will be the 10th race on a 12-race card that begins at noon.

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