Churchill Downs Picks & Betting Analysis for October 2: Spotlight, Lukas Classic

Legendary trainer D. Wayne Lukas has a signature race named after him at Churchill Downs, and a frontend power runner is drawn in ... see what Knicks Go's chances look like in this Saturday 'feature.'
Legendary trainer D. Wayne Lukas has a signature race named after him at Churchill Downs, and a frontend power runner is drawn in ... see what Knicks Go's chances look like in this Saturday "feature."

The brief 12-day Meet before Keeneland opens over in Lexington on 8 October at Churchill Downs continues ... We at have you covered every step of the way until then, as we offer all of our selections and specific analysis of today's featured race, the Lukas Classic.

Even though the new $10 million Matt Winn Turf Course refurbishment project will not be completed until some time in the Spring of 2022 (that means no grass contests), the Main Track is the place to be. So, stay tuned! 

If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country this Saturday be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.

Horse Racing Picks
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Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 8: Dirt, 1 1/8th, Lukas Classic (G3), $400k, 3+):

Those racers that are looking for one more “go” in their preparations for the Breeders’ Cup next month at Del Mar have a tight time frame. Trying to fit another in, once the calendar turns to October, is a real challenge, but that is exactly what trainer Brad Cox was hoping for. His celebrated runner, Knicks Go #2 is probably going to be a co-favorite along with younger stablemate Essential Quality, but he needs a win in the Lukas. A true frontend-type and on the “engine” runner, that is where this son of Paynter must be. If someone were to "go with him,” take him on, then it might keep him at bay. If he gets away from the rest of the field, by say 7-8 lengths, then the race is over. The times in 2021 that he has run out of gas when regular jockey Joel Rosario asked for more (Saudi Cup/Met Mile), and there wasn’t any to give, he finished 4th. I am not sure anyone in this contest at his home track can beat him. But I will try …

Who looks on the make? I think Tom Drury’s Sprawl #6 is an uber value play. The colt by City Zip comes from a quality barn, and ownership group; plus, he has some class to him that includes some attempts on the Churchill MT. He finished 3rd in a pair this past summer (one being the Stephen Foster), and even though that wasn’t the most difficult group, it still showed some serious moxie. If Joe Talamo can get him out of the gate quickly, and game with Rosario up front, then he might have an even chance to take this race. At 12/1 on the M/L, that is a juicy price, and should yield some major profits. He flashed some nice speed figs in the West Virginia Gov. (G3) last time, against some quality runners, so let’s hope for the best. Taking on Cox is never easy, especially in his backyard, but given the proper spot, it might work to our advantage with the proper wager in hand.

Wagering Recommendation: Exacta Cold, 6 w 2

Horse Racing Results
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