Churchill Downs Stakes 2021 Entries & Post Positions

Who will win the Churchill Downs Stakes under the Twin Spires on Saturday?
Who will win the Churchill Downs Stakes under the Twin Spires on Saturday?

The Grade I Churchill Downs Stakes is one of the more open races to bet on this year’s Kentucky Derby undercard.

The $500,000 purse for four year-olds and up has attracted 13 runners. Check out the Entries and Post Positions below along with an overview of the field from our editor.

Churchill Downs Stakes Entries & Post Positions 2021
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  • Phat Man
  • Mind Control
  • Basin
  • Flagstaff
  • Tap It to Win
  • Attachment Rate
  • Shashashakemeup
  • Get the Prize
  • Whitmore
  • Bango
  • Hog Creek Hustle
  • Endorsed
  • Lexitonian

When my colleague Sean sits down to handicap the Kentucky Derby races on Saturday, I’m fairly positive this will be one of the races he spends the most time over. There will be no big time short-priced favorite and whilst there are three Grade I winners in the field - two of them haven’t tasted at the top level since 2019. The one that has though has a decent solid resume.

The Ronald Moquett trained Whitmore won the Breeders' Cup Sprint last year as a seven-year-old. Racing on as an eight-year-old, he has two second-place runs so far in 2021. Both times he was bested by C Z Rocket. That horse won't be in this starting gate on Saturday afternoon so it is fair to say this is by far the class of the field. This horse has been winning at Graded Stakes level since 2017 so can she get a win at the top level five years straight?

Next up is son of Star Thirsty, Mind Control. The five-year-old went on a fine run up on the NYRA circuit back in late 2019 and early 2020 as he won the Grade I H. Allen Jerkins Memorial at Saratoga before bagging a pair of Aqueduct Grade III’s. He has failed to win in six straight since although last time out he was second to the excellent sprinter Mischevious Alex.  Maybe his five-year-old season will go better than his four?

Hog Creek Hustle also has a big Grade I to his name - triumphing in the Woody Stephens at Belmont two years ago. In his 12 appearances since however the Vickie Foley trained five-year-old has only won once - in an Allowance Optional Claiming race at Churchill Downs last November.

This horse has been entered in some pretty big races over the past couple of years but apart from that Woody Stephens win and a couple of second places in the Pat Day and H. Allen Jerkins (where he lost to Mind Control) - he’s been an also-ran.

Basin won the Grade I Hopeful up at Saratoga as a two-year-old but hasn't really kicked on since. The Todd Pletcher trained four-year-old had some decent runs of the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby but failed to win and didn't race in any of the three Triple Crown races. The son of Liam's Map has one win from one as a four-year-old however after a win in the Sir Shackleton down at Gulfstream. Clearly best suited to sprinting so not one to write-off when handicapping this race.

Free Horse Racing Picks

Four-year-old Tap It to Win might be the best of the bunch as the Mark Casse trained horse had a solid three-year-old campaign and has indicated that he has some quality runs in him. A couple of May and June last year saw him added to the later than usual Belmont Stakes field where he finished fifth. A second in the H. Allen Jerkins and a third at the Pat Day later in 2020 has put him on the radar. This son of Tapit started his 2021 campaign with a nice win over six furlongs at Tampa Bay Downs. A real contender.

John Sadler sends out an interesting entry with seven-year-old Flagstaff having appeared on the Entries list. He won last time out at the Grade III Commonwealth at Keeneland and has mixed it with the mighty fine C Z Rocket a couple of times - being bested on both occasions but coming home a very respectable second. One to do plenty of research on I would suggest.

Jack Sisterson clearly doesn’t mind his horses criss-crossing the country as his entry Lexitonian has certainly racked up the air miles.Florida, New York, the MidWest and even a trip out west to Del Mar all in the past 12 months. Despite all this traveling however, this Speightstown horse can count the Grade III Chick Lang at Pimlico as his best win.

Shashashakemeup will run for Peter Miller. This four-year-old has yet to win above Allowance or Maiden Special Weight level but has a second-place finish in the Grade III Palos Verdes to his name along with just missing the board in the Pat Day Mile last fall. Not one to play but one to at least take note of.

Bango, Endorsed, Get the Prize and Phat Man round out the field.

We’ll have full coverage of the 2021 Churchill Downs Stakes here on - our turf-man will publish his horse-by-horse analysis of the race on Wednesday and our full Churchill Downs Stakes handicapping preview will go live from our in-house handicapper on Friday afternoon. So bookmark the site for full Churchill Downs Stakes coverage throughout the week.

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Kentucky Derby Betting 2021