By Neil Monnery

Matt Winn Stakes 2020 Picks, Odds & Analysis

By Neil Monnery
Churchill Downs hosts the Matt Winn Stakes this Saturday
Churchill Downs hosts the Matt Winn Stakes this Saturday

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Our in-house handicapper Sean Morris along with our editor Neil Monnery have both put their thoughts together on the Matt Winn Stakes tomorrow...

(As originally filed in his Churchill Downs Picks All-Stakes Pick-5 Analysis)

SM: Maxfield (#10) finds himself in an ideal spot to make his long-awaited sophomore debut. This horse was sensational when last seen winning the G1 Breeders’ Futurity in runaway fashion, and if he comes back the same horse (or perhaps even better), this field should prove a piece of cake for him.

In a largely uninspiring bunch, however, there is one horse that appears to have a big future, and that’s Pneumatic (#2). He’s a perfect 2-for-2 in his career and was terrific last out in his two-turn debut showing push-button acceleration to run down a horse who got an easy lead. If he were to take another step forward on Saturday, it may not matter what kind of form Maxfield comes back in.

I also somewhat begrudgingly need to include Ny Traffic (#6). I’ve never been this horse’s biggest fan and generally avoid playing Saffie Joseph, Jr. outside of South Florida, but there’s no denying Ny Traffic ran very well in the G2 Louisiana Derby when re-equipped with blinkers. That race came going 1 3/16 miles, which is probably a bit farther than his best, so the turnback to 1 1/16 miles should be to his liking and he’s now proven he can ship and run well.

Main:  2,6,10     Backup (priority):  1,11

Order of preference:  2-10-6-1

 

NM: Like Sean says, this is an ideal spot for the return of Maxfield who has the potential to be in the mix for the big races later this year. A victory in impressive style on Saturday will surely put him in Belmont contention and give bettors something to think about rather than wonder which horse Bob Baffert will send to each Triple Crown race and be the betting favorite.

A healthy Maxfield should waltz this field but that is not something we can be assured of at this juncture. His Morning Line price of 7/5 though is ambitious, expect him to be odds-on when all is said and done.

If Maxfield is the red hot pick then the sexy pick is certainly Pneumatic. At 6/1 he is the fourth favorite (behind Ny Traffic and Major Fed) will be ridden by Ricardo Santana who is trainer Steve Asmussen’s top guy and they have real hope that his speed figures (which are better than Maxfield) can put him in the mix to cause the upset on Saturday at Churchill Downs and then make some noise later in the season.

Ny Traffic and Major Fed both look like horses who should pick up some Road to Kentucky Derby qualification points but won’t challenge at the head of the pack. 

Personally though give me Maxfield even at a stupidly short price. Form is temporary but class is permanent. If he is 100% healthy after his ankle surgery then he wins Saturday and becomes a contender at whichever Triple Crown race the Godolphin team decide to race him in.

Main:  2,6,10     Backup (priority):  None

Order of preference:  10-6-2-12

Morning Line Odds are below:

1 - Mystic Guide - 20/1

2 - Pneumatic - 6/1

3 - Informative - 30/1

4 - Celtic Striker - 50/1

5 - Flap Jack - 50/1

6 - Ny Traffic - 9/2

7 - Necker Island - 30/1

8 - Crypto Cash - 30/1

9 - Shake Some Action - 20/1

10 - Maxfield - 7/5

11 - Attachment Rate - 15/1

12 - Major Fed - 5/1

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