Matt Winn Stakes Entries are led by O Besos and Helium

The Twin Spires will look down upon the Matt Winn Stakes this Saturday afternoon
The Twin Spires will look down upon the Matt Winn Stakes this Saturday afternoon

Last year, the Grade III Matt Winn Stakes was part of the elongated Road to the Kentucky Derby following the Run for the Roses’ rescheduled date in September. Maxfield won it a year ago amid serious Derby (and Breeders’ Cup Classic) talk before injury sidetracked that. This year eight enter the race knowing that Derby Points aren’t on the line but two of the entries know all about racing for the big one.

Matt Winn Stakes Entries & Post Positions 2021
  • Post Position
  • Horse

Post Position

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  • Ready to Pounce
  • Helium
  • O Besos
  • Southern Passage
  • Fulsome
  • Hello Hot Rod
  • Sittin On Go
  • Game Day Play

O Besos finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby - probably faring better than most expected. The Gregory Foley trained three-year-old out of Orb had a solid if unspectacular Road, chalking up a fourth place finish at the Risen Star, following that up with a third-place run at the Louisiana Derby. A trip over the border to Ohio and Thistledown for the Ohio Derby in June is penciled in. If he can win this one then it’s highly likely that he would be favorite for that race.

Tampa Bay Derby winner Helium is the other horse who partook in the Kentucky Derby who has been entered for this one. The lightly-raced Mark Casse trained horse had many detractors heading into that race with most citing his lack of activity since that win as a big question mark. Finishing eighth is better than what most pundits had and the hope is he can vault that run into a strong three-year-old season.

Brad Cox sends Into Mischief colt Fulsome to the race with Florent Geroux tabbed to ride. Having started his career as a turf horse - he’s gone two from two on the dirt in the past two months. The Harlan’s Holiday to Into Mischief line is one I like an awful lot that produces good dirt horses with some stamina so personally speaking - this is one horse I’m looking forward to watching on Saturday up against a good level of competition.

Sittin On Go is a well-known name on the circuit who has lined up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Kentucky Jockey Club, Holy Bull, Tampa Bay Derby, Blue Grass Stakes and Pat Day Mile. However his best finish has been fifth place last time out in that epic Pat Day. Even against some weaker competition - there are no expectations this one will take a step forward.

Game Day Play, Hello Hot Rod, Ready to Pounce and Southern Passage make up the field of eight. For me Fulsome is the horse I’m most interested in watching but O Besos and Helium will get plenty of attention following solid to good runs on May 1.

Our in-house handicapper will be covering the action at Churchill Downs on Saturday and will have his picks up on the site for the card last on Friday afternoon.

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