Chilukki Stakes (Churchill Downs) Predictions, Odds & Picks

Chilukki Stakes 2020

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Gold Standard (8/1)

Post Position and Odds – Chilukki Stakes

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2020 Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs!

PPHorseOddsJockeyTrainer
1NEW ROO15/1
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B Hernandez Jr.T Drury Jr.
2FINITE5/2
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R Santana Jr.S Asmussen
3GRAND CRU CLASSE9/21
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T GaffalioneW Mott
4WHOA NELLIE5/1
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J Rocco Jr.J L Jones
5GOLD STANDARD8/1
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F GerouxB Cox
6RISKY MANDATE5/1
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M MenaT Amoss
7CRAZY SEXY MUNNY20/1
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C ConningW Morey
8UNIQUE FACTOR8/1
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C LanerieP Miller
9SANENUS12/1
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R BejaranoM McCarthy

Best Bets for the Chilukki Stakes

Here are my plays ($48 in total)

$12 Exacta box Gold Standard and Finite = $24

$8 Exacta box Gold Standard and Grand Cru Classe = $16

$4 Exacta box Gold Standard and Sanenus = $8

Top Pick:

Gold Standard (8/1)

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Fresh off a strong second-place finish in the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland, multiple graded stakes-winning filly Finite tops a deep field of nine fillies and mares set for Saturday’s 35th running of the Grade 3 Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Her near-miss in the Raven Run was a return to form for the daughter of Munnings who won four consecutive stakes races stretching from last fall into the winter. Her winning streak had her rated as one of the top 3-year-old fillies in the land before a disappointing 4th-place finish in the Fair Grounds Oaks and subsequent ankle surgery knocked her off the Kentucky Oaks trail.

The one mile Chilukki represents no easy spot for the Steve Asmussen trained filly, though, as all eight of the other entrants bring credentials to the party.

Chief among her competition includes Whoa Nellie, a big winner of the Pippin Stakes early this year, who has been away from the races since February; Risky Mandate, a sharp winner of a fast Keeneland allowance race in her last; and Grand Cru Classe, who had her unbeaten record broken last time when finishing one spot behind Finite in the Raven Run.

How to Watch the Chilukki Stakes

Chilukki Stakes Race Information
WhatChilukki Stakes (Grade3)
WhereChurchill Downs
WhenSaturday, November 21 — 5:06 PMEastern time
How to WatchFox Sports 2
Purse$100,000

Race Analysis

Finite

The class of the race looked destined to be a favorite for the Kentucky Oaks before an ankle injury sidelined her. Her return race was dull, but the second time back she came back with excellent performance while just missing against the top-notch one-turn filly Venetian Harbor. A two-time stakes winner at Churchill Downs already, she looks well suited for the one-mile distance. She should also appreciate the solid early pace which looks likely to unfold in front of her. She will be favored, but may only need a repeat of her last one to find her way to the winner’s circle once again.

Grand Cru Classe

While Finite was making her run at Venetian Harbor, this previously undefeated daughter of Bernardini was fighting on to run a very good third in the Raven Run. Considering that she was chasing the winner all the way around, it was a strong effort in her fourth career start. Back at a mile, which she has won at before, she should be able to stalk and pounce. It looks like this one has a future for her Hall of Fame trainer, and getting her first graded stakes score on Saturday would come as no surprise.

Risky Mandate

The daughter of Strong Mandate comes into the Chilukki off arguably the best race of her life last time when she was a determined front-running winner of a good allowance race at Keeneland. The start before that she failed against graded stakes competition, but that was against the champion Monomoy Girl. Other than that, she is usually right there, including a pair of stakes attempts in New York. If she can relax on the lead early, she becomes a big threat, but a pressured pace will likely make it tough for her.

Whoa Nellie

A winner of half of her ten lifetime starts this Orb filly was going better than ever early this year at Oaklawn Park. An easy victory in the Pippin Stakes was followed by a game runner-up run in the Grade 3 Bayakoa. Unfortunately, she has missed much of the year with a setback and now enters the Chilukki off a layoff of nine months. If she can pick up right where she left, she certainly could win this, but I will take a wait and see approach, expecting her to need a race or two for her to be at her best.

Gold Standard

Trainer Brad Cox is in a major role, and that could continue on Saturday with this improving daughter of Medaglia d’Oro. She was becoming a good thing last summer in Kentucky before following a little short in a pair of stakes races out of town. She came out of a run in the Bayakoa early this year a little off, so after a 7-month layoff, she returned with a pair of allowance races locally. Both at the Chilukki distance, she was a little short in a stakes quality one, before winning nicely last time. With these two tough races under her belt, she should be ready to fire her best third time off the layoff. I think she has a big shot with decent odds in this one.

Unique Factor

The 4-year-old daughter of The Factor has only won once in ten starts during a busy 2020 campaign for trainer Peter Miller. Still, she has been a consistent rallier who often runs up into the picture while racing against good sprinters. She comes in off a solid runner-up finish behind a fast filly at Keeneland and now stretches out to a flat mile. If the pace is fast, and she handles the extra distance, her late run is certainly a threat in here. I am going with others, but she is one of many who would not surprise.

Sanenus

The stakes-winning import from Chile has made only two starts in America for trainer Mike McCarthy, but both were solid third-place efforts. After sprinting at Del Mar, she found a loaded allowance race going one mile at Churchill Downs and was right there throughout. Now well acclimated to her local surroundings and with two races under her belt, she has every right to make a move forward. If she does, she becomes a real threat in this very wide-open race.

New Roo

Made a quick early move in that strong allowance race in which Sanenus and Gold Standard also-ran, but could not sustain her momentum and faded to fifth in her most recent start. Off that, she probably deserves to be one of the longer shots in the field, but before that, she was second behind the talented Lady Kate in a stakes race at Ellis Park, and a powerful allowance winner before that. Perhaps she is a cut below the best in here, but this is a distance she likes, and on her best, she is a threat.

Crazy Sexy Munny

It will be a step up in class on Saturday for this daughter of Munnings, but any horse who can win 11-of-23 starts lifetime should be respected. Trained by William Morey, she has the kind of tactical speed that puts her in a good position in any race, plus she has a solid record over the main track at Churchill Downs, including an easy win two starts back. Is she good enough for this bunch? We’ll soon find out, but as longshots go, she merits a look.

Bet on Gold Standard (8/1)

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: brian.zipse@wsn.com