Falls City Stakes Predictions, Betting Odds, Top Picks (Churchill Downs)

Falls City Stakes Post Position and Odds

Check out our predictions and odds for the Falls City Stakes at Churchill Downs!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 CRYSTAL BALL 4/1
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T Gaffalione R Brisset
2 CHEETARA 12/1
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J Leparoux I Correas IV
3 HIGH REGARD 20/1
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R Bejarano V Oliver
4 ENVOUTANTE 9/2
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B J Hernandez Jr K McPeek
5 ARMY WIFE 5/2
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J Rosario M Maker
6 BONNY SOUTH 8/5
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F Geroux B Cox
7 AUDREY’S TIME 15/1
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C Lanerie N Pessin

Best Bets for the Falls City Stakes

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

$10 Exacta Box – Army Wife and Bonny South = $20

$5 Exacta Box – Army Wife, Bonny South and Cheetara = $30

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Army Wife (5/2).

Having faced Letruska in three of her last four starts, Bonny South finds an easier spot on the Thanksgiving day holiday when she headlines a field of seven entered for the $500,000 Falls City Stakes on the main track at Churchill Downs.

A 4-year-old daughter of Munnings, Bonny South is homebred of Juddmonte Farms who began her season with a hard-fought victory in the Grade 3 Doubledogdare at Keeneland. She has not won in four subsequent starts but has kept top company, and rallied to finish not all that far behind the division leader three times. A winner of the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks last year, she finished second behind Envoutante in this race last year.

Chief among her competition in Thursday’s Grade 2, the 9-furlong affair will be Army Wife. Trained by Mike Maker, the daughter of Declaration of War won back-to-back graded stakes races this summer in Maryland and Iowa before finishing third in both the Grade 1 Alabama, won by Malathaat, and the Grade 1 Cotillion, won by Clairiere, in her last two starts.

Two others who should get plenty of attention in Falls City are Crystal Ball and Envoutante. The latter is trained by Keeny McPeek and was an impressive winner of this race last year, beating Bonny South. She has only won once this year, but in her five defeats, the winner in all was either Letruska or Shedaresthedevil. Crystal Ball, meanwhile, has finished ahead of Envoutante in their last two starts, including a near-miss over the track behind Shedaresthedevil in the Locust Grove.

Falls City Stakes Analysis

Bonny South


A multiple graded stakes winner and recent solid chaser of Letruska three times, this Brad Cox-trained filly deserves to be the favorite in the Falls City. Favoritism has not been a good thing, though, for the daughter of Munnings, as she has failed at odds-on three times over the past 13 months, including in this race last year. Having said that, this does look like a good spot for her, as she gets 9 furlongs to uncoil her rally, and there is the speed in here to help set the table. If she can duplicate some of those solid efforts behind Letruska, she probably comes running best late for the victory, but I think there is good reason to believe why she could be vulnerable once again.

Army Wife

The lone 3-year-old in the field, this Mike Maker trained filly has been really solid in six starts this year. Easy wins in both the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan and Grade 3 Iowa Oaks demonstrated her ability to beat good fields. She has lost her last two, but there is no shame in her third-place performances in the Cotillion and especially Alabama while running against the best of her division. Making her first start against older, this is no easy spot, but likely a small step down from the last two. The daughter of Declaration of War likes to come from off the pace, but not as far off of it as Bonny South. She should be able to get the early jump on her more experienced rival, and that could be the difference on Friday. She is the top pick.

Crystal Ball

Two races back, she turned in one of the best races of her career, just missing to the classy Shedaresthedevil at Churchill Downs. With strong tactical speed, the daughter of Malibu Moon has been a consistent runner in her 10-race career, but has yet to break through in graded stakes racing. Having said that, it just seems like a matter of time. Breaking from the rail, she will need to work out a good trip under rider Tyler Gaffalione, but is certainly in with a shot. I like the top two better, but it would be no surprise if she ran another very good race on Thursday.

Envoutante

The defending champion of this race has a strong record at Churchill Downs, having won three of her six starts there and finishing in the money in the other three. A 4-year-old daughter of Uncle Mo, she has a similar running style to Crystal Ball, with good tactical speed, but has finished behind that rival in each of their last two starts. That’s not a good sign heading into another difficult spot. She is a nice mare, but seems to run her strongest against slightly weaker competition. I’m sure she will make her presence felt during the race, but I do not like her chances to finish in the top two even at her favorite track.

Cheetara

Trained by Ignacio Correas, IV, this import from Chile has been solid since arriving in the United States earlier this year. A Group 2 winner in her native land at 10 furlongs, the daughter of Daddy Long Legs began her American career with two solid sprints at Colonial Downs, which included a minor stakes win at 7 furlongs. Off that victory, she stretched out for two allowance races in Kentucky. Showing plenty of speed in both, she faded to third in the first try at Churchill Downs, but came back to wire a good field at Keeneland last time. She will get tested for class on Thursday but is an interesting long shot.

Audrey’s Time

This one comes in off a 7-length romp over the Churchill Downs main track three weeks ago. If she can build upon that impressive score going 10 furlongs, perhaps she rates a chance in this difficult race, but it’s hard to know if that performance was really good, or just taking advantage of a soft spot. I tend to lean to the latter, as the daughter of Uncle Mo has had a difficult time winning in allowance company for much of her career. Having said that, her last two on the dirt at Churchill Downs are good enough to believe that she is on the improve.

High Regard

This Vicki Oliver-trained daughter of Will Take Charge has not made it to the winner’s circle since an allowance race last November at Churchill Downs. Winless in seven starts this season, her past performances are littered with defeats to other mares in the race. Last time it was Cheetara who beat her by four lengths at Keeneland. On the plus side, she is a four-time winner at Churchill Downs, but her form this year suggests that at best, she clunks up for a minor share.

How to Watch the Falls City Stakes

Falls City Stakes Race Information
Race Falls City Stakes (Grade 2)
Location Churchill Downs
Time Thursday, November 25 — 4:22 pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $500,000

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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.

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