Picking a Longshot in the Fleur de Lis

Fans at Churchill

By Jose Contreras, courtesy America's Best Racing

A competitive field of nine fillies and mares will line up for Saturday’s 42nd running of the $200,000 Fleur De Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs, a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff. All eyes will be on the two-time Grade 1 winner Forever Unbridled (#1) who is making her first start of the year. She was last seen finishing third in the 2016 Longines Distaff behind the talented duo of Beholder and Songbird. She’s 4-to-5 on the morning line and I think this is a good spot to try to beat her. She’s a mare that likes to close from the middle of the pack, and her inside post position might land her in an uncomfortable position heading into the first turn.

I’m going with the only mare in the field making her stakes debut: Apologynotaccepted (#7). She posted one of the most visually impressive debut wins of 2016 at Gulfstream Park but then finished up last year with a pair of dull efforts. After some time off, she’s off to a perfect 3-for-3 campaign this year and I like that all three of those wins have been at a mile or longer. Her latest win was over this track at Churchill Downs, and she has a pair of solid workouts leading up to this race. Her main weapon is her early speed, and I’m looking for her to try to steal this race on the front end at odds of 15-1 on the morning line.

The Bets on a $100 Budget:

$20 win on 7 Apologynotaccepted ($20)

$2 Exacta: 7 with 2,3,5,6,8 ($10)

$2 Exacta: 2,3,5,6,8 with 7 ($10)

$1 Trifecta: 7 with 1,2,3,5,6,8 with 1,3,5,6 ($20)

$1 Trifecta: 1,2,3,5,6,8 with 7 with 1,3,5,6 ($20)

$1 Trifecta: 1,2,3,5,6,8 with 1,3,5,6 with 7 ($20)

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