Sunday’s ninth race at Churchill Downs is the Grade 3 Mint Julep Stakes for fillies and mares traveling 1 1/6 miles on the turf course. The scheduled post time is 4:55 p.m. EDT.
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No. 5 New Year’s Eve (4-1) cuts back slightly in distance, and this seems to be her preferred trip. She won twice at 1 1/16 miles on turf last year, including the local Edgewood Stakes. She exits back-to-back late-running show finishes in turf stakes routes and might have a bit more to offer in her third start of the year.
No. 8 White Frost (2-1) always runs her race in turf routes. She won the Sweetest Chant in 2021, missed all of 2022, and was sharp in her Jan. 23 return in the optional-claiming ranks. She rallied to miss by a neck in the Honey Fox (G3) and was best of the rest in third from the outside post in the Jenny Wiley (G1). This is a good spot for her, and Flavien Prat has been winning races with Bill Mott recently.
No. 4 Sweet Dani Girl (4-1) might have the race flow in her favor. She wired the field in a pair of Florida-bred turf stakes routes this year and set the pace and held the place in the local Modesty (G3) on May 5. She ended up a half-length in front of New Year’s Eve last time, and Javier Castellano rides her well.
No. 2 Gam’s Mission (7-2) rallied to win this race last year. She needed her Hillsborough (G2) return and tuned up for this with a last-to-first allowance win at Keeneland on April 16. She enjoys this course and distance and should make her presence felt in the lane under Tyler Gaffalione.
Get Jarrod’s Santa Anita analysis.
No. 5 to win
Trifecta key 5/2-4-8
Recent Best Bet winners
May 14 – Anarchist ($7.70)
May 16 – Templet ($19.60), exacta ($36)
May 18 – Montauk Point/Luigi’s Spirit exacta ($43.80)
May 23 – Do You Love Me ($5.60)
May 25 – Alogon ($10)
Monday – Ego Man/Easy Day exacta ($18.40)
Saturday – Kalik ($7.90), trifecta ($41.80)