Race 10 at Churchill Downs on Saturday, June 22 | Post Time 5:26 PM Eastern Time

Roxelana Stakes | Purse $120,000 | Six Furlongs | Fillies and Mares, Three Year Olds and Upward

 

There's NO doubt Covfefe (2) and Mia Mischief (10) have a decent probability to win this race. Covfefe set a track record on Preakness weekend last month when she sizzled six furlongs (the distance of this race) in 107.7 seconds to win the Grade 3 Miss Preakness Stakes by eight and one-half lengths in "ridden out" fashion. That win came against her own age group (three year olds) and she is facing older fillies and mares for the first time but she has a ton of talent and, if allowed an easy lead in the first quarter mile as she was last month, she may win again. Mia Mischief won the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on Derby day over the track. Although that race was seven furlongs, as was her win exactly one year earlier in the Grade 2 Eight Belles Stakes, Mia Mischief has never missed first or second at this trip, winning three of seven races at the distance. Dropping from a grade one stakes to this non-graded level, you might think Mia Mischief would be the odds-on favorite but you'd be wrong as she opens at 8 to 5 odds whereas track record setter Covfefe opens at 7 to 5. Both fillies can win, but in this 10 horse field there are others with a shot, so the analysis of this race is as much about how to bet it for profit as it is who may run well.

Astrollinthepark (5) won this race last year, by a couple of lengths and at 7 to 2 odds. The win followed a third level allowance victory over the track four weeks earlier. This year, Astrollinthepark enters the race off a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Winning Colors Stakes four weeks ago over the track, won by Honey Bunny (3), but this year Astrollinthepark had been away for five and one-half months prior to the Winning Colors, so there is significant potential to "leapfrog" Honey Bunny and turn the tables today as well as to become the repeat winner of the Roxelana Stakes.

Honey Bunny (3) just doesn't know how to lose right now, with five straight wins including that win in a higher level grade three stakes four weeks ago, at the distance. In the Winning Colors, Honey Bunny beat SIX of the other NINE entrants in this race including Astrollinthepark, who as mentioned earlier is the only one of those who can improve enough to beat Honey Bunny today. Whether Honey Bunny improving again, or Astrollinthepark improving back to last year's form, is good enough to beat either Covfefe or Mia Mischief is strictly a guess, but considering Astrollinthepark opens at 12/1 odds and considering Honey Bunny opens at 8/1 odds we should be willing to find out.

Additionally, being as betting on the races is as much about maximizing profit as anything else, the strategies below in the exacta and trifecta will avoid playing combinations using Covfefe and Mia Mischief to finish first and second although with this strategy we lose if the two favorites run one-two. We should also use Upset Brewing (7) on some exacta and trifecta tickets as the filly has a propensity for finishing second, evidenced by a 3-11-4 career record (in 23 starts) including a record at Churchill Downs of 0-5-2 in eight races.

Betting Strategies:

Win Bets: Bet both Astrollinthepark (5) and Honey Bunny (3) to win at odds of 7 to 2 or higher, possibly adding a place bet at 6 to 1 or more.

Exacta:

The first exacta strategy is to play the two favorites over our two contenders at prices instead or, or in addition to, place bets: Covfefe (2) and Mia Mischief (10) over Astrollinthepark (5) and Honey Bunny (3).

Then also: Box Covfefe (2), Astrollinthepark (5) and Honey Bunny (3).

Then also Box Mia Mischief (10), Astrollinthepark (5) and Honey Bunny (3).

Box Upset Brewing (7) and Astrollinthepark (5).

Box Upset Brewing (7) and Honey Bunny (3).

Trifectas ($0.50 minimum):

Covfefe (2) over Honey Bunny (3), Astrollinthepark (5) and Upset Brewing (7) over Honey Bunny (3), Astrollinthepark (5), Upset Brewing (7) and Mia Mischief (10).

Honey Bunny (3) and Astrollinthepark (5) over Covfefe (2) over Honey Bunny (3), Astrollinthepark (5), Upset Brewing (7) and Mia Mischief (10).

Mia Mischief (10) over Honey Bunny (3), Astrollinthepark (5) and Upset Brewing (7) over Covfefe (2), Honey Bunny (3), Astrollinthepark (5) and Upset Brewing (7).

Honey Bunny (3) and Astrollinthepark (5) over Mia Mischief (10) over Covfefe (2), Honey Bunny (3), Astrollinthepark (5) and Upset Brewing (7).