By Emily Shields
At morning line odds of 20-1, #7 Rushie is a possible price play in the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).
Rushie, a three-year-old gray, is by the sire Liam’s Map, who won the first Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile run at Keeneland in 2015. The Michael McCarthy-trainee was a comfortable winner of the Grade 2 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs last out. He would have to improve off that effort, but his speed figure from the Santa Anita Derby (G1) in June competes here, and he was third in the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) over this track in July. Javier Castellano will ride.
Favored in the race is Complexity, a 2-1 choice off a win in the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park October 3. Chad Brown trains the son of Maclean’s Music, who was a $375,000 purchase as a yearling. He is five for nine lifetime, and was always classy, winning the Grade 1 Champagne as a juvenile and missing by just a half-length in the Grade 1 Forego in August. Jose Ortiz will ride.
Knicks Go is a horse for the course, as he has two wins and a second in four tries here. He won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity here in 2018, and is coming off a stellar ten length score here on October 4. Brad Cox now trains the son of Paynter, who has been unbeaten since the switch.
Being somewhat overlooked is War of Will, who is at 10-1 on the morning line. He won the Preakness Stakes (G1) last year, but then went off form, running off the board in the Belmont, Jim Dandy, and Breeders’ Cup Classic. He has improved drastically on the grass, winning a Grade 1 here by a nose in July, then ran third as the favorite in the Woodbine Mile (G1) last out. Mark Casse trains the son of War Front, who tends to run hot or cold.
Art Collector was on a win streak earlier this year, including the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes here over both Rushie and eventual Preakness Stakes (G1) heroine Swiss Skydiver. The Tom Drury trainee has won half of his 10 starts and worked a strong half mile in :49.1 on October 31.
Sharp Samurai is an interesting longshot at 15-1. The son of First Samurai has been predominantly a turf horse, with over $1 million earned, but ran second in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic on the main track in August. He has eight wins and 16 top three efforts in a 22-race career for trainer Mark Glatt. Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride.
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