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Our racing expert Lou Monaco previews Thursday's race 7 at Churchill Downs

Thursday twilight racing is back at Churchill Downs, highlighted by a 9-horse field in a $97,000 allowance race for 3-year-olds and up over one mile on the dirt. Race 7 of the 8-race card is slated for a post time of 7:54 p.m. ET.

#3, Franknjymme, Julian Leparox, 5-1

Julian Leparoux returns to the saddle after a three race break and that could help in this spot. Franknjymme could use a spark after finishing 10th in an horse field at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 7, just 12 days ago. In 11 career starts, he has a 1-1-2 record, including just a 2nd-place finish in six starts this year in an allowance optional claiming race at Ellis Park back on July 29. Leparoux had back-to-back 4th-place finishes with Franknjymme, including an allowance race here on May 24 where he showed some gain in the stretch. I think Leparoux will use another closing strategy here, therefore I’m taking a shot. The pick.

#9, Wicked Indeed, Ricardo Santana, Jr., 4-1

After finishing 9th in a field of 11 in an allowance optional claiming race here at Churchill back on June 21, Wicked Indeed came back nicely in his last start with a runner-up finish in an allowance race at Ellis Park on Aug. 4. After a one race absence, Santana gets back on board for Wicked Indeed’s second start at Churchill, both using Santana. Santana will look to make amends from three months ago. Runner-up.

#4, Winnipesaukee, Shaun Bridgmohan, 7-2

After a 4th-place debut finish in a maiden special weight race at Ellis Park on July 13, Winnipesaukee came back five weeks later and romped by 6 ¾ lengths coasting past the quarter pole for his first career win. Shaun Bridgmohan returns seeking his second straight win aboard for trainer Brad Cox. Hard not to like, but taking a flyer on No. 3.

#6, Troubling Moon, Brian Hernandez, Jr., 4-1

Finishing in the money in both of his career starts this year, Troubling Moon is coming off a 3 ¾ length victory with Hernandez aboard in a maiden special weight race at Ellis Park on Aug. 2. In his lone start at Churchill this year, he finished third (also with Hernandez aboard) after making a bold bid four wide entering the stretch. Hernandez is aboard once again and I believe he will make that bold move again. Will it be enough this time? In the mix.   

PICKS:  3-9-4-6

By Lou Monaco


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