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Churchill Downs, Fair Grounds and twinspires.com racing analyst Joe Kristufek began his career in his native Chicago, climbing the ladder at the local racing venues. The 1989 rivalry between Kentucky Derby winner Sunday Silence and his nemesis Easy Goer got Joe hooked on horse racing. A self-proclaimed "horse racing ambassador", Joe's industry experience spans from Dubai to Hong Kong to more than 35 tracks across North America.

September 26 2021

Double-check listed numbers against program numbers before wagering.
Selections subject to change on race day due to scratches, off the turf, etc. For the most up to the minute information, tune in to "Churchill Downs Today" presented by twinspires.com one hour before first post every racing day, watch the pre-race paddock shows and follow Joe on Twitter @JoeyDaKRacing.
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Race 1

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2 Well Spent

Drops in turf to dirt; distance should suit

7 Escape Fund

Easy win here off the bench in June

5 Sapphire Royalty

Back quick; distance a question

Selections: 2-7/5-1

Race 2

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5 Carmichael

Signs of life in last; big 2nd on CD dirt

1 Koufax

Flashed stretch out speed on turf; well intended here

4 Captain Fantastic

Ran big in one of four dirt tries; tough call

Selections: 5-1-4/7-6/3-2

Race 3

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6 Outlier

Fits like a glove; should relish distance

7 Cold as Hell

Stretch out speed; bred for added ground

1 Ultimate

Drops in fresh off the claim for tough team

Selections: 6-7/1-2

Race 4

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5 Futile

$400K in earning within reach; finishes best

6 Royal Blue Boy

Usually runs his race; might be good enough

8 Lover Boy

Rates on consistency; should find clear sailing

Selections: 5-6-8/2-3

Race 5

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6 Auburn Hills

Better than ever; should relish the trip

7 Brew Crew

Scratched for this; distance the question

1 Hombrazo

Capable with A-game; still trying to find his niche

Selections: 6-7/1-2-5

Race 6

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6 Alkhaatam

Runs hot & cold; hoping blinks awaken

2 Lord Dragon

Ran huge here last October; similar try wins this

7 Pit Boss

Fits well, but better around one turn

Selections: 6-2-7/4-3-5

Race 7

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5 Toccata

Legitimized herself twice over; steps up again?

2 Latte Dolce

Shook loose & showed massive improvement in last

3 Flash Magic

Won big off the bench, but has struggled since

Selections: 5-2/3/1-4-6-7

Race 8

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3 Beautiful Empire

Dam is half to Practical Joke; sharp works

7 Famed

Half to Essential Quality; likely over-bet

1 Mommasgottarun

Sharp speed; must dig deeper late

Selections: 3-7-1/9-4

Race 9

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3 Beaver Hat

Better than ever now; square price

7 Trident Hit

Better than ever; wants pace to chase

1 Core Beliefs

Ready to peak in 3rd race of form cycle

Selections: 3-7-1/6-5-4-2

Race 10

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12 Sarah Harper

Has speed; post shift helps the cause

8 Anna Volante

Bred to sprint; works say she's ready

6 Smarmy

Has the best resume; screws tight enough?

Selections: 12-8-6/10-7

Joe's 2021 September Meet Stats (thru 9-26-21)

Races Wins 2nd 3rd Win % WPS % $2 ROI*
78 25 10 15 32.1% 64.1% $1.85

*ROI is the return on investment of a $2 win bet of our top pick. An ROI of more than $2.00 indicates profitable selections. The average horseplayer has an ROI of $1.60.

Expert selections by:

Joe Kristufek | Ed DeRosa | Scott Shapiro