January 17, 2021

Admission Office, Inspector Lynley among full field in Wise Dan

Keeneland Racing
Admission Office (left) won a Keeneland allowance in his 2019 season opener (Coady Photography)

Admission Office‘s rally in last month’s Dixie (G2) at Pimlico came up a half-length short against multiple Grade 1 winner Catholic Boy. On Saturday, the consistent son of Point of Entry will seek to make amends against a full field in the $250,000 Wise Dan (G2) over the turf at Churchill Downs.

The Dixie was only the second stakes appearance by Admission Office, but bettors liked what they saw as the Brian Lynch trainee was bet down to 5-1. Despite the setback, Admission Office enters the 1 1/16-mile Wise Dan with a fine record of three wins and three seconds from six starts.

Inspector Lynley disappointed in the Dixie as the second choice, finishing an uninspiring sixth. Winner of the Tampa Bay (G3) and $100,000 Danger’s Hour earlier in the season, the Shug McGaughey charge looks to improve on his close second in the 2018 Wise Dan.

Itsinthepost, unraced since last August, was a four-time graded stakes winner last season for Jeff Mullins. However, all were at distances ranging from 1 1/8 miles to 1 1/4 miles, and the seven-year-old gelding might find this trip too short.

Siem Riep pulled a 35-1 shocker in the $110,000 Opening Verse during Kentucky Derby week and figures to show speed again. Stakes winner First Premio was fourth as the mild favorite in that race, while Grade 3 winner Hot Springs failed to fire in seventh.

Multiple stakes winner March to the Arch outran his long odds when fifth in the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) last month. El Picaro, a multiple Group 1 winner in his native Chile, is the wild card in the field. He makes his U.S. debut here for Ignacio Correas with five wins and two seconds from seven starts.

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The final stakes of the “Downs After Dark” program Saturday night is the $150,000 Regret for three-year-old fillies at nine furlongs on the turf.

Last-out maiden winner Varenka steps back into stakes company following her May 11 graduation at Belmont Park. Last season, the daughter of Ghostzapper placed in the Miss Grillo (G2) and $100,000 P.G. Johnson and was a rallying fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) in her lone previous try on the Matt Winn turf course.

Likely to vie with favoritism with that one is Winter Sunset, a stakes winner at Fair Grounds over the winter who finished third to Concrete Rose in both the Florida Oaks (G3) and Edgewood (G3) in her past two starts.

Princesa Carolina and Belle Laura, who placed behind recent Wonder Again (G3) winner Cambier Parc in the Herecomesthebride (G3) at Gulfstream in March, are also in the Regret lineup.