Jeff Siegel’s Horse Racing Picks for 9/23


Xpressbet writer Jeff Siegel offers his top plays for Friday.

Churchill Downs Race No. 7 (3:50 p.m. ET/12:50 p.m. PT)
#7 Ghostly Girl (15-1)


Let’s go for a long shot gamble in this wide-open seven-furlong maiden affair for juvenile fillies. Bred for a distance of ground on both sides of her pedigree, this daughter of Shaman’s Ghost nevertheless has breezed well leading up to her racing debut, and in a field that appears to lack depth, the Kenny McPeek-trained filly – a $100,000 yearling purchase — should have every chance to at least outrun her 15-1 morning line odds and maybe even spring a major upset. With one of the barn’s go-to riders (Brian Hernandez, Jr.) taking the call, she has a look of a live item, and a gate workout at Keeneland in late August (:46 4/5, fastest of 20) indicates she has plenty of run.

Churchill Downs Race No. 10 (5:26 p.m. ET/2:26 p.m. PT)
#10 Childers (2-1)

Flashed excellent speed when facing an infinitely stronger group of maidens in his debut at Saratoga in mid-August, and while he weakened to wind up a well-beaten third in a fast, highly rated and productive heat, the son of Bernardini should stick much better with that effort behind him in this restricted maiden dash for juveniles. The Brad Cox stable has a terrific record (29%) with second-time starters, and with the switch to the barn’s main guy Tyler Gaffalione this speedy colt should be capable of taking control early and never looking back.