BONUS: Listen to our second episode of The Player's Edge for more detailed analysis and picks for the WINNING COLORS STAKES at Churchill Downs!
First you make the simple syrup with equal parts water, sugar, and mint leaves. Dissolve the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, but don't boil. Add in the mint leaves, cover, and steep for 20 to 30 minutes.
In your mixer glass, pour in 3 ounces of Old Forester Mint Julep, add 0.75 ounces of our homemade simple syrup, lightly bruise seven mint leaves with a muddler, strain the contents into a packed cup of ice, garnish with sprigs of mint, place your straw next to the mint and enjoy the official drink of The Kentucky Derby: The Old Forester Mint Julep.
Churchill patrons pound that stuff on Kentucky Oaks and Derby days, to the tune of at least 120,000 servings. They think so much of the drink, they even named a big race after it, The Grade III, Old Forester Mint Julep Stakes. It's the nightcap on Saturday's card.
Let's try to mix up some winners for the 1 1/16 mile turf race. It's a thick field of 14 fillies and mares competing for their share of the $100,000 jackpot.
JULIET FOXTROT (PP: 1 ML 5/2) has finished in the top three in her six US races. She started out with a bang, winner of her first three, followed by a pair of seconds, and then a third in her last effort. The five-year-old mare hasn't raced since getting place money on December 1, 2019 in the Grade I Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar. The break should hurt as she has two W and a the third in her last three fist starts off the bench.
BEAU RECALL (PP: 2 ML 4-1) has four wins and three seconds in her last seven starts. The six-year-old is a combined 4 ¼ lengths from winning them all. She rallied for a place finish in her last outing as the public's choice, way back on September 28, 2019. She's been training well and will try to avenge the second-place finish as trainer Brad Cox wins at 30% the next time around the track with beaten favorites.
OUR VALUE PLAYS AND LONGSHOTS
SHE'SONTHEWARPATH (PP: 4 ML 20-1) is pretty much all or nothing on grass. She's won five, including the last two, and a third in eight runs. Jockey Chantal Sutherland seems to get the most out of the daughter of DECLARATION OF WAR. All five of the wins have come with Sutherland in the irons. Prior to the last eight starts, SHE'SONTHEWARPATH had a second, third and seventh in three races with other jocks.
NAY LADY NAY (PP: 6 ML 4-1) is a length away from a four-race winning streak after a fourth in her debut. All-star trainer Chad Brown's horse has a pair of wins and a second in three turf races at 1 1/16 miles. She's another coming off a long break, hasn't raced since a trip to Churchill's winners' circle on September 29, 2020. While you can never overlook a Brown horse, NAY LADY NAY's speed number are touch below the top tier. She'll need to show more for a second straight Churchill win.
ZOFELLE (PP: 11 ML 20-1) flies late. She's made up ground in her final strides in five of her six US races after arriving from Great Britain. She's raced twice at today's distance/surface and didn't get a clean start in either. Nonetheless, she fought on a rallied late to finish fifth by 2 1/2 lengths and scoring in the other. If she can get a clean trip, 20-1 looks like a major overlay.
ELIZABETH WAY (PP: 13 ML 20-1) is another international traveler, coming over the Atlantic from Ireland. She has two wins and a third on this side of the ocean. Oddly, she ran her best race in her show effort, recording the highest, last race speed figure by a wide margin. If she runs the same race, she won't finish third, she'll be in line for a photo session and a winner's check.
Here is how our handicapper lines them up.
2 - Beau Recall
1 - Juliet Foxtrot
11 - Zofelle
6 - Nay Lady Nay
13 - Elizabeth Way
4 - She'sonthewarpath
The Old Forester Mint Julep Stakes should be a good betting race for horseplayer. Perhaps, you'll celebrate with a drink in its honor.