Updated 12:02pm for Scratches.
Race Rating System-
I always give you 5 picks in each race to help you fill out your exotic bets. In some races I may not use all 5 in my bets. The A horse is ALWAYS my selected winner. If no suggested plays are listed then I would not consider betting the race. See the key below for how I label the races.
Weak - Poor races to invest in. Usually too wide open. Winner possible outside of my top 5.
Action - Some clarity in the race, but winner likely in top 4 or 5.
Action+ - Some clarity, but winner likely in top 3.
Play - can usually key top 2 (A & B) horses in exotics. Good Exacta or Trifecta play.
Prime - Excellent race to key or single in the exotics.
Race 5 - 1-1/16mi OC - Action+
A - #3 Allied Air Raid (6-1) - could be the lone speed of the race, plus he's always finished in the exacta at this distance
B - #10 Freestyler (4-1) - seems to relish the distance, has been working well, will need a little pace
C - #9 Commanding Curve (8-1) - I like the horse for course angle here for him to hit the board, he's 5 for 5 in the Trifecta at CD, another one that would benefit from some pace
D - #2 Bold Conquest (9/2) - will need some pace and he's only 1 for 12 at this distance, exotics use
E - #12 Gotham News (5-1) - is 0 for 4, but is taking a slight class drop from facing 4 year olds and has worked well, exotics use
Multi-Race Horses: 3,10
Race 6 - 1mi Distaff Turf Mile G2 - Play
A - #1 Tepin (1/2) - she's very much the class of the race, I can't find a reason to not put her on top, he she runs her races she wins
B - #4 Isabella Sings (3-1) - should set the pace and may find herself alone in that spot, she'll be the one Tepin has to run down in the stretch
C - #8 Zipessa (20-1) - has been working very well she's 2 for 2 at this distance, could hit the board at a big price
D - #3 Cash Control (20-1)
E - #5 Bureau de Change (30-1)
Multi-Race Horses: 1,4
$0.50 - 1 / 4,8,3,2 / 4,8,3,2,9,5 = $10
$0.50 - 1 / 9,5 / 4,8,3,2,9,5 = $7.50
$0.50 - 1,4,8 / 1,4,8 / 4,8,3,2,9,5 = $14.00
Race 7 - 7f Churchill Downs G2 - Action+
A - #6 Speightster (6-1) - I always respect were Bill Mott spots his horses, has been working very well and seems ready to fire off the layoff.
B - #7 Holy Boss (8-1) - some speed in this race that seems to be lacking speed, has a win over the CD surface, could take this gate to wire at a big price
C - #5 Limousine Liberal (9/2) - has won at CD, working well
D - #9 Catalina Red (15-1)
E - #8 Salutos Amigos (5/2)
Multi-Race Horses: 6,7,5
$1 - 6,7 / 6,7,5,9,8,3 = $10
Race 8 - 7f Humana Distaff G1 - Play
A - #10 Wavell Avenue (3-1) - could very well be the best in here 2nd off the layout, obviously has some class, should benefit from several speed horses in the race
B - #2 Stonetastic (3-1) - may be the speed of speed, but is 0 for 2 at CD
C - #8 Taris (5/2) - may sit a good trip on the outside, but is another speed horse of several in the race
D - #9 Birdatthewire (5-1)
E - #7 Kathballu (12-1)
Multi-Race Horses: 10,2
$0.50 - 10 / 2,4,8,9 / 2,4,8,9,7,6 = $10
$0.50 - 2,4,8,9 / 10 / 2,4,8,9,7,6 = $10
$0.50 - 10 / 2,4,8 / 2,4,8,9 = $10
Race 9 - 1-1/16 mi American Turf G2 - Play
A - #8 Shakhimat (5-1) - has worked extremely well and may very well be the lone speed in the race, looking for a gate to wire performance
B - #1 Airoforce (4-1) - has worked well and gets back to preferred surface, definite contender
C - #4 Beach Patrol (8-1)
D - #11 Dressed in Hermes (5-1)
E - #3 Converge (5-1)
Multi-Race Horses: 8,1,4
$1 - 8,1,4 / 8,1,4 = $6
$1 - 8,1 / 11,3,10 = $6
$0.50 - 8 / 1,4,11,3 / 1,4,11,3,10 = $8
$0.50 - 1,4,11,3 / 8 / 1,4,11,3,10 = $8
Race 10 - 1 mi Pat Day Mile G3 - Play
A - #11 American Freedom (6-1) - could very well be much the best in here based off that last performance, he's working well and it seems Baffert has this one primed
B - #10 Cocked and Loaded (6-1) - ran some decent races during the Ky Derby prep season and has won at CD, looking for a good effort here
C - #5 Imperial Hint (15-1)
D - #6 Sharp Azteca (8-1)
E - #9 Fellowship (5-1)
Multi-Race Horses: 11,10,5
$0.50 - 11 / 10,5,6,9 / 10,5,6,9,7,13,1 = $12
$1 - 11 / 10,5,6,9 = $4
Race 11 - 1-1/8mi Turf Classic G1 - Action
A - #12 Big Blue Kitten (5/2) - is the class of the field, needs some pace
B - #8 Divisidero (15-1) - another one that needs some pace, but is moving forward and has won on the CD turf
C - #3 Bolo (8-1) - on preferred surface and is 4 for 7 on the turf, is a G2 winner and is looking for that G1, should be stalking the pace and get first run at the leaders
D - #10 Tourist (8-1) - has worked well leading up to this
E - #6 Slumber (3-1) - another horse that fits here and has been working well
#7 Midnight Storm (10-1) - multiple G2 winner and is 50% on the turf, exotics booster
#2 Chocolate Ride (15-1) - may set the pace and hang around for the exotics, is 7 for 12 on the turf and 4 for 7 at this distance on the turf
Multi-Race Horses: 12,8,3,10,6
Race 12 - 1-1/4 miles Kentucky Derby G1 - Action
A - #11 Exaggerator (8-1) - I thought his SA Derby victory was very impressive. Now some will say
that the track helped him and that may be the case, but I think there
will be more speed than is expected and he could likely be the main one
to benefit from that. I have confidence that Kent Desormeaux can work
out a good trip. His par rating in the SA Derby was extremely difficult
to calculate and I would draw a line through that number. My top pick.
B - #15 Outwork (10-1) - His time in the Wood Memorial was excruciatingly slow and that is
evident by the low par rating. However, that was on a Muddy track and
he has trained very very well leading up to the Derby. I did like the
way he held his position all the way to the wire against a foe that was
trying desperately to get past him. His Tampa Bay Derby number shows he
can run and he fits a lot of high percentage stats. Definite win
contender and exotics use.
C - #13 Nyquist (3-1) - Is the 2yr old champion and is undefeated. Usually, we would be having
Triple Crown dreams for a horse like this, but after the American
Pharoah hangover there just isn't as much buzz around him. But I thin
that is unfair as he has done nothing wrong. With several speed horses
on the outside of him, Mario will have to workout a trip, but if he is
close and in the clear on the 2nd turn he could be tough. Definite win
contender and exotics use.
D - #9 Destin (15-1) - This guy is interesting to me. He broke is maiden at Belmont, but his
only other wins have come at Tampa Bay Downs. His he a horse for course
at Tampa Bay Downs or can he bring the goods here at Churchill. With
that in mind, he still ran a good race last out and the 8 weeks off
bothers some, but this is Todd Pletcher who wins very well off the
layoff. His last out par rating is as good as any in this field. Upset
chance, definite exotics use.
E - #14 Mohaymen (10-1) - He had done nothing wrong until his last race where he finished a well
beaten 4th. Maybe he didn't like the surface or there was another issue
that has been corrected, but McLaughlin seems high on him and he has
trained better and better leading up to the Derby. He is going to have
to buck one stat - 86% of the Derby winners ran either 1st or 2nd in
their previous race. Possible win contender, definite exotics use.
Value Adds -
#3 Creator (10-1) - I've heard he is working pretty good, but he's never run above par in
any prep, which is something that 90% of the last 22 Derby winners have
done. Going with bottom exotics use only.
#2 Suddenbreakingnews (20-1) - Not crazy about the post position, but he is a closer so the inside post
will not hurt him as much. He was closing well in the Arkansas Derby
and the workout reports have been really good. Not sure he is fast
enough to win, but he'd be a nice price to hit the exotics. Definite
bottom exotics use.
#19 Brody's Cause (12-1) - Closed well to win the Blue Grass, but he wasn't as good as Exaggerator,
Nyquist or Outwork in his last race. I don't ever discount Dale
Romans, but I just don't think he is quite good enough to beat these,
but he's a definite exotics use.
#17 Mor Spirit (12-1) - Has worked pretty good and until the SA Derby and was always close at
the finish. He did finish a well beaten second in the SA Derby. I
don't think he can win, but could hit the exotics. Bottom end exotics
Multi-Race Horses: 11,15,13,9,14
$1 - 11,15,13 / 11,15,13 = $6
$1 - 11,15,13 / 9,14,3,17,16,20,5,19,2 = $27
$1 - 9,14,3,2,19,17 / 11,15,13 = $18
- AND / OR -
$0.50 - 11 / 15,13,9,14 / 15,13,9,14,3,2,19,17 = $14
$0.50 - 11 / 3,2,19,17 / 15,13,9,14 = $8
$0.50 - 15 / 11,13,9,14 / 11,13,9,14,3,2,19,17 = $14
$0.50 - 15 / 3,2,19,17 / 11,13,9,14 = $8
$0.50 - 13 / 11,13,9,14 / 11,13,9,14,3,2,19,17 = $14
$0.50 - 13 / 3,2,19,17 / 11,13,9,14 = $8