Churchill Downs PICKS: Saturday, May 23rd

Photo by Eclipse Sportswire

I know everyone is dealing with quarantine in different ways, and most of us are finding a lack of sports to watch and bet on. Although Coronavirus has affected horse racing as well by many tracks cancelling their racing across the nation, there are still a few that remain open for racing without fans. One of those tracks is Churchill Downs, one of the most popular tracks in the nation. 

My analysis is below, but here are my picks for the day:

  • R1: (2) Yashima
  • R2: (10) Dangerfield
  • R3: (4) Bubba Caballo
  • R4: (11) Bobby’s Goldengirl
  • R5: (9) Mr. Misunderstood
  • R6: (4) Get the Prize
  • R7: (8) She’s a Julie
  • R8: (14) Alms
  • R9: (4) Alwaysmining
  • R10: (10) Maxfield
  • R11: (6) Hieronymus

Although I will have a short analysis for each race, I want to make a quick list of the main criteria of what I look at to make it easier. The list includes:

  • Past performances (distance, track type, location, jockey)
  • Jockey/Trainer stats
  • Moving up/down in class
  • Workouts
  • Post position
  • Pace
  • Speed Figures
  • Current odds — how much value is there?

Finally, my picks are all based on the morning-line odds since I am writing this ahead of time. If the odds drop substantially lower by post time, it may not be my favorite play for the race anymore. Additionally, I don’t just bet to win. In horse racing, sometimes you have to get creative. I’m not gonna get into any exotics during this article, but I might in the future. Bet at your own risk! Let’s get into it.

Race 1:

I’m loving the ML on the (2) Yashima. Unraced since March, Talamo takes the mount coming off six straight impressive workouts. I have faith in trainer Dallas Stewart, and I think this is a great spot to bet W/P/S to start the day. 

Pick: (2) Yashima – ML 10/1

Race 2:

Similar spot here in R2 for me. I’ll be backing the (10) Dangerfield at a ML of 10/1. I think this is another great W/P/S bet, as I can see Baze having a great trip from the outside. This horse is built for this distance, and Baze has been in the money in his only two races on the mount. The (6) Slick Silver is definitely my second choice, and I’ll be taking a look at pairing these two in some exotics.

Pick: (10) Dangerfield- ML 10/1

Race 3:

The (10) Verb does a great consistent job of getting to the front, but lately he hasn’t been able to hold a lead. I don’t see any major speed threats here, but I suggest taking a look at the (11) solely based on workouts, and the (4) because this is a great spot for improvement. I’m not a fan of betting unraced horses, so I’m gonna stick with the (4) over the (11), and maybe use Runyon underneath.

Pick: (4) Bubba Caballo ML 8/1

Race 4:

For this dirt mile, I’m interested in the (11) Bobby’s Goldengirl. I like the speed out front, and I love the recent works she’s been putting in. I think Franco can get his first win at the meet against a pretty lackluster field. The (9) Altaf is the only real threat I see, so I’ll most likely be pairing these two in some exotics.

Pick: (11) Bobby’s Goldengirl- ML 5/1

Race 5:

Brad Cox has a 60% win rate at Churchill so far, and has the (9) Mr. Misunderstood entered in his first race since January. Bad trip last outing ended in a last place finish, but this drop in class should put him right back where he belongs. Geroux takes the mount yet again, and I think the closing speed will be enough to best this field.

Pick: (9) Mr. Misunderstood -ML 5/1

Race 6:

My first chalky pick of the day lands in R6. I like the (4) Get the Prize. Dropping back in distance after solid efforts going two turns, Rosario should have an opportunity to capitalize. Get the Prize won it’s debut race a little over a year ago going six furlongs, so let’s see if we can get that second win.

Pick: (4) Get the Prize- ML 5/2

Race 7:

With the (4) Dunbar Road being a deserving 4/5 ML favorite, I’m trying to look elsewhere. The (8) She’s a Julie definitely caught my eye. Coming off a fourth place finish where Dunbar Road finished third, I think there’s a chance she can turn the tables. The drop from 1/8 to 1/16 ultimately benefits her, and I think Dunbar Road may be starting to trend downward. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the (4) romp, but let’s see if the (8)’s speed will be enough to hold down the stretch.

Pick: (8) She’s a Julie- ML 2/1

Race 8:

I’ll take unbeaten (14) Alms at a ML of 3/1. There’s definitely some threats here, but with that price how can you not back an undefeated stakes winning horse? Unraced since February, Alms has put in some promising works, and looks to keep the winning streak alive.

Pick: (14) Alms- ML 3/1

Race 9:

This race is wide open. There’s so many impressive resumes, I’m choosing to take a shot with the (4) Alwaysmining. With a ML of 20/1, Alwaysmining has the speed to hold it down for a mile. The speed figures match right up with the top of the field, and the slight drop in distance may be the X factor. With a price like this, it’s hard for me to look away. I’ll be looking at some exotics with the big threat favorites included as well. My second choice is the (3) Global Campaign.

Pick: (4) Alwaysmining- ML 20/1 

Race 10:

I don’t see how anyone can hold off the favorite (10) Maxfield. I think the ML of 5/2 still has some value, but if it drops substantially I’ll be shifting my spot to the (2) Pneumatic. Maxfield has had impressive workouts and is in another spot to show major improvements. Ortiz has two wins in two races, time to make it three.

Pick: (10) Maxfield- ML 5/2

Race 11:

The (3) Island Commish with Paco Lopez is a great price to use underneath, as he’s three for three on the mount with some bullet workouts recently. This is definitely a step up in competition, so I’m riding with the (6) Hieronymus. The (6) opens at 9/2, and is coming off of three straight wins. He’s beaten four of the competitors in this field, and the drop in distance by a 1/16 mile may be a bigger difference maker than people think.

Pick: (6) Hieronymus- ML 9/2

If you have any questions feel free to ask me on Twitter! My handle is at the top of the article. Thanks for reading everyone! Best of luck to all of you and keep an eye out for future articles and picks!

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