Horse racing

Jeff Nahill’s Churchill Downs opinions for Saturday, May 7 (Kentucky Derby day, Races 5-12) UPDATED

FIFTH RACE: 5-8-7-6-1

SIXTH RACE: 11-4-2-8-9

SEVENTH RACE: 3-5-10-12-9

EIGHTH RACE: 7-6-2-4-8

NINTH RACE: 7-6-9-2-10

10TH RACE: 1-3-8-7-6 SCRATCHED: 8; NEW ORDER: 1-3-8-5-6

11TH RACE: 8-3-1-6-7 (BEST BET) SCRATCHED: 1; NEW ORDER: 8-3-4-6-7

12TH RACE KENUCKY DERBY 1. (3) Epicenter, 2. (16) Cyberknife, 3. (12) Taiba, 4. (10) Zandon. LONG SHOT: (8) Charge It.

Gotta be honest, this year, I don’t have a strong opinion. This crop seems pretty even. That being said I think the best 3-year-old I’ve seen is EPICENTER (7-2). Thank goodness trainer Steve Asmussen broke his 0-for-75 streak in Kentucky on Friday’s Oaks undercard. This son of Not This Time has tactical speed and should be up close from the start. CYBERKNIFE (20-1) was beaten by Epicenter In January, but he has won two in a row and reports are he loves the Churchill Downs surface. I view TAIBA (12-1) and MESSIER (8-1) as one in the same. Both are from the Bob Baffert barn (now trained by Tim Yakteen?). Taiba has a ton of talent despite just two starts (and two wins) and he doesn’t work out well so ignore those morning times. MESSIER has tons of talent and a win wouldn’t surprise. ZANDON (3-1) has that guy Flavien Prat in the irons and will be in the mix. CHARGE IT comes from Florida and has talent. If you have an opinion on another horse, bet it. It’s wide open this year.

gOOD LUCK. sTAY SAFE.

FRIDAY’S RESULTS

Top choice winners: 1 (Secret Oath $10.80, 11th race, exc=acta box $39.40, daily double key $47.60, Pick 3 key $81.30, Pick 4 key $1093.25, Pick 5 key $2210.95, Pick 6 key $2763.02)

Second choice winners: 5 (Blecker Street $4, fifth, exacta box $11, trifecta box $27.30; Olympiad $3.80, seventh, exacta box $12; New Year’s Eve $31.20, eighth, reverse exacta $136.80, trifecta box $195.90; Matareya $4, ninth; Arrest Me Red $7.40, 10th, exacta box $322, trifecta box $1146.60, superfecta box $7989.90)

Third choice winners: 1 (Pauline’s Pearl $5.80, sixth, exacta box $11.80)

Fourth choice winners: 0

Long shot winners: 0

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