Churchill Downs, Horse racing, Kentucky, Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs opinions for Saturday, May 5 (Kentucky Derby Day)

SIXTH RACE (Humana Distaff, Grade I): 1. Finley’sluckycharm, 2. American Gal, 3. Lewis Bay, 4. Ivy Bell. LONG SHOT: Skye Diamonds.

SEVENTH RACE (Distaff Turf Mile, Grade II): 1. Dream Awhile, 2. Madam Dancealot, 3. On Leave, 4. La Coronel. LONG SHOT: Thundering Sky.

EIGHTH RACE (Churchill Downs Stakes, Grade II): 1. Whitmore, 2. Imperial Hint, 3. Awesome Slew, 4. Limousine Liberal. LONG SHOT: Warrior’s Club.

NINTH RACE (American Turf, Grade II): 1. Threeandfourpence, 2. River Boyne, 3. Admiralty Pier, 4. Captivating Moon. LONG SHOT: Speed Franco.

10TH RACE (Pat Day Mile, Grade III): 1. Mask, 2. Greyvitos, 3. Restoring Hope, 4. Mississippi. LONG SHOT: Givemeaminit.

11TH RACE (Turf Classic, Grade I): 1. Beach Patrol, 2. Arklow, 3. Synchrony, 4. Deauville. LONG SHOT: Camelot Kitten.
Beach Patrol got beat in the last 100 yards of the BC Turf at Del Mar. That race has produced five next out winners from eight starters. Chad Brown will bring back a fit horse.

12TH RACE (Kentucky Derby, Grade I): 1. Mendelssohn, 2. My Boy Jack, 3. Justify, 4. Bolt d’Oro. LONG SHOT: Good Magic.
Does Europe get its first Derby winner? Mendelssohn is a superstar. He cost $3 million at auction and he’s up to $1.9 million earned. I know he’s coming out of the UAE Derby in Dubai on a track that might have had a speed bias, but he destroyed that field in his first try on the dirt. He also comes out of one of the most productive 2-year-old stakes races last year as a he won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf which has produced numerous winners.I think he’s the real deal. My pick after the Louisiana Derby would have been My Boy Jack, that move Kent Desormeaux mad was Azeri-like, but trainer Keith Desormeaux felt he had to win the Lexington to have enough points to get into this race so he ran and won. I think Desormeaux will make a similar wide sweeping turn here and it could be a moneymaker if My Boy Jack has something left. Justify and Bolt d’Oro are the best in the West. They will both be forwardly placed early in the race and question is do they want to go this far. As for any other horse, this seems like a deep crop and I wouldn’t talk people off of most any horse. BTW, Good Magic, the BC Juvenile winner at Del Mar, is listed at 12-1 on the morning-line. If he’s that high I might have rethink my wagering.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

FRIDAY’S RESULTS (Stakes races only)

Top choice winners: 1 (Mia Mischief $5, fifth race)

Second choice winners: 1 (Salty $10.40, sixth)

Third choice winners: 2 (Will Call $15.60, seventh; Backyard Heaven $6.40, eighth)

Fourth choice winners: 1 (Monomoy Girl $7.20, 11th)

Long shot winners: 0

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Churchill Downs, Horse racing, Kentucky, Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs opinions for Friday, May 4 (Kentucky Oaks Day)

Preview: Check the track conditions because rain is forecast for Friday and Derby Day on Saturday. Races might come off the turf so check the changes. I handicapped just the stakes races. For the other you are on your own but check out West Coast jockeys who get mounts in other races.

FIFTH RACE (Eight Belles, Grade II): 1. Mia Mischief, 2. Gas Station Sushi, 3. Amy’s Challenge, 4. Salt Bae. LONG SHOT: Talk Veuve to Me.

SIXTH RACE (La Troienne, Grade I): 1. Abel Tasman, 2. Salty, 3. Martini Glass, 4. Apologynotaccepted. LONG SHOT: Streamline.

SEVENTH RACE (Turf Sprint, Grade III): 1. Vision Perfect, 2. Bucchero, 3. Will Call, 4. Delectation. LONG SHOT: Latent Revenge.

EIGHTH RACE (Alysheba, Grade II): 1. Good Samaritan, 2. Always Dreaming, 3. Backyard Heaven, 4. Hoppertunity. LONG SHOT: Awesome Slew.

10TH RACE (Edgewood, Grade III): 1. Altea, 2. Rushing Fall, 3. Beyond Blame, 4. Daddy Is a Legend. LONG SHOT: Figarella’s Queen.
Rushing Fall (4-5) is a monster and should win but I’ll go with the longer price of the uncoupled Chad Brown entry. Rushing Fall is entered against the boys on Saturday in case it comes down in buckets Friday, but I think she’ll run here.

11TH RACE (Kentucky Oaks, Grade I): 1. Midnight Bisou, 2. Rayya, 3. Classy Act, 4. Monomoy Girl. LONG SHOT: Wonder Gadot.
This is a tough race for me because Midnight Bisou (5-2) is owned in part by Oceanside’s Jeff Bloom, one of my best friends in the sport and I guarantee a lot of people in the industry are pulling for Jeff and his group. And with good reason, the 3-year-old filly is two noses away from being undefeated. She lost twice to the Bob Baffert-trained Dream Tree, who is injured and out of this race. Midnight Bisou’s last race was visually impressive as jockey Mike Smith let her loop the field on the turn. She didn’t beat much but it was the way she did it. Look for a similar style in this race and if it rains, she has a victory on a wet/fast track at Santa Anita. Rayya, at 12-1 on the morning-line, is the filly to watch. She just finished second to Mendlessohn, who is one of the favorites in the Derby, in the UAE Derby. She came from off the pace on a speed-favoring track. She is in the Bob Baffert barn and is adding Lasix for the first time, a move Baffert is 30 percent with. Classy Act (15-1) has a second over this track and horses coming from the Fair Grounds have been tearing it up across the country since the end of that meet. Monomoy Girl (2-1) is favored, but that post (No. 14) is horrible.

Good luck.

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Breeders' Cup, Horse racing, Keeneland, Keeneland Race Course, Kentucky, Lexington

Breeders’ Cup selections for Friday, Oct. 30

In case you don’t know it, Beholder has been scratched from Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic due to bleeding in her lungs after a gallop on Thursday.

It’s a shame because I really wanted to see her face American Pharoah, but the show much go on so here are my thoughts for Friday.

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Sixth Race: JUVENILE TURF

7-Ray’s The Bar

2-Azar

11-Hollywood Don

4-Shogun

If we get this morning-line, I’ll be stunned as trainer Chad Brown and jockey Javier Castellano just don’t go off at 20-1. RAY’S THE BAR had traffic trouble in U.S. debut so here’s hoping for a clean trip.

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Race 7: DIRT MILE

5-Lea

3-Liam’s Map

1-Red Vine

7-War Envoy

LIAM’S MAP will be everyone’s single here. Not me. This Bill Mot runner LEA is a perfect 3-for-3 at the distance and finished third in the Dubai World Cup. Mott put a good work into over the track recently signaling all systems are go.

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Race 8: JUVENILE FILLIES TURF

3-Alice Springs

10-Illuminate

14-Last Waltz

8-Harmonize

Sticking with the Euros in this race. They just seem to do well here. The condition of the turf course will be a concern to some after rain most of the week but reports are that the inside is harder than the inside so you might see horses all over the place depending on what type of turf they prefer.

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Race 9: DISTAFF

1-I’m a Chatterbox

14-Sheer Drama

7-Wedding Toast

6-My Sweet Addiction

Boy, if Beholder was healthy and running in this race she would be 1-9. She’s not so let’s go with an up and coming 3-year-old filly facing older for the first time in I’M A CHATTERBOX. Larry Jones is a great trainer and will have her ready.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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