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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Churchill Downs, Horse racing

RACE 6 (Grade I Humana Distaff): 1. #3 Mines and Magic (15-1), 2. #5 Finest City (8-5), 3. #6 Lightstream (5-1). Long shot: #1 Super Humor (20-1).

Mines and Magic is a perfect 3-for-3 on the surface, but has never run on a wet track. Finest City is coming off a loss to Vale Dori at Santa Anita.

Race 7 (Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile): 1. #6 Roca Rojo (3-1), 2. #4 Believe in Bertie (6-1), 3. #2 Miss Temple City (9-5). Long shot: #8 Prize Exhibit (12-1).

Roca Rojo almost won the Matriarch at Del Mar but lose by a nose to Miss Temple City. Time to turn the tables.

Race 8 (Grade III Pat Day Mile): 1. #4 Uncontested (5-1), 2. #5 No Dozing (5-1), 3. #8 Wild Shot (4-1). Long shot: #11) Sonic Mule (10-1).

If there is a big race, I want jockey Mike Smith aboard and he rides this 3-year-old for the first time here.

Race 9 (Grade II American Turf): 1. #10 Good Samaritan (5-1), 2. #9 Made You Look (6-1), 3. #2 Big Score (6-1). Long shot: #6 Arklow (12-1).

How much of a bog will the turf course be by the time of this race? Good Samaritan finished third in the BC Juvenile Turf and four next out winners have been produced from that race.

Race 10 (Grade II Churchill Downs): 1. #8 El Kabeir (6-1), 2. #1 Awesome Slew (4-1), 3. #12 Denman’s Call (8-1). Long shot: #3 Schivarelli (20-1).

El Kabeir is coming out of a key race at Gulfstream where the first three runners have all come back to win.

Race 11 (Grade I Woodword Reserve Turf Classic): 1. #4 Conquest Panthera (8-1), 2. #6 Bal a Bali (6-1), 3. Divisidero (4-1). LONG SHOT: #3 Oscar Nominated (15-1).

RACE 12 (Grade I Kentucky Derby): 1. #12 Sonneteer (50-1), 2. #8 Hence (15-1), 3. #18 Gormley (15-1), 4. #19 Practical Joke (20-1). Long shot: #9 Irap (20-1).
The Derby preps this year have been confounding to say the least and what kind of track there will be today just adds another hard factor to handicap. So in a wide open year why not go with a long shot? Sonneteer is still a maiden, but maybe the richest maiden in the country. His two come-from-behind runs at Oaklawn Park just might set him up for today’s 1 1/4-mile race. I know this much Keith Desormeaux knows how to train and his horses love the mud. Jockey Kent Desormeaux will have to give a way better ride than he did last time in the Arkansas Derby. I thought he waited too long. Hence comes out of the Sunland Derby, which has proven to be a productive race. Florent Geroux can ride and I know Steve Asmussen can train. Gormley is the best in the West and Practical Joke maybe a “wise guy” horse.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

 

Churchill Downs opinions for Saturday, May 6 (Kentucky Derby Day)

Aside
Horse racing

Churchill Downs opinions for Wednesday, Nov. 23

Preview: There is a rollover of $139,275 in the Single Six wager and there is also rain in the forecast so don’t expect the turf races to stay on the green.

Race 6: #8 Teenertown Prince (6-1)
This 3-year-old drops to his lowest level ever and comes out of a key race that has produced three next out winners. Trainer Forest Kaelin is 29% with horses off a 46- to 90-day layoff and he gets Calvin Borel to ride. The sire Speightstown gets 21% winners on a wet track.

Race 9: #12 Takeittotheedge (8-1)
Our Eyes: This 3-year-old is making his second race start off the layoff and look who he lost to in some of his past races: Cupid, Forevamo and Nyquist. Trainer Dale Romans is 23% with beaten favorites. Faces several he lost to in return and could like the mud as sire Broken Vow is 18% on off-tracks.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar selections for Saturday, Aug. 13

Preview: Several riders, including leading jockey Flavien Prat. It could be a big day for jockey Rafael Bejarano, who has missed several weekend days to ride for trainer Bob Baffert.

Well, couldn’t catch a break Friday as in almost all the dirt races we had the lead at the head of the stretch, but the horses went backwards from there. You have to remember the track gets worked on Fridays after mornings workouts. According to several people, the track was playing slow and deep on the card.

Hope for better results today.

Race 1: 1. Mr T Bird, 2. Tattenham, 3. On Draft. LONG SHOT: Yes Yes Yes.

Race 2: 1. Very Hot, 2. Decoded, 3. Dixie Chick Rocks. LONG SHOT: Lofty Cause.

Race 3: 1. Buymeabond, 2. Horizontalyspeakin, 3. Te Rapa. LONG SHOT: Unusual Taste.

Race 4: 1. Amodei, 2. Six Point Rack, 3. Upstaging the Cast. LONG SHOT: Burnt Cognac.

Race 5: 1. Seve’s Road, 2. Crown the Kitten, 3. China Girl Lover. LONG SHOT: Infobedad.

Race 6: 1. Weirdhaircut Seth, 2. King’s To You, 3. Dream It Do It. LONG SHOT: It’s Just Bob.

Race 7: 1. #3 Budokan (8-1), 2. Big Gray Rocket, 3. Gemstorm. LONG SHOT: Cut.

This first-time starter from the Jerry Hollendorfer barn has a couple of good works over the track and it isn’t often you get a price like this on The Dorf. The sire Hard Spun is 10% first time out and Hollendorfer is 28% first time out.

Race 8: 1. Klimt, 2. Big League, 3. Thirstforlife. LONG SHOT: Rinse and Repeat.

Race 9: 1. #11 Ashley’s Sassy (5-1) BEST BET, 2. Brainspin, 3. Fantasy of Luck. LONG SHOT: Be a Lady.

Jockey Rafael Bejarano had a choice of four horses in this race and chooses this Peter Eurton-trained filly. She has a couple of good works coming into the race and Eurton is 24% with horses off a 61 to 180-day layoff and he’s 26% with Bejarano.

Race 10: 1. #7 Brooks House (6-1), 2. Onzaway, 3. Georgia Blue. LONG SHOT: Exuberante.

This filly had all kinds of trouble in her last at Churchill Downs and now trainer Victoria Oliver, who is 2-1-1-0 at the meet, ships her west. Jockey Drayden Van Dyke, who won for Oliver earlier in the meet, gets on.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Churchill Downs, Horse racing

Churchill Downs opinions for Saturday, May 7

Kentucky Derby selections
#13. Nyquist
#11. Exaggerator
#9. Destin
#6. My Man Sam
It took me a while to warm up to the undefeated Nyquist, also trained by O’Neill and ridden by Mario Gutierrez. I tried to beat him in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile because of his poor post draw, but I did have him in my West Coast trifecta that finished 1-2-4. It was that race that turned me around. Once he got the lead, he won’t let you go past him. It’s been the same in his 2016 races. Go back and look at the replays. Exaggerator had dead aim on him in February and Nyquist wouldn’t let him by. Believe me, the Desormeaux brothers (trainer Keith and jockey Kent) were more than happy to see Nyquist go to the Florida Derby, where he beat the best in the East to collect a $1 million bonus. Meanwhile, Exaggerator stayed in Arcadia and turned in an impressive turn of foot in the sloppy Santa Anita Derby win. Destin is coming out of win in the Tampa Bay Derby, which has produced three next out winners, while My Man Sam has some closing ability. My real LONG SHOT is the maiden Trojan Nation. I don’t know if he can win, but I think he can shake up the exotics.

Race 3: #10 Jimbo Fallon (4-1): This colt is coming off a 13-month layoff, but word is that he has been the workout mate for Mor Spirit, who runs later on the card in the Derby, and by the looks of the works JF has been holding his own. Another positive is he’s a 4-year-old running against a lot of 3-year-olds.

Race 8: #9 Birdatthewire (5-1: Dale Romans is back training this filly and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith is back in the saddle. Smith has won her before at 7 furlongs, just like today. Her wins all show one thing: a long sustained run from the back and we expect the same here.

Race 10: #2 Ralis (10-1): The colt hasn’t had the same success he had as a 2-year-old, but he has been working out with likely Derby favorite Nyquist in Kentucky. Trainer Doug O’Neill tries to get him to focus by adding blinkers and jockey Mario Gutierrez is reunited with him.

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Churchill Downs, Horse racing

Churchill Downs opinions for Friday, May 6

Race 7 – CD
#2 Jade Princess (8-1): Simple philosophy: If you lost to undefeated Songbird, it’s no disgrace and play next time without her in the same race. This 3-year-old filly comes out of the Santa Ysabel that Songbird won and two fillies came out of the race to win, including Land Over Sea. Trainer Bob Baffert knows Churchill Downs well and gets Victor Espinoza to ride.

Race 10 – CD
#3 Nodiac (15-1) (turf only): Trainer Phil D’Amato has shipped a string from SoCal to Kentucky this spring and is spreading his wings. This filly finished third over a yielding course and now gets the services of jockey Flavien Prat, who is 32 with D’Amato and one of the top turf riders in SoCal.

Kentucky Oaks selections
1. #13 Land Over Sea
2. #6 Mokat
3. #3 Lewis Bay
4. #2 Weep No More
Like I said before if you lost to Songbird you go to the head of the class. LAND OVER SEA lost so many times Doug O’Neill decided to go to the Fair Grounds to win a race. MOKAT finished second to Songbird in the Santa Anita Oaks in the mud.

Race 13 – CD
#6 Kiss Limit (3-1): As we said trainer Phil D’Amato has come to the Blue Grass and he stepped up to claim this colt off Mike Maker for 50K. By virtue of a cheaper maiden claiming win, this 3-year-old gets to run in a starter allowance. D’Amato is 24% first off the claim and gets that man Flavien Prat (32%) to ride.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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