The 3rd Race at Churchill Downs on Thursday is a $30,000 claiming event at six furlongs on the main surface. Eight will vie chasing a $37,000 purse in a competitive sprint event, which commences the 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot. LASER LOOP (#4) (3-1) tired in the stretch going a route of ground against better last time out, but he lands in a very good spot on this evening to flip the script. The son of Smart Strike was a game winner two back against conditioned $50,000 foes when getting up by a nose in a determined showing at Keeneland. Trained by Rusty Arnold, the four-year-old gelding has not been especially consistent to this stage of his development. But the Kentucky-bred has run well, locally, and he looms a big chance today with his top performance. The top selection will appreciate the class drop on Thursday and he also has a tactical edge on the major players in the field. Laser Loop figures to stalk the pace while never being too far back in a race where the early tempo will likely be a moderate one. Regular rider Corey Lanerie will be in the controls. JACKTASTIC (#5) (5-2) is in fine form and is the likely one to beat for Ian Wilkes. The gelded son of Mizzen Mast has gone very close while second-best in two straight, which includes a nose defeat here against similar. He is an obvious exotics inclusion. I will also put SAMBUCCA (#1) (12-1) underneath. The Jinks Fires charge will make his second start off the claim and looks to be the speed of a field which lacks an abundance of pace. He is dangerous cutting back from seven-eighths. My suggested play will be to put Laser Loop on top of Jacktastic and Sambucca.   (c) Coady Photography