Racing resumes at Churchill Downs Thursday with a 10-race program.

Here are three plays for May 21:

Looking forward to betting: #6 Overzealous in race 6. He ran so well at Churchill Downs last fall, posting a four-length win and a second to a next-out stakes winner, and Overzealous carried his form to Fair Grounds over the winter. Chris Hartman could have sent him to Oaklawn, but wisely freshened the gelding up for Churchill. Hartman got off to a fast start last spring, winning 3-of-9 starts under the Twin Spires, and Overzealous should be poised to strike from just off the pace turning for home. He’s listed at 7-2 in the 12-horse field.

Favorite I’m against: #12 Drop Dead Gorgeous in race 3. Listed as the 3-1 choice, she drops in class for top connections (Steve Asmussen/Ricardo Santana Jr.), but I will try to beat Drop Dead Gorgeous. Winless from 14 attempts, the filly coughed up the lead in the stretch when finishing second at Oaklawn most recently, and she did not run well when unplaced in a pair of Churchill starts last fall.

Best longshot: #12 Grade in race 5. Eligible to receive a good trip with his tactical speed, Grade fit at this level before his form declined last fall. Easy to appreciate the improvement he displayed earlier this season, recording a pair of thirds before a convincing win most recently over the Polytrack at Turfway, and the gelding has run well off a freshening previously. The morning line favorite could prove vulnerable after an all-out win at Oaklawn Park, and Grade merits consideration for a top three finish at long odds (12-1 m/l).


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