Every race drew at least 10 horses on Sunday’s 10-race card at Churchill Downs, including seven with also-eligible runners, and I provide some thoughts below.
Here are three recommendations for May 24:
Look forward to betting: #8 Backshot (4-1 morning line) in race 7. Several runners will take action in the 12-horse maiden, and Backshot exits a sharp head second to Ragtime Blues, a promising 3-year-old for Bob Baffert. Backshot made his first start for Bob Baffert last summer, finishing fifth to subsequent Grade 1 runner-up American Theorem, and the chestnut was transferred to Peter Miller this year. A $350,000 2-year-old purchase by Tapiture, Backshot exits a fast race in his comebacker, registering triple-digit early pace numbers before posting a field-best 95 Brisnet Speed rating, and I expect to see him graduate in this spot.
Favorite I’m against: #2 Check Six (7-2) in race 1. Drops in class and adds blinkers following a pair of dull efforts at Oaklawn. Check Six has lacked the early zip she once possessed and with speed to her immediate outside in the starting gate, the California-bred mare could have difficulty working out a favorable trip from her inside post.
Live Longshot: #8 Charge the Line (8-1) in race 10. Gelding exits a pair of encouraging efforts at Fair Grounds, snapping a nine-race losing skein with a convincing front-running tally and finishing a good second last out, and Greg Foley knows how to prepare in-form horses for Churchill Downs. Charge the Line reunites with Declan Carroll, who was up for the last win, and will be forward from his outside post. He could prove dangerous on the front end.
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