Churchill Downs: Analyzing the $5,647 Super High 5 carryover

May 11th, 2024

The $1 Super High 5 at Churchill Downs went unsolved in the final race on Friday, triggering a $5,647 carryover into the first race on Saturday.

The card gets underway at 12:45 p.m. ET, and the opener is a $20,000 maiden claimer for three-year-olds and older horses dashing six furlongs on dirt. A nine-horse field has turned out, so there are 15,120 possible Super High 5 outcomes to analyze.

The fastest entrant from a Brisnet Speed rating perspective is #1 Cloud Without Rein (3-1). Whereas none of the other runners have posted a Brisnet Speed rating higher than 79, Cloud Without Rein threw down an 86 when finishing a pacesetting second in a $25,000-$20,000 maiden claimer sprinting six furlongs at Oaklawn Park last time out.

It’s hard to say if Cloud Without Rein can repeat that lofty number, since he failed to post a number higher than 72 in 2023 or in his first run of 2024. On the bright side, Cloud Without Rein had been competing against maiden special weight and $50,000 maiden claiming competition, so perhaps he found the $25,000-$20,000 level more manageable and improved as a result. Still, Cloud Without Rein is 0-for-18 lifetime, and he doesn’t appear unbeatable against Saturday’s field

A couple of horses offering better prices on the morning line have upset potential. #3 Wild West Justice (6-1), for example, has only run once, fading from midfield to finish last of eight in the five-furlong Hickory Tree S. at Colonial Downs last summer. But trainer Caio Caramori wins at a lofty 25% rate with horses returning from layoffs of 90 days or more, and Wild West Justice is adding Lasix, so there are reasons to believe he can move forward on Saturday.

The same goes for #4 Munyhungry (10-1), who shoed pace-tracking speed in his debut sprinting seven furlongs against $30,000 maiden claiming competition at Churchill Downs last November. Munyhungry faded to finish last of nine that day and hasn’t run since, but he’s posted sharp workouts in preparation for his return and is adding Lasix, opening the door for major improvement at double-digit odds.

We also have to highlight #5 Air Force Cruising (5-2) as a key contender. He earned lofty Brisnet E1 and E2 Pace ratings of 103 and 105 when dueling for the lead in his debut sprinting about 5 1/2 furlongs on turf against maiden special weight company at Fair Grounds. He stayed on reasonably well down the lane to finish fifth out of nine with a 79 Brisnet Speed rating, so dropping in class for a $20,000 maiden claimer may put Air Force Cruising in the hunt for victory.

We’ll round out our recommendations with #8 Runaway Joke (4-1), who has cracked the trifecta a couple of times in maiden special weights on dirt and turf at Fair Grounds. A quartet of Brisnet Speed raings in the 71-73 range suggest Runaway Joke is a strong threat to finish in the top three or four while dropping into a $20,000 maiden claimer.

By mixing and matching these five horses in varying combinations (while opposing Cloud Without Rein for the top spot), we should have every chance to assemble a winning Super High 5 ticket.

Good luck!