Churchill Downs: How to bet the late Pick 4 on June 6

June 6th, 2020

The Dogwood (G3) and Aristides S. are Saturday's feature events at Churchill Downs, and these two classy sprints comprise half of a competitive Pick 4, which has the potential to produce a big payoff.

Let’s tackle the sequence on a $60 budget and aim for a lucrative reward.

Race 8: Aristides S. (4:46 p.m. ET)

#6 Volatile (2-1) has won three of his four starts for trainer Steve Asmussen and figures to be a force in his stakes debut. On April 24, the 4-year-old son of Violence returned from a layoff in a 6-furlong allowance at Oaklawn Park, which he dominated by 7 1/2 lengths in the scintillating time of 1:08.48.

Volatile’s performance was particularly impressive, because he survived an intense early duel for the lead (involving fractions of :21.65 and :44.82) to post a 107 Brisnet Speed rating.

Outside posts have an edge in dirt sprints at Churchill, so Volatile is drawn perfectly with Asmussen’s go-to jockey Ricardo Santana in the saddle.

We won’t get creative here. We’ll single Volatile to kick off the Pick 4.

Race 9: Allowance (5:18 p.m. ET)

There aren’t any clear standouts in this 5 1/2-furlong turf dash, and with rain in the forecast, there’s no telling how this competitive race might unfold.

#5 High Crime (7-2) warrants slight favoritism, after he finished third over this distance in a Saratoga allowance last summer, but he tired badly when he returned from a nin-month layoff in a dirt sprint at Churchill two weeks ago. That makes him tough to trust.

Pending scratches, 10 horses are expected to face the starter. We’ll hit the “ALL” button and hope to catch a longshot winner.

Race 10: Dogwood (G3, 5:50 p.m. ET)

#2 Four Graces (5-2) is undefeate in two starts at 7 furlongs, the distance of the Dogwood, and one of those victories came at Churchill Downs three weeks ago. The daughter of Majesticperfection employed pace-tracking tactics to draw off and win with a 97 Brisnet Speed rating, which is among the highest figures in Saturday’s field.

The only filly who has posted a higher number is #8 Edgeway (3-1), who threw down a 98 when she dominated her debut at Oaklawn by five lengths.

After she finished a game third over a sloppy track in the Purple Martin S., where she was beaten only by classy stakes winners Kimari and Frank’s Rockette, the speedy Edgeway showed a new dimension to rally from off the pace and comfortably claim a 6-furlong allowance at Oaklawn.

The Dogwood looks like a showdown between Four Graces and Edgeway, and we’ll use both fillies equally in our Pick 4.

Race 11: Maiden special weight (6:22 p.m. ET)

We’ll favor longshots in the finale, a 1 1/8-mile grass race for fillies and mares.

#5 Sharethegoodtimes (12-1) made a nice middle move in her debut for trainer Rodolphe Brisset, whose 22% success rate with second-time starters far exceeds his overall 12% win rate.

Improvement should be in the offing for Sharethegoodtimes and also #9 Speightful Charge (15-1), who will transition to turf after she weakened in her debut sprinting on the Churchill main track in September. She has been turning in fast workouts at Keeneland for trainer Philip Sims, a 25% winner with horses trying turf for the first time, and Churchill’s perennial leading jockey Corey Lanerie has the mount.

#1 Urbana (3-1), #3 Sport’n Forty (9-2), #7 Golden Loch (6-1), and #8 Queen Medb (7-2) are the others we’ll use to complete this competitive sequence:

Race 8: 50-cent Pick 4 — 6 with ALL with 2,8 with 1,3,5,7,8,9 ($60)

Good luck!