Friday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: Churchill’s $8,672 Super High 5 carryover

June 28th, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for Friday, June 28 at Churchill Downs and Gulfstream Park, including a horse to emphasize in Churchill’s $8,672 Super High 5 carryover.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • 10x Points on Harness Racing: Receive 10x reward points on all harness racing wagers (excluding show bets) on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
  • Churchill Downs Selected Races $10 Money Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in selected races at Churchill Downs every Friday through Sunday.
  • Hastings Racecourse $10 Money Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second in any eligible race at Hastings Racecourse each racing day in June.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Churchill Downs: Race 4: Maiden Special Weight (five furlongs on dirt, 2:14 p.m. ET)

Trainer John Hancock wins at a respectable 14% rate with horses debuting in maiden special weights, so let’s bet Hancock’s unraced juvenile filly #1 Statler Inn (6-1) if her morning line odds hold up.

A daughter of speedy sprinter/miler Catalina Cruiser, Statler Inn has posted a couple of bullet workouts at Ellis Park, including half a mile over a muddy track in :49 3/5. Perhaps she can work out a ground-saving trip while breaking from post 1 under Corey Lanerie, a skilled rail rider.


  • #1 Statler Inn (6-1)
  • #7 Delicate (4-1)
  • #9 La Bukana (9-2)


  • $20 to win on #1 Statler Inn

Churchill Downs: Race 5: $50,000 Starter Allowance (6 1/2 furlongs on dirt, 2:46 p.m. ET)

#8 Harrodsburg (5-2), third in the Dwyer (G3) last year, is 2-for-2 this year. At Keeneland, he won a seven-furlong $80,000 claimer for non-winners of two races, leading all the way to dominate by 5 1/2 lengths. Then he cut back to six furlongs and employed pace-pressing tactics to win a $50,000 claimer at Churchill Downs by a head.

Harrodsburg’s hot streak is appealing as he tackles a $50,000 starter allowance under hot jockey Florent Geroux. A win bet is in order.


  • #8 Harrodsburg (5-2)
  • #2 Chance (7-2)
  • #7 Mauna Kea Bound (8-1)


  • $20 to win on #8 Harrodsburg

Gulfstream Park: Race 7: $16,000 starter optional claiming (one mile on dirt, 3:59 p.m. ET)

#3 Proverb (4-5) has been in red-hot form for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. The eight-year-old veteran has won three straight $16,000 starter optional claimers at Gulfstream by daylight margins, earning sharp Brisnet Speed ratings of 95, 88, and 86.

Under regular rider Edgard Zayas (a 45% winner teaming up with Joseph over the last two months), Proverb looks tough to beat, especially while sticking to the same class level as his recent victories. #4 Super Curioso (3-1), runner-up to Proverb over this track, distance, and class level on April 18, can complete the exacta again on Friday.


  • #3 Proverb (4-5)
  • #4 Super Curioso (3-1)
  • #7 Rare Jewel (10-1)


  • $20 Exacta: 3 with 4

Carryover Watch

Churchill Downs: Race 1: $8,672 Super High 5 carryover (12:45 p.m. ET)

Do you have what it takes to select the top five finishers in Friday’s first race at Churchill Downs? If so, you can win a share of an $8,672 Super High 5 carryover.

Race 1 is a $32,000 claimer for older horses sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs over the main track. The eight-horse field is tricky to analyze, but Brisnet Speed ratings suggest #5 G T Five Hundred (7-2) is the runner to beat.

Since winning a $30,000 claimer sprinting six furlongs on Tapeta at Turfway back in January, for which he earned an 87 Brisnet Speed rating, G T Five Hundred has been in sharp form on dirt. At Oaklawn Park, he finished third and fourth in a pair of six-furlong $50,000 starter allowances, earning Speed ratings of 86 and 90. He then regressed in a $50,000 starter allowance traveling 6 1/2 furlongs at Churchill Downs, finishing fifth with an 81 Speed rating. But he bounced back nicely in his most recently start, leading all the way to win a six-furlong $20,000 claimer at Churchill with a 91 Speed rating.

G T Five Hundred was claimed out of that contest by Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, a 22% winner at Churchill Downs this meet and a 17% winner with new claiming acquisitions. Jumping up in class for a $32,000 claimer is an obstacle, and it might be the reason why G T Five Hundred is the second choice on the morning line behind #1 Cathedral Beach (5-2), who is dropping in class out of Oaklawn allowances and a $50,000 starter allowance at Churchill.

But you know what? Cathedral Beach isn’t as fast as G T Five Hundred on the Brisnet Speed rating scale. His last four numbers are 88, 86, 85, and 82—respectable, but not as sharp as G T Five Hundred’s two 90+ ratings. Furthermore, Cathedral Beach finished well behind G T Five Hundred when they met in a $50,000 starter allowance at Oaklawn during the winter; G T Five Hundred ran third that day while Cathedral Beach finished sixth.

In short, G T Five Hundred looms as the most likely winner in Race 1. He’s definitely a horse to play on top in the Super High 5, and perhaps in second position as backup.

Good luck!