The Jury: Expert Picks, Bets and Fades for June 15 [Video]

June 13th, 2024

Racing analysts James Scully, Ashley Anderson, Darin Zoccali, and Nick Tammaro debate their best bets and fades at Churchill Downs, Belmont at Aqueduct, Monmouth, and more. Ashley and James provide their thoughts in the written portion below. Be sure to check out Darin and Nick's opinions in our on-camera portion as well!

Best Bet for Weekend Racing

James Scully:

#2 Webslinger (4-1) in the Chorleywood Overnight S. at Churchill Downs Saturday. After an excellent neck second in December’s Hollywood Derby (G1), Webslinger disappointed in his first two starts this year, recording a sixth in the Pegasus World Cup (G1) and a non-threatening third in the Muniz Memorial Classic (G2), but he didn’t experience clean trips in either setback. Webslinger finally got back on course in the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) on the Kentucky Derby undercard, offering a strong turn of foot to offer a serious challenge in the stretch before coming up a little short against a pair of quality rivals, and the Mark Casse-trained gelding will receive class relief in the Chorleywood. Webslinger ran well at longer distances last year, and I will look for his return to the winner’s circle on Saturday.

Ashley Anderson:

#8 Shidabhuti (6-1) in the Bed o' Roses (G2), Race 10 at Belmont at the Big A. The four-year-old Chad Brown trainee will look to rebound off a 5 1/2-length third in the one-mile Ruffian (G2), in which the runner-up came back to win the Ogden Phipps (G1) last weekend. Shidabhuti will cut back slightly in distance today and won two back when sprinting seven furlongs in the Distaff (G3) at Aqueduct. The Practical Joke filly is 3-for-5 with a pair of third-place finishes for her career at this track, and her 99 Brisnet Speed figure last out is the highest last race speed rating among the field. The late runner has also posted triple-digit Brisnet Late Pace figures in her last two, and she'll keep regular rider Dylan Davis, a 21% winner with sprints.

Top Fade for Weekend Racing


#1 Generous Lover (2-1) in the ninth race at Churchill Downs Saturday. Filly switched from turf to dirt and captured a questionable $50,000 claiming event for non-winners of two races lifetime on Kentucky Derby week, seizing control when a pair of early runners gave way on the far turn, and horses exiting the suspect six-furlong race are winless from four starts so far. That may prove to be a negative key race, and I want no part of Generous Lover stretching from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles.


#6 Bold Act (3-1) in Race 7, the Chorleywood Overnight S. at Churchill on Saturday. The four-year-old gelding has failed as the favorite in his last two since shipping to the U.S., and he'll cut back slightly in distance today after racing at 1 1/2 miles. Last out, the Charlie Appleby pupil finished fourth to today's race rival Sugoi in the Louisville S. (G3) at Churchill, and he may get a similar pace setup today, with Sugoi likely to get the early lead. The seven-year-old got away with setting slow fractions in the Louisville, and he may get the same trip here. #9 Winning Spirit (12-1) might go for the early lead as well and is a bit of a dark horse in his first start for Christophe Clement while making his U.S. debut off a nine-month layoff.

What Else Is Worth Noting


Less than three weeks remain in the Churchill Downs spring meet and it promises to be an exciting race for leading jockey, with Tyler Gaffalione and Jose Ortiz tied atop the standings with 27 wins. Gaffalione is seeking his 12th riding title under the Twin Spires. Ortiz, who earned the Eclipse Award for leading jockey in 2017, is riding his first full-time meet at Churchill. In the trainers' race, Steve Asmussen is poised to earn his 28th title at Churchill Downs, leading second-place Brad Cox by six wins. Cox is enjoying another solid meet at his home base, and his stable has won four of eight starts during the Belmont at Aqueduct meet.

I’ll also mention our coverage of Royal Ascot next week. The five-day session begins Tuesday, Kellie Reilly is already working on features for Twin Spires. She’ll cover top contenders, U.S. shippers, and more, and we will have daily selections for all the stakes action from Kellie and Vance Hanson. Along with being the best ADW site to bet, TwinSpires will have terrific editorial coverage and free international pps for our players!


Churchill's other stakes race on Saturday night is the 1 1/16-mile Monomoy Girl Overnight S. for three-year-old fillies. The small field of six drew Kentucky Oaks (G1) also-ran #2 Our Pretty Woman (7-5), the morning line favorite in the event, plus a few other runners previously on the Kentucky Oaks trail — #4 Band of Gold (9-2) and #6 Intricate (8-5). Our Pretty Woman began her career on a two-win streak and was a good second to Tarifa in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) in her stakes debut before finishing far back in 11th in the Kentucky Oaks on May 3. She's dropping in class today and may improve at the shorter distance, but I see an opportunity for an upset here. Intricate's best win came at Churchill when she romped to a 5 1/4-length victory in the Golden Rod (G2) last November, and she can rally late for the win as one of the few closer types in the field. I'm also intrigued by #3 Lucky Speech (12-1), who could get the early lead here. The Audible filly posted triple-digit E1 and E2 Speed figures last out when sitting right off the early pace before she took over to win by 7 3/4 lengths in a maiden special weight over a sloppy Churchill track. The Joe Sharp trainee is moving up in class today and had a sharp four-furlong workout at Churchill on June 7.