This is updated to reflect scratches.
Race 1 – 1. Control Stake, 2. Curate, 3. Mr. Crow. Comment: Control Stake drops from stakes company for this one.
Race 2 – 1. American Anthem, 2. King Zachary, 3. General Downs. Comment: Trainer Bob Baffert is strong entering off the layoff. King Zachary is in his first start for Graham Motion and is two for three at Churchill Downs.
Race 3 – 1. Palmer’s Way, 2. Surooj, 3. Young Phillip. Comment: Palmer’s Way can improve in second start.
Race 4 – 1. Mischievous Bird, 2. Hidden Scroll, 3. High Crime. Comment: If it’s rained by the noon post for this race, Mischievous Bird’s Birdstone pedigree can shine in the slop at a price.
Race 5 – 1. Gold Standard, 2. Silver Kitten, 3. Zurlin. Comment: An extra sixteenth of a mile should help Gold Standard.
Race 6 |Grade I Humana Distaff | 7 furlongs
1. Amy’s Challenge
2. Marley’s Freedom
3. Spiced Perfection
Comment: This is a super tough edition of the Distaff. Amy’s Challenge is working well and gets the slightest of edge’s here over Marley’s Freedom, but this is a race to use several if betting multi-race exotics..
Race 7 | Grade II Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes | 1 mile turf
3. Proctor’s Ledge
4. Capla Temptress
Comment: In her third domestic start for turf-master trainer Chad Brown, Precieuse looks like the one to beat. Stablemate Environs boasts a similar resume and is a must-use in exotics (at a better price than her stablemate). Proctor’s ledge won this a year ago.
Race 8 | Grade I Churchill Downs Stakes | 7 furlongs
2. Bobby’s Wicked One
4. Promises Fulfilled
Comment: Another wide-open race for multi-race bettors. Mitole is consistently fast and has a five-race win streak. Bobby’s Wicked One comes off a Grade 3 win. Whitmore was fourth in this race last year.
Race 9 | Grade II American Turf Stakes | 1 1/16 miles turf
1. A Thread of Blue
2. Casa Creed
3. Digital Age
4. Seismic Wave
Comment: A Thread of Blue has a three-race win streak. Casa Creed was second to A Thread of Blue in their most recent start. Digital Age is undefeated in two starts and still has upside in his third start.
Race 10 |Grade III Pat Day Mile Stakes | 1 mile
2. Last Judgment
3. Manny Wah
4. Hog Creek Hustle
Comment: Instagrand is a possible single in multi-race bets, after third-place finishes in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby and Grade 3 Gotham Stakes. Last Judgment steps up in class, but looks appealing. Manny Wah had a rough trip in the Grade 2 Remsen and can improve with a better trip.
Race 11 | Grade I Old Forester Turf Classic Stakes | 1 1/8 miles turf
1. Bricks and Mortar
3. Raging Bull
Comment: America’s best turf trainer Chad Brown is loaded for this one, but Bricks and Mortar looks to be the best of that bunch on a three-race win streak, including the Pegasus World Cup turf at Gulfstream Park. Ticonderoga is taking the biggest step up in class of the three Brown horses, but gets Javier Castellano and you’ve got to assume Brown knows what he’s doing. Raging Bull has won at this level and wouldn’t surprise.
Race 12 | Grade I Kentucky Derby | 1 1/4 miles
Picks and analysis here.
Race 13 – 1. Bandon Woods, 2. Hoffa’s Union, 3. Tapit Wise. Comment: Bandon Woods broke his maiden in the slop, which may come in handy Saturday.
Race 14 – 1. Ranger Up, 2. Rotation, 3. Tony Small. Comment: Ranger Up gets the edge if he can race up front on a sloppy track. Rotation finished second last out in the slop as well.