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Papa Dudes Free Picks for Churchill Downs 6/18/21
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Papa Dudes Free Picks for Churchill Downs 6/18/21

Here we are in the middle of June and in Missouri the weather is like the middle of August. We have gone from rain and 60’s to sunny and hot in the 90’s in about a week. And the racing is heating up as well. Not only that, the NBA Playoffs are in full swing and the NHL is getting close to the last 2 teams that will settle the Stanley Cup for 2021. So, let’s get started and see what winners we can find for Friday.

Race 1: Maiden Claiming

My Picks: 1,5,2 (Confidence Level 2.5 out of 5)

Race 2: Maiden

My Picks: 3,8,2 (Conference Level 3 out of 5)

Race 3: Maiden

My Picks: 7,10,13 (Confidence Level 1 out of 5)

Race 4: Claiming

My Picks: 5,4,1 (Confidence Level 2 out of 5)

Race 5: Claiming **Papa Dude Best Bet**

My Picks: 2,7,4 I like #2 Exemplar who is trained by Steve Asmussen and dropping from the allowance level to a low claiming race. He has run pretty good at the higher levels and would be a logical choice here. The worry is (and it is legit) that Asmussen is dropping him hoping he might be claimed. I’m betting on he is wanting a victory and if he gets claimed so be it.

The Bet: $20 to Win on #2 (Confidence Level 3.5 out of 5)

Race 6: Claiming

My Picks: 4,2,7 (Confidence Level 2.5 out of 5)

Race 7: Starter Allowance

My Picks: 1,2,5 (Confidence Level 2.5 out of 5)

Race 8: Allowance **Papa Dude Best Bet**

My Picks 1,4,10 Steve Asmussen sends out #1 Sonneman in this allowance race. He has run in 5 straight stakes races and has a couple of seconds and hasn’t finished below 5th. There should be plenty of speed and he has shown the ability to close very well. If the race sets up for him, he should come running at the end.

The Bet: $20 to Win on #1 (Confidence Level 3.5 out of 5)

Race 9: Allowance **Papa Dude Best Bet**

My Picks: 4,9,6. My pick is #4 News Break trained by Mike Maker. He has 2 firsts and two thirds in his 4 starts so far in 2020. He finished third in a similar race at Churchill losing by only a length and a half. He should grab the lead and if he can hold on, he has an excellent chance to win.

The Bet: $10 Across the Board on #4

Papa Dude Best Sports Plays of the Day

In the NHL we have one semifinal game tonight and it is a pivotal one.

Vegas at Montreal

After a convincing 4-1 victory in Game 1, I think most hockey experts thought that the Knights were going to have an easy time with the Cinderella Canadiens. But, Montreal stepped up in Game 2 and stung Vegas with a 3-2 win before a raucous crowd in Sin City. So, now we have a series and Game 3 and 4 are in Canada where the crowds are going to be wild and an upset could happen. We have to decide if Game 2 was a fluke and Vegas overlooked the underdog Canadiens or did Montreal find the key to stopping the offensive attack of the Knights. The facts are Vegas is much better than Montreal but the Canadiens have a hot goalie in Carey Price which is the big equalizer. I’m rooting my butt off for Montreal but my brain says take the Golden Knights.

My Pick: Vegas (Confidence Level 3 out of 5)

On this Friday night we have two possible elimination games on tap and both will be upsets.

Philadelphia at Atlanta

On Wednesday night, Philly led by 22 points at halftime and 18 going into the fourth quarter, only to see the young and tenacious Hawks score 40 in the 4th quarter and win by 3. I had already marked down a victory for the Sixers and was shocked when I saw they had blown the game. So, they now face an elimination game tonight in Atlanta and must regroup in a hurry if they want to stay alive. Logic would seem to say that the Hawks have all the momentum and the Sixers will be demoralized after that loss in Game 5. But, sports are different and I’m expecting a huge effort tonight. The oddsmakers have them as a 2-point favorite but I’m becoming a Hawks believer led by the sensational Trae Young.

My Pick: Atlanta +2 (Confidence Level 3 out of 5)

Utah at Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers have won 3 straight since losing the first two games in this series to the Jazz. They are proving their mettle and toughness and have a chance to bury a lot of playoff demons with a win tonight which will propel them into the finals against the Suns. They are playing very well and have all the momentum in this series and Utah is struggling again in the playoffs after having a great regular season. But, it was just announced that Kawhi Leonard will not play in Game 6 for the Clippers.That will make the difference for Utah.

My Pick: Utah -2 (Confidence Level 3 out of 5)

Good luck everyone and let’s hope we have hit some winners.

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