Even though the Ogden Phipps (G1) was a short field, there was plenty of excitement from start to finish.
The Early Pick 5 is highlighted by one single in race 4, that we need to get home and close out the weekend.
Best of luck!
Race 1: $30k Maiden Claiming for 3-year-olds and upward going 1 1/16 miles (8 1/2 furlongs) on the dirt
#6 Road Home drops down to the maiden claiming ranks for Bill Mott, who’s 25% at that angle. With two seconds and two thirds in his career, he deserves to be the favorite and should enjoy the extra 1/2 of a furlong. #7 Judicial Restraint was the rare Chad Brown trainee at 20/1 when he debuted against maiden special weight rivals, running fifth. He gets Javier Castellano aboard and should figure to do better with the class drop. #9 Cause I Said So takes another class drop for trainer Michelle Nevin, who’s gotten off to a good start at the meet (19-3-3-2). At 8/1, he has value in a relatively weak field.
Race 2: $16k Claiming for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward going 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt
I felt several horses were logical here, but the one that caught my attention the most is #10 Miss Jak. Rob Atras is one of the better claiming trainers, winning at 27% in the last 365 days, and though he’s yet to find the winner’s circle this meet, his barn is due to bounce back. Miss Jak has faced better than what she sees here and her past performances would win this race. Other runners who I am using are #1 Cold Hearted Pearl, #2 Radiantrithym, #3 Distinctive Lady, and #4 Friend of Liberty.
Race 3: Allowance for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles (8 1/2 furlongs) on the inner turf
My top choice is #5 Cat’s Pajamas, who looked like a completely different horse when she hit the Churchill Downs turf on May 17. John Velazquez rides for the second straight time, and while she beat a questionable field, she is trending in the right direction. Other runners who I am using are #1 Linny Kate, #3 Lashara, #6 Logic N Reason, and #7 Stolen Holiday.
Race 4: $40k Maiden Claiming for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward going 1 mile (8 furlongs) on the outer turf
In #4 Ocean Fire‘s lone start at the maiden claiming level , she was boxed in along the rail and couldn’t find space. She was well deserving of an excuse that day and is the horse to beat as she makes her first start for new trainer John Kimmel, who has a 10-1-3-2 record at the meet.
Race 5: $16k Claiming for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward going 6 furlongs on the dirt
#7 Elegant Rose is a pure speedball out of the gate and gets 5-pound bug boy Romero Maragh, who’s good with front runners. She will be tough to beat if she gets away from this field early. #9 Enough Love will try to make it two in a row and gets a jockey upgrade to Luis Saez, who is riding Sunday’s card after serving his suspension from last year’s Kentucky Derby (G1). #11 Queendom has been overmatched since she broke her maiden last April and belongs in the claiming ranks. Her closing style should play well against the pace setup.
$.50 PICK 5 (Races 1-5) 6,7,9 / 1,2,3,4,10 / 1,3,5,6,7, / 4 / 7,9,11 – $112.50