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Ricky’s Rockets ?: Churchill Downs Picks for May 24, 2020
Credit: JennyPhoto

Ricky’s Rockets ?: Churchill Downs Picks for May 24, 2020

Saturday’s card really lived up to the hype. The Matt Winn (G3) was superb as expected answering plenty of questions. Racing fans enjoyed the other four stakes races as well. We were also able to cash in on the Pick 5 with an $84 ticket paying out $793.25! Sunday’s card is tougher than ever, and will have plenty of prices!

Best of luck!

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Race 1: Claiming $5,000 for fillies and mares 4-year-olds and upward going 1 mile (8 furlongs) on the dirt. Purse $17,000

#2 Check Six struggled mightily in the mud last time out at Oaklawn Park. She’s one of the better runners when on the lead, but she failed to reach it that day. She drops in class and should be tough to beat with a clean track. #4 Bonita Springs also likes to be on the front end and draws into a similar spot as when she nearly won last out at Turfway Park. Look for her to sit right off of the heels of Check Six and get first run.

Race 2: Maiden Claiming $10,000 for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward going 6 furlongs on the dirt. Purse $24,000

None of these runners appealed to me whatsoever, so I took half of the scheduled 12 to make the gate. My top choice is #9 Bizby. Speed is ruling at Churchill Downs and she’s shown the ability to get to the front end early. Though she makes her first start of 2020, her most recent 3-furlong workout suggests that she might be keyed up. I’ll take a shot at 8/1 on the morning-line. Other Runners: #1 Champagne Affair, #3 Coco Caballo, #6 Annoula, #7 It’s All Cash, #10 April Entry

Race 3: Claiming $40,000 for 3-year-olds and upward going 1 1/16 miles (8 1/2 furlongs) on the turf. Purse $38,000

#7 War Film makes his 2020 debut for a tag after running against much tougher graded stakes company. His class and recent Beyer speed figures are good enough to beat this group. Another runner returning to the track in 2020 is #11 Spanned. He had a two-race win streak at Gulfstream Park last year, and though he’s not the quickest in the field, he should be near the front end. His running style fits perfectly with jockey Jose Ortiz.

Race 4: Maiden Claiming $50,000 for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward going 7 furlongs on the dirt. Purse $35,000

#2 Miss Is Zippy has only been in for a tag one other time in her career, when she debuted last year over this course. Had she been running at this distance in her last few starts at Turfway Park, she might have won. The slight distance cutback is exactly what she’s looking for. #3 Spanish Peaks makes her debut for trainer Brad Cox and jockey Joel Rosario, who teamed up Thursday to win with Dean Martini. Cox excels in maiden claiming races (24% strike rate) and with Rosario aboard (26%). I expect #8 Strong Odor to take a major step forward in her second career start while getting more ground to cover, and trainer Mike Maker wins 41% with runners dropping from the maiden special weight to the maiden claiming level. #10 Mariposa d’Oro makes her 2020 debut after breaking sharply out of the gate and fading late in her last start where the second-place finisher, Bonny South, won the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) later on, so she has tremendous back class.

Race 5: Claiming $10,000 for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward going 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt. Purse $26,000

#1 Carina has a win and a second finish in two career starts at this distance. After running against allowance company in her last four starts, she should enjoy the class relief. #2 Bold Esther has been on artificial, dirt, and turf in her short nine-race career, but her best performances have come on dirt. She is the main speed in this group and could get away from the rest of the field early on. #11 Love My Honey has speed and fits in well with this group. Julian Leparoux will need to be smart and get her over as quickly as he can before making the turn.


$.50 PICK 5 (Races 1-5) 2,4 / 1,3,6,7,9,10 / 7,11 / 2,3,8,10 / 1,2,11 – $144

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