- Advertisement -
HomeHorse RacingChurchill DownsLouie's Look Ahead - Churchill Downs Sunday, 4 June

Louie’s Look Ahead – Churchill Downs Sunday, 4 June

- Advertisement -

Alright, it’s a Sunday edition of the look ahead.  

Today, we’ll look at the last four races at Churchill.


Churchill Race 7 – $125k Optional Claimer, $134k purse; 6.5 F dirt, 3YO

We’ll call this the “what might’ve been race,” a race with three Triple Crown-nominated horses, 2YO sensation Damon’s Mound, Lecomte alumnus Echo Again, and last year’s Sanford winner Mo Strike.  What might’ve been, indeed.

This is a race where many horses are shortening up in distance after failed attempts at becoming “classic horses,” where they can win races going two turns, 10 furlongs, etc.  Their best attempts are likely at shorter distances, and there’s no shame in being a great sprinter.

We watched Gunite win the Aristides yesterday.  Another sun of Gun Runner, 7 Echo Again, is in this one, and probably the fastest, most balanced runner in this field.  This means he can run a couple of different types of races – on the lead, stalking, perhaps even off the pace.  I think he’s the top play here.

In a group of horses who haven’t won in a long time, I think 6 Tumbarumba is a must-include here.  Two back and three back, he tries two turns at Gulfstream, and no dice- he’s up the track.  Comes back at Keeneland at 7 furlongs, and bam, winner.  I think the 6 ½ here will fit him well, and he knows the winner’s circle.

The 4 Mo Strike is 2-for-2 over dry dirt, and ran a valiant race in late April over the mud at Oaklawn.  Look for him to be involved, too.


Top Selections: 7, 6, 4


Churchill Race 8 – $80k Optional Claimer, $134k purse; 7.5 F dirt, 3+up

We’re going just under a mile here in race 8, and have a previous winner from a month ago over this path in this one – 2 Grey’s the Boy ran a terrific mile for his second win ever in nine lifetime starts.  Jockey Tyler Gaffalione stays aboard this one, who was an open length winner ahead of a fine colt in Angkor.  Trainer Greg Foley is 15% back-to-back, and I think this one will do just that at 7/2.

This will be the shortest race 5 King Ottoman has ever run, and I think it’s also the right move.  He came up just short over the mile course on Derby day, and I think Luis Saez will give him a more tempered ride than he got on Derby day with Jose Ortiz.  He’s a deserved 5/2 favorite.

3 Warrior Johny is a wild card here off the layoff, which trainer Phil Bauer has very few data points on.  He’s won at Churchill with another two seconds in five starts.  He’s got good late kick, so if he’s fit, he might pick this one off if the pace up front is too hot.


Top Selections: 2, 5, 3, 6


Churchill Race 9 – Grade 3 Mint Julep

Jockey Flavien Prat is flying in for the late part of this card, and I think that means you should pay attention to his mounts.  He’s on 8 White Frost in this one, most recently a show finish in the Grade 1 Jenny Wily at Keeneland.  She finished behind In Italian and With The Moonlight; good news for her, neither is here.  She’s clearly the class of the race.

2 Gam’s Mission is the other likely winner here, mostly because I think she’ll get a fair ride from jockey Tyler Gaffalione.  She beat Bubble Rock last time out, and if we’re talking class, that’s the kind of performance she’ll need here.

The 4 Sweet Dani Girl and 5 New Year’s Eve are both contenders; between the two 4/1 shots, I’d land on Sweet Dani Girl first.


Top Selections: 8, 2, 4, 5


Churchill Race 10 – Maiden Special $120k; 7F dirt, 3+up

This one appears chalky to me, which of course means we’ll get some mayhem (it always feels that way, doesn’t it?).  

You’ve got two trainers here who are excellent with second-time starters: Cherie DeVaux and Brad Cox.  DeVaux has 1 Northern Invader entered; Cox has 9 Concerted.  

The questions with Northern Invader is if his numbers were aided by a sloppy track; with Concerted it’s the amount of time off.

The 4 Billy Jack for trainer Steve Asmussen is especially interesting; for years, he and jockey Ricardo Sanata, Jr. picked these types of races off consistently.  Let’s use these three.


Top Selections: 1, 9, 4

- Advertisement -
- Advertisment -

Most Popular