Churchill Downs is back on Thursday for the first day of four days of racing from today to Sunday. Saturday is the day to look out for in Kentucky. There are four stakes races at Churchill Downs on June 27, which includes the $500,000 Stephen Foster (Gr. 2). The Ohio Derby at Thistledown is the biggest race of the weekend. That comes with points towards the Kentucky Derby for Labor Day Weekend. It’s only 20 points, but it could be 20 big points for a horse that needs a little extra points to get into the Derby. Both races are worth $500,000, so that’s a fair bit of coin for the winner.
The running of the Regret Stakes (Gr. 3), Fleur de Lis (Gr. 2), and Bashford Stakes (Gr. 2) will also be on offer at Churchill Downs on Saturday. There isn’t anything of that stature at Churchill Downs today, but it’s shaping up to be a fairly nice looking card. Churchill Downs has been our most successful racetrack. We hit a monster Pick 5 in May, along with a Pick 3 just a week before cashing the Pick 5 at Churchill Downs. We’ll see what the Pick 3 and Pick 4 has in store for us at Churchill Downs on Thursday. Head below for our free Churchill Downs Pick 3 and Pick 4 selections for June 25, 2020.
Pick 3: Race 2-4
Pick 4: Race 2-5
Post Time: 1:34 p.m. EST
Distance: 7 Furlongs
Race 2 will get us started at Churchill Downs on Thursday. This is for $36,000 on the dirt over 7 furlongs of racing. Magine and Gone Glimmering are likely going to duel in this one. It should be a tight affair before somebody gets the upper-hand. Gone Glimmering is the betting favorite on the morning-line at +200. She is down in class today after finishing 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 9th in her previous four races, all of which were tricky outings. Three of which were stakes races, so Gone Glimmering took a gamble against tough opponents.
This was after Gone Glimmering was a back-to-back winner to open her career on August 2, 2019, and then another win on September 6, 2019. Her best finish was in the Rags to Riches Stakes (Black Type) and My Trusty Cat Stakes (Black Type) where Gone Glimmering finished 3rd. Her toughest rate to date was in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (Gr. 1) October 4, 2019. Not a bad run at all for 4th, but Gone Glimmering was dealing with talented horses in the field.
Magine is likely to give Gone Glimmering the biggest fight in Race 2. Magine doesn’t have the history that Gone Glimmer has, but she’s been in terrific form in the morning and has gone 3 for 9 in her career. Magine won by 5 ½ lengths over Little Red Frog on April 23 and 3 lengths over Kelly’s a Gem on December 26, 2019. Her latest event was a bit of a downer to finish 4th on April 23 at Oaklawn Park, though that was a tough race for a $61,000 purse. It was a bigger challenge than she has on Thursday.
Magine has looked great in the morning and should be in good form. She completed 4 furlongs at 48 seconds on June 4 and 6 furlongs at 1:12.60 on May 25. Gone Glimmering ran 4 furlongs at 50 and 50.80 seconds on May 12 and June 20. After the May 12 workout, Gone Glimmering finished 9th a few days later in an Allowance Optional Claiming event. She is going to be in this one and have a good chance, but my money is with Magine.
Post Time: 2:06 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Race 3 is the second leg of our card on Thursday at Churchill Downs. A purse of $46,000 is on offer for the event, which consists of 1 1/16 miles on the turf in Kentucky. Zabava and Foxtail are on my shortlist for this one. Zabava is the betting favorite at +250 from the No. 6 post position and should command attention. She is 5 for 21 in her career and is looking for back-to-back wins on June 6.
Zabava was a winner by a half length over Champagne Horizon. That was for a $31,000 purse. This should be a slightly tougher race that comes with more money. Zabava is more than capable of winning here. Foxtail and Holly Go Lightly are both +350 on the morning-line, with Foxtail a bit ahead of Holly Go Lightly on my shortlist.
Foxtail is down a class on Thursday after missing at Santa Anita Park on October 3, 2019. She finished 5th after 4th and 9th in a couple of summer events. Foxtail recorded back-to-back wins on February 15 and April 14. Overall, Foxtail has 3 wins in 16 races in her career. She went six races with finishes in the top-3, but 4th, 9th, 5th after chasing slightly bigger purses. Foxtail took some time off after her October race, so she’s on a small layoff.
Her workouts have been in good form from May to June. She recorded times of 59 seconds, 1:00.80 and 1:00.60 at 5 furlongs, while getting clocked at 48 and 49.80 seconds at 4 furlongs. Her form in the morning is strong enough to suggest that she’ll be involved for the top prize in Race 3. This is a bit of an easier race that she has dealt with in her previous three races and looks good at the morning-line price.
Post Time: 2:38 p.m. EST
Distance:1 ⅛ Miles
Race 4 covers 1 ⅛ miles of racing for a $31,000 purse on the dirt. Galindo, Gum Tree Lane, and Tiz Mcnamara are on my shortlist here. Tiz Mcnamara is an intriguing option at +450 on the morning-line. He is 1 for 9 in his career and has flirted in the top-3 often. Tiz Mcnamara finished 2nd, 1st, 3rd, 3rd from February 1, 2019 to May 26, 2019 before dropping off for 6th, 9th, 3rd, 4th.
He finished 4th when running for a $31,000 purse on June 4 and will be in a similar event today. Tiz Mcnamara may just need to catch a break here with a couple of horses getting stuck in traffic. I think he’s a strong candidate to show. Gum Tree Lane had a nice start to his career to finish 3rd and then a win on December 16, 2018. It’s been a long while since Gum Tree Lane has sniffed the winner’s circle.
Since then, Gum Tree Lane has finished 9th, 9th, 7th, 8th with his latest race on April 30. That was for a $41,000 purse, so this is an easier race for Gum Tree Lane. It’s an easier assignment than all of his previous four events. Is the class drop going to be enough to get Gum Tree Lane into the winner’s circle? Maybe. He was in good form in a recent 5-furlong workout on June 18 with a time of 1:00.60.
Galindo was 4th in his most recent outing on June 12 at Churchill Downs. He was 2nd on May 2 and just missed out by 2 ¾ lengths. Galindo is 1 for 16 in his career and has a good chance of running well enough against this field for a win on Thursday. This is a tough one for sure, with Galindo getting the slight edge on my ticket.
Post Time: 3:10 p.m. EST
We will end the day at Churchill Downs with 6 furlongs of racing for a $29,000 purse. Zapper Van Winkle and Digital Star are my two top runners for Race 5. Digital Star has been running strong and might be ready to take the next leap forward. He has been coming on strong since finishing 10th as a first-time starter on September 22, 2019. Digital Star has been in the top-3 in six straight events, which includes placing in four races.
The young colt placed in back-to-back races on April 16 and May 30. He was 5 ½ lengths back of the favorite, Cold Smoke, and then 4 ½ lengths behind Natural History. Digital Star was the favorite in the May 30 race, but wasn’t able to do one better. His workouts have been in good form, with times of 47.60, 48, 47.60, and 50 seconds at 4 furlongs in May and June. That doesn’t take away the fact that Digital Star didn’t show up when he was expected to in his last race on May 30, though.
Zapper Van Winkle looked tremendous in a recent June 5 workout for a time of 47 seconds. Just like Digital Star, Zapper Van Winkle placed in back-to-back races on June 16, 2019 and July 7, 2019. Obviously there is a gap on Zapper Van Winkle’s resume, as he returns to action after nearly a year away from racing. In 3 of 5 races in his career, Zapper Van Winkle placed, so he’s been getting close. If Zapper Van Winkle runs as well as he’s looked in the morning recently, he will be within reach of a win.