Churchill Downs is back in the saddle on Saturday, as they open their season today for the first time since the pandemic. The Kentucky Derby was supposed to be two weeks ago, but Churchill Downs will get the spotlight on Labor Day Weekend now. This will be one of the heavily bet tracks of the weekend thanks to the brand name. I’d say that has a big impact on what track people decide to bet on. They typically have the biggest races as well, so that’s going to draw a crowd of bettors. There will be no stakes racing at Churchill Downs on Saturday, though get ready for next weekend. That’s going to mark the start of a lot of stakes races in Kentucky.
Santa Anita has a couple of big races today which we will get to as well. There are two stakes races worth $150,000 apiece in California. Santa Anita Park opened up again yesterday after being forced to close by the Health Department in early April. That’s good news for horse handicappers. Today is the most racetracks I’ve seen racing in a while. We’ll get started with a few Churchill Downs picks on Saturday in the Pick 3. Head below for our free Churchill Downs Pick 3 selections for May 16, 2020.
Post Time: 1:30 p.m. EST
Distance: 1 1/16 Miles
We’ll get started with our Pick 3 selections in Race 2. Keep in mind that you must pick every race correctly to win your bet. Nine horses will hit the starting gate for 1 1/16 miles of racing for a $37,000 purse. My Wynter Rose has the longest path to a win in this one. I’d say that Tempestout Amy is the better upset pick from the No. 1 post out of the +2000 horses. My Wynter Rose has won 3 of 17 races, with her most recent victory on February 8 at Sam Houston Race Park. She has failed to show in 10 of her previous 11 outings and is coming to see stiff competition at Churchill Downs.
Rahway, Diamondcoat, and Seeds of Time are good options for the shortlist. Rahway will be getting an easier look in this one after struggling at a higher class. When she was racing more at this level, Rahway finished in the top-3 in 4 of 5 races. After making the jump, Rahway went 8th, 6th, 10th, 8th in her previous four outings. She will have easier company around her in this one, so another bad start would be a major disappointment. I think Rahway could be good enough to show in this event.
Diamondcoat is a winner in 5 out of 27 career races. She’s been running reasonably well in 2020, but has yet to break through with a win. Diamondback has finished 3rd, 4th, 3rd in three outings in 2020. In her last two races at Churchill Downs on September 15, 2019 and November 9, 2019. After that, she moved to Fair Grounds for three races to show in the two outings I just mentioned. Seeds of Time will push Diamondcoat hard in this one.
Seeds of Time drops down a class after no success in her last race on April 16 at Oaklawn Park. However, she was rolling prior to that performance. Seeds of Time was in the top-3 in 11 of 12 races, and won three of those races. She finished 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 2nd before finding it difficult to run well at Oaklawn Park. This looks like a glorious opportunity to get back to the winner’s circle for Seeds of Time on Saturday.
Post Time: 2:00 p.m. EST
A big field in Race 3 that could open itself up to an upset. A $25,000 purse will be offered in this event. Botero and Louie’s Kingdom are going to be the horses to watch in Race 3. Tom’s Last General is going to be a competitor to watch as well. He has won just 1 of 12 career races, but gets dropped down a class for this event on Saturday.
Tom’s Last General has appeared in only two races since June 28, 2019. He finished 2nd in a tough race on that day, behind Milk Chocolate by a half length. Tom’s Last General fell to 6th in his next race, though, at a higher class. He’s back down again and could be ready to pounce on an easier field.
Botero is a winner in 1 of 9 career races. His last win was January 3, 2019, so it’s been a long time. Betero has finished 7th, 3rd, 11th, 6th, 8th, 2nd, 3rd since that win. He has been showing some good signs recently and has easier company on Saturday in Race 3. Louie’s Kingdom just raced last week, as he makes the transition from Gulfstream Park to Churchill Downs for this event. Larry Rivelli must have confidence that Louie’s Kingdom’ form is strong.
Louie’s Kingdom was a length and ¾ behind Assertiko for the win in that race. He was 1st from the ¼ pole to the top of the stretch, but just didn’t have enough fight to hold on. This is a winnable race for him and he should be involved in the stretch at Churchill Downs.
Post Time: 2:32 p.m. EST
Eyes will be fixated on the well-known Monomoy Girl, who is making her return to the racetrack after a layoff that goes back to November of 2018. Other trainers were happy to see Monomoy Girl leave the track for that long, but the successful stakes racer is back looking for more in a rather easy assignment by her standards.
Monomoy Girl has won 9 of 11 career races in her career for an impressive win percentage of 82%. He’s won a slew of Gr. 1 races, including the Central Bank Ashley Stakes, Kentucky Oaks, Acorn Stakes, Coaching Club American Oaks, and most recently the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Churchill Downs on November 3, 2018. He was a winner by a length over Wow Cat in that race.
Talk Veuve to Me and Lady Kate stand the best chance of scoring the upset over Monomoy Girl. Talk Veuve to Me is a winner in 3 of 13 career races, with a win in the Indiana Oaks (Gr. 3) on July, 2018. Talk Veuve to Me finished 2nd in the Presque Isle Downs Master Stakes (Gr. 2) on September 16, 2019, two starts ago, but looked lost in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (Gr. 2) on October 5, 2019. She finished 7th and was no factor.
Lady Kate has raced in three stakes races and did best in her first on February 9, 2019 in the Suncoast Stakes to place in 2nd. However, she faltered against tougher competition in the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (Gr. 1) for 5th and 5th in her latest race on March 14 in the Hurricane Bertie Stakes (Gr. 3). If Monomoy Girl wasn’t coming off a long layoff, her odds would likely be much higher than they are. That’s the only thing working against her here. Despite the layoff, I have confidence in Monomoy Girl making an impressive return at Churchill Downs on Saturday.