We’re at Churchill Downs on Thursday looking for winners at one of the most storied racetracks in the world. The first time that we handicapped Churchill Downs this season it was a success. Our Pick 3 card was a winner, though with one of selections getting scratched, it was bumped down to a Daily Double payout. Despite the reduced payout, I’ll gladly take the win. Hopefully we can make it two winning days at Churchill Downs in our past two efforts. Saturday is going to be the biggest day at Churchill Downs so far this year.
There are five stakes races on Churchill Downs on Saturday. Four races will have purses of $100,000, while the Matt Winn Stakes (Gr. 3) will be for $150,000. There isn’t anything of the sort today at Churchill Downs, but it’s still going to draw attention from horse handicappers. We have three selections at Churchill Downs, which covers the Pick 3 for Race 1-3. Head below for our free Churchill Downs Pick 3 selections for May 21, 2020.
Post Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
Distance: 4 ½ Furlongs
If you’re a trainer looking for the big money, Churchill Downs is the place to go. To enter events at Churchill Downs, there has to be some confidence that they’re going to run well against tough competition. Race 1 features a short race for a $79,000 purse. It will take just 4 ½ furlongs to crown a winner to open the day at Churchill Downs. Tequila Queen and Mad Maddy will likely be involved in this race, while Cool Enough garners decent enough value to warrant a look. Cool Enough is making her debut, as are others in Race 1 at Churchill Downs.
This is a $8,000 horse that isn’t expected to amount to much. He was solid in December of 2019 for $8,000 at auction. However, they might have gotten a bargain on him given his solid workouts. Cool Enough ran 4 furlongs at 48.20 and 48.60 seconds recently in April and May. If the productive workouts translate over to Thursday, then he should have a case. However, oftentimes we see that practice is a lot different than the real thing.
Mad Maddy was purchased for $150,000 in 2019 to Wincell Thoroughbreds. There is expected to be some success for Mad Maddy in her career. She enters as a first-time starter after an impressive 4-furlong workout with a time of 46 seconds on May 6. Mad Maddy also ran 3 furlongs at 37.80 seconds leading up to this race. Based on that alone, Mad Maddy is probably going to be a contender in Race 1. That said, having to deal with the $325,000 Tequila Queen is not going to be easy.
You don’t spend $325,000 on a horse and expect to lose. She was purchased by Mike Ryan in August for the hefty sum. Tequila Queen just had a couple of strong workouts at 3 furlongs with times of 35.60 and 34.60 seconds, and 4 furlong at 49.40 seconds without urging. If everything adds up correctly, Tequila Queen should win and justify the $320,000 price tag, at least initially.
Post Time: 1:30 p.m. EST
Race 2 has a $34,000 purse to the winner of this 6-furlong event at Churchill Downs on Thursday. T Loves a Fight and Ruler of the Nile should both have strong performances in this one. Ruler of the Nile moves from Oaklawn Park to Churchill Downs for this meet in Kentucky. He ran reasonably well there, which included a win at Parx Racing in January as well. Ruler of the Nile left Parx after a race, and then finished 1st, 4th, 5th, 3rd at Oaklawn. At Churchill Downs in his career, Ruler of the Nile is a perfect 4-0 with 4 wins in 4 starts, the most recent on November 15, 2019.
The issue for Ruler of the Nile has been that every time he tries to up his competition and go stakes racing, he’s had problems. In the Tale of the Cat Stakes at Saratoga in August, Ruler of the Nile finished 5th. And then he tried the Claiming Crown Iron Horse Stakes later in the year at Gulfstream. That was an especially poor result, as Ruler of the Nile finished 10th. Against easier competition, Ruler of the Nile has been able to have success, though. He’s unlikely to go back to stakes racing and find a different result anytime soon.
T Loves a Fight, however, is a stakes horse that has had success. In fact, each of his previous four races have been stakes races, with T Loves a Fight going 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, 6th. Overall, he has won 11 of 38 events in his career. He just needs to be a step faster to begin winning stakes events on a regular basis, but nevertheless is doing a good job. This competition shouldn’t be a problem for him on Thursday. After dealing with the horses he was racing against in stakes races, this should be nothing for him. T Loves a Fight should be in nice enough form to beat the field.
Post Time: 3:49 p.m. EST
The final race of our Pick 3 ticket at Churchill Downs will involve a mile for a $28,000 purse. Drop Dead Gorgeous, Gypsy Wife, and Revealing Quality should have a good shot at the winner’s circle and top prize in Race 3. Revealing Quality is coming off the best form of her career recently. She’s placed in 2 of her previous 3 races, as she continues to get closer to scoring the first win of her young career.
Revealing Quality placed on January 19 to finish 2 lengths behind Badgeri Candy. More recently, Revealing Quality was just barely beaten by China Cat to lose by a neck. Despite the loss, Revealing Quality was caught late at the wire after developing a 3 ½ length lead at the top of the stretch.
Drop Dead Gorgeous dueled as well in her previous outing to place behind One Step by 2 lengths. It was the same story, as Drop Dead Gorgeous was 1st at the top of the stretch, but failed to hold on at the wire. That was at 6 furlongs. Revealing Quality faded way later than that at 1 1/16 miles. Drop Dead Gorgeous has finished 5th, 3rd, 4th, 2nd in her previous four races. She has yet to win in her career, going winless in 14 races, while Revealing Quality is winless in 6 career races, though came an inches away from winning in her last effort.
It should be a good race, and it might come down to a duel in the stretch between Drop Dead Gorgeous and Revealing Quality. I think Revealing Quality carries the better value and is going to give Drop Dead Gorgeous something to think about at a mile. Drop Dead Gorgeous was fading in the stretch at 6 furlongs in her most recent race. A mile likely won’t help matters against Revealing Quality who just about won at 1 1/16 miles.