After only two days with Fonner Park and Tampa Bay Downs open for racing, things begin to get more exciting on Thursday. Charles Town, Churchill Downs, Gulfstream Park, and Remington Park all have race cards today. The stakes schedule won’t be as big as the holiday weekend, but there are five on Saturday. Three $100,000 races are going to be the highlight of the weekend.
The Old Forester Mint Julep (Gr. 3) and Winning Colors Stakes (Gr. 3) will be at Churchill Downs, while the Honeymoon Stakes (Gr. 3) is at Santa Anita Park on Saturday. Churchill Downs is back on the grind Thursday with ten races on the card. We’ve already cashed two multi-bet tickets at Churchill Downs since racing began in Kentucky. Let’s try and make it one or two winners today. Head below for our free Churchill Downs Pick 4 and Pick 5 selection for May 28, 2020.
Pick 5: Race 1-5
Pick 4: Race 2-5
Post Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
Distance: 1 1/16 Miles
Race 1 features a $41,000 purse at 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. Eight horses are in the field, with Samaronti, And Seek, and Comedian on my shortlist. Comedian has a win in 15 races in his career and will take a class drop going into today. After finishing 5th in each of his previous three races, Comedian will look for easier pastures on Thursday. He hasn’t won since February 18, 2019 at Oaklawn Park. It was a nice start to Comedian’s career, as he finished 2nd, 2nd, 1st to open his career, but hasn’t been involved much since. The drop in class should help greatly.
And Seek has been running well to show in each of his previous two races at Gulfstream Park. His only win was on March 30 at Gulfstream Park. The best finish he’s had in his career has been 3rd since then, two of which happened in his most recent outings on January 10 and February 6.
Samaronti is the least experienced runner in this event, with a win on January 25 at Fair Grounds. That win was over Zachry by 2 ½ lengths. It was an impressive effort by Samaronti as he won wire-to-wire.However, following that win, Samaronti didn’t show much on February 24 for 7th and 4th on March 13. Both of those races were on turf, so perhaps the switch back to dirty helps. He isn’t taking a big dive in class here, but no one in this race is particularly strong and in great form going into Thursday, though. Comedian is taking the biggest drop in class for this race. That might just be enough to get him to the winner’s circle in Race 1.
Post Time: 1:30 p.m. EST
Race 2 features a 12-horse field running 5 furlongs on the dirt for a nicely sized purse of $79,000. Bossy Moment, Beautiful Memories, and Blue Grass Anna will all have a good run at the top prize in this one. Blue Grass Anna is getting fairly decent odds on the morning-line at +500. This is a field of first-time starters on Thursday in Race 2. Blue Grass Anna has looked fine in morning workouts and could play a role in the stretch. Is it going to be enough for a win? Probably not, as Bossy Moment and Beautiful Memories are likely going to be too good for Blue Grass Anna.
Bossy Moment has been showing a lot of promise in workouts in May. Throughout the month, Bossy Moment has appeared to be in fine form to finish 4 furlongs at 47.20 seconds, 47 seconds, and 49 seconds in three separate workouts. In his most recent workout, Bossy Moment ran 3 furlongs in 37.60 seconds. That’s nice improvement for Bossy Moment after running 4 furlongs at 50.20 seconds on April 15. Continual improvement from her last workout on May 24 would signal a strong chance of winning Race 2.
She will have to outduel Beautiful Memories who has been looking even better in recent workouts. Beautiful Memories just completed a recent 4-furlong workout with a time of 46.60 seconds to edge out Bossy Moment’s time by 0.40 second. She has also worked out at 5 furlongs in anticipation of this race and looked very good. Beautiful Memories ran 5 furlongs at 1:00.00. With that kind of form on Thursday, Beautiful Memories should have the inside route to the winner’s circle in this race.
Post Time: 2:00 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
1 1/16 miles for a $25,000 purse in Race 3 at Churchill Downs on Thursday. This is one of the smallest purses that you are going to see offered at Churchill Downs. The top prize in the purse is likely going to belong to China Cat, Quiet Dawn, or Double Oaked. China Cat heads into Thursday as the betting favorite on the morning-line at +200. She is coming off the performance of her life up to this point, as she notched her first win on April 26 by a neck over Revealing Quality at Oaklawn Park. After placing three times, China Cat finally got a win in her seventh attempt.
Quiet Dawn is a familiar name to me because I cashed a bet on her on April 29 at Will Rogers Downs. She won by 2 ½ lengths over Sheza Rockstar with an impressive kick going into the stretch. Leading up to that race, Quiet Dawn finished 6th, 6th, 5th, 2nd, 2nd before getting the win on April 29. Back-to-back races where Quiet Dawn turned into a win, so she has been showing steady improvement. That could carry over into a win in her fourth career race at Churchill Downs. Her first three were okay, as Quiet Dawn finished 5th, 5th, 3rd. Generally, you’re going to see tougher competition at Churchill Downs than Will Rogers Downs.
The best value in this race might be on the No. 9 horse, though. I don’t see her as a +600 underdog despite the price. Double Oaked has a win in 24 races in her career, which doesn’t look like a whole lot. However, she has actually shown improved form over the last year against a much higher class than this event. Double Oaked finished 3rd, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 5th in her previous five outings. She had an excellent workout two weeks ago, with a time of 59.80 seconds at 5 furlongs. The form she was in to finish 3rd in those two races, and that workout from May 15, would likely result in a win today if that’s what Double Oaked brings to the table today.
Post Time: 2:32 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Race 4 is a big field with 16 horses in the mix for a $24,000 purse. They will run 1 1/16 miles on the dirt at Churchill Downs. Imaginable U, Mr. Unusual, Smart Arch, and Gambit should give the rest of the field something to think about. Unimaginable U drops a class after finding no success in the first three races of his career. He finished 6th, 9th, 5th at Oaklawn Park. Unimaginable U was reaching for the stars in those races, but it proved to be too difficult. This should be a more attainable assignment on Thursday.
Smart Arch might have a bit more value in this race than Unimaginable U. He enters off back-to-back 3rd place performances on February 21 and March 13. This was after Smart Arch was finding no success, going 10th, 4th, 8th, 9th, DNF in the first five races of his career. If he continues to improve, he might find himself standing in the winner’s circle before long. Gambit and Mr. Unusual will be worthy runners in this race as well. Gambit has been consistently doing what Smart Arch did in his previous two outings. He has been in the top-3 in 6 of his previous 7 races. That kind of consistency might do him well in Race 4 on Thursday.
Mr. Unusual takes a leap down in class after finishing “2nd” last month at Oaklawn Park. He did finish 2nd, but was ultimately DQ’d for an illegal start and put all the way back to 11th. If Mr. Unusual had a clean start, then we’d be talking about 3rd and 2nd in his last two starts, which were more difficult assignments that he has in Race 4 on Thursday. Despite getting DQ’s on April 17, Mr. Unusual was in really nice form. That effort is all he should need for a win in this event.
Post Time: 3:04 p.m. EST
One more race for our Pick 4 and Pick 5 card at Churchill Downs for Thursday. Hopefully this is the clincher that we need to win. This event will be a mile for a $26,000 purse. I’m leaning towards the horse starting on the inside rail, Heavens Whisper. If she goes into Thursday in her expected form, then Heavens Whisper should be a tough horse to beat. She will have to start out of the gate clean and avoid traffic early. Heavens Whisper was on a nice run before trying her hand at a higher class. Heavens Whisper finished 1st, 1st, 4th, 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 1st in seven races before an outing on April 18 ruined that stretch of success. He won on March 15 and March 28 by 4 lengths and 1 ¼ lengths. Overall, Heavens Whisper has won 12 of 27 races in her career, and this should be another beatable run for her on Thursday.