Churchill Downs gets their Kentucky Derby weekend card started early on Tuesday in Louisville. This is a nice warm up and dry run for the staff that will be running the Derby on Saturday. Along with Churchill Downs, there are five other racecourses available for betting at BetOnline. Fairmount Park opens their spring card in Illinois today. Late April and early May brings out a lot of new cards for the warm weather.
Thistledown in Cleveland and Mountaineer Park in West Virginia have also started back up this week, among a few others. More options is never a bad thing for handicapping the ponies. Saturday is of course Derby Day at Churchill Downs. Are we going to see a Triple Crown winner this year? Triple Crown season is so wide-open that it’s going to be tough.
Churchill Downs opens the week with nine races for a total of $714,600 in prize money available. We have three selections at Churchill Downs with hopefully three winners. Head below for our free Churchill Downs picks for April 27, 2021.
Post Time: 1:14 p.m. EST
Race 2 is a $50,900 event covering 7 furlongs on the main track. Parkin in the Rear and It’sfiftyshadetime should command attention in this event. Parkin in the Rear has finished 1st, 1st, 4th, DNF in four attempts. She started off hot with back-to-back wins on October 19 and February 6 in a $20,000 and $37,000 race.
However, Parking in the Rear faltered on March 4 for 4th in a $88,000 event and DNF most recently in a $40,000 assignment. He was regarded as being unprepared and lost his rider early out of the gate. This was one of the favorites of the race. It wasn’t expected, but when you’re dealing with an animal, if they don’t want to run they don’t want to run.
It’sfiftyshadetime has gone 1st, 5th, 4th, 2nd, 4th in her career, with a win in her opener on October 13 at Indiana Grand. It’sfiftyshadetime won that race by 6 lengths for a $21,000 purse. Since then, It’sfiftyshadetime has been up and down, with her most productive run two outings back on February 11 at Oaklawn Park.
She placed 2nd behind Melting Snow by a half length for a $37,000 event on March 5. In her most recent showing, It’sfiftyshadetime finished 4th in a $39,000 prize. Despite 4th, she was only less than 2 lengths away from the leader. It was a tight race. She has looked good in a recent workout on April 22 with a time of 1:00.80. This isn’t a tough field and the best value appears to be with It’sfiftyshadetime.
Post Time: 2:13 p.m. EST
Race 4 is a $39,600 event covering a mile on the turf. Eight runners are expected to participate, with Command Central and Awesummer potential winners. Command Central is going for the first win of his career on Tuesday afternoon. He’s been off the mark in his career, but should find this race a bit more manageable.
Command Central has finished 3rd, 4th, 5th in his previous three attempts. He showed 3rd on February 5 in a $29,000 event. That was a fine effort, but Command Central returned to go 4th on February 21 and 5th on March 14.
In his most recent attempt, Command Central finished 5th in a $32,000 assignment. He’s coming off a 1:02.00 workout at 5 furlongs on April 17. Awesummer will provide a big challenge for Command Central and the rest of the field. The gelding is a three-time runner finishing 9th, 4th, 3rd in three races.
Awesummer most recently showed 3rd on March 27 at Fair Grounds. He was running well, but weakened late in faded. Awesummer had a lead out of the gate going into the stretch. His effort in the morning has been more encouraging, with a time of 49.40 seconds on April 20 at 4 furlongs. He’s heading in the right direction and should be tough to beat.
Race 8 – Isaac Murphy Marathon Overnight Stakes
Post Time: 4:22 p.m. EST
Distance:1 ½ Miles
The feature race at Churchill Downs is the Isaac Murphy Marathon Overnight Stakes for a $130,000 purse. Eight are expected to run, with Portos and Lone Rock likely big chances to win the top prize. Portos is a two-time winner in nine attempts with top-3 finishes in five of his previous eight outings. In the biggest race of his career, Portos finished 3rd on February 1 in the $250,000 Withers Stakes (Gr. 3) on February 1, 2020.
He hasn’t been able to run that well since, though, finishing 3rd, 14th, 5th, 5th, 1st in in his previous five outings. He’s coming off a win on April 17 at Keeneland, though that was down in class in a $81,000 event. In any case, it was still a nice run for a 5 ½ length win. Portos must bring the same form to the racetrack on Tuesday for a chance at another win.
Lone Rock has been a driving force since October. He has four wins in five performances, most recently winning on April 11 at Oaklawn Park. Lone Rock cleared You’re to Blame with ease by 6 ¾ lengths for a $108,000 win. In his only loss in the last five, Lone Rock placed 2nd behind Carlos L. in the $150,000 Temperence Hill Stakes. Lone Rock is on fire and should be able to get another win on Tuesday given his form.