In the first day of racing at Churchill Downs on Saturday for the new season in Kentucky since the shutdown, we made the most of it with a win on the Pick 3. Well, it was more of a Daily Double payout because our first horse was scratched, though we were able to follow it with two winners for a nice day at Churchill Downs. 4 of our 6 horses in the Rainbow Pick 6 were successful, while 4 of 5 were successful in the Pick 5, so that was close to being one mega day at the racetracks. Expect to see more of the big tracks opening soon. Belmont and Woodbine are both expected to open in early June, with the New York tracks, including Aqueduct Racetrack on June 1.
If you are a horse racing fan, it’s terrific news and there continues to be good news across the country regarding hospitalizations for COVID-19. With more testing being done in the last week, the percentage of confirmed cases is decreasing. I’m not an epidemiologist, so I don’t choose to get too deep into the specifics, but the hospitalization rate has to be the best barometer right now. Allowing access to the public will be in question for the foreseeable future, but it’s good to see that racing is getting back to business in the US. We’ll start Sunday with Pick 3 and Pick 4 selections at Golden Gate Fields. Head below for our free Golden Gate Fields Pick 3 and Pick 4 selections for May 17, 2020.
Post Time: 12:45 p.m. PST
Distance: 1 1/16 Miles
1 1/16 miles for a $14,000 purse will get us started on Sunday at Golden Gate Fields. Seven horses are scheduled to run in this one, with three that will be included on the shortlist. Taste’s Legend, Papa Do Run, and Tequila Blanco are all going to have good looks for a win in this race. Papa Do Run was building up some momentum on the track, having finished in the top-3 in four straight races. That also included a win two starts ago on January 19. He earned the win by 1 ¼ lengths over Curry Nation, wire-to-wire. After that performance, and two straight outings where he placed, Papa Do Run tried against a higher class and faltered for 4th. He’s a winner in 2 of 13 career races.
While Papa Do Run is trying his luck against better competition now, Tequila Blanco drops a class after finding no success. Tequila Blanco has a win in 13 races and finished in the top-3 in 4 of them. After winning on June 16, 2019, Tequila Blanco saw what he could do against better horses. That didn’t go so well, a Tequila Blanco has finished 7th, 6th, 4th in his previous three outings. It’s always frustrating for a trainer when a jump in class doesn’t work out as planned, but Tequila Blanco should enjoy this company on Sunday at Golden Gate Fields.
Taste’s Legend will give Tequila Blanco a big test in this one despite the class drop. Taste’s Legend is searching for a hat-trick today after tremendous form on February 13 and March 12. It was the third race in four performances that he finished in the top-2. In his wins, Taste’s Legend won by 1 ¼ lengths in both events. He has a good chance of striking again for the hat-trick on Sunday.
Post Time: 1:17 p.m. PST
Seven more horses will take to the starting gate for a mile race in Race 2. This race is worth $10,000. Skeeter Davis, Cash for Cass, and Beyond Pleasure should have an opportunity at the win in this one. Skeeter Davis has won 6 of 35 career races, but has been searching for a win since his most recent on January 4, 2019.
She has gone winless in 11 straight races. In her previous three races, Skeeter Davis has finished 7th, 4th, 5th for rather undesirable outcomes. If she can find her best effort on Sunday, then she will have a chance here but only if that comes to fruition. Anything less and she will likely just be looking to show.
Beyond Pleasure drops in class after finding it difficult to go anywhere. She gets demoted after finishing 7th, 6th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 5th in her previous six races. Prior to that stretch, Beyond Pleasure notched a hat-trick from May 26, 2019 to August 21, 2019. That was enough to prompt her trainer to try something out a little more difficult. It obviously did not go according to plan. She will be matched up against Cash for Cass after just losing against her in March.
Beyond Pleasure was 5th in that race, which was well behind Cash for Cass who finished 2nd. Cash for Cass was well over 5 lengths ahead of Beyond Pleasure and cleared her easily. Cash for Cass is on a nice run to show in the top-3 in three straight performances. That includes 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, and a win back on November 29, 2019, five races ago. Cash for Cass is a winner in 3 of 18 career entries. After that win, she attempted a tougher race, but couldn’t keep up and finished 6th. If she is in the same form as her last three outings, that should be good for a win against this competition in Race 2.
Post Time: 1:49 p.m. PST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
Race 3 will be of the shorter variety, as six horses will compete at 5 ½ furlongs for a $17,000 purse. Three horses should have a really good shot at this, with Tribal Impact going to be involved as well, but I’d like a better price than +300 than the morning line is indicating. Kona Skye, Desert Dude, and Cajun Bettor are all going to be in this one as well. Kona Skye is the betting favorite on the morning-line, but not by too much. Kona Skye has won 2 of 9 career races, with his most recent win on January 3 by a nose over Sweet Boy. He was cutting it close, but was barely able to hang on for a wire-to-wire win.
Kona Skye finished 4th, 3rd, 5th running up to that race, and then right after the win, has regressed to finish 2nd and 4th. He was 4th in his most recent outing, though wasn’t far off the pace. Kona Skye gets an easier challenge in Race 3 today, though faces some pressure as the favorite. Desert Dude presents some decent value at +350, as he is coming off a solid performance to show in 3rd on March 20. However, I’m using the word solid loosely. He was one of just five horses in the field, including Cajun Bettor who placed in 2nd to finish 2 lengths ahead of Desert Dude.
Cajun Bettor was in excellent form on that outing as one of the underdogs. He runs much better at a class he’s more comfortable with. After going 1st, 3rd, 1st, 3rd, Cajun Bettor struggled against better competition and finished 5th, 5th, 6th in his next three races. However, back running at his desired class, Cajun Bettor just about got the win. This is going to be a close race that could go either way. Cajun Bettor gets the slight nod here.
Post Time: 2:20 p.m. PST
1 more mile to complete our Pick 4 card on Sunday. This looks like a two-horse race between True To Herself and Qafilah, but Sugary might be able to make this race interesting for a second or so. Sugary has won 4 of 17 career races and was in excellent form from February 28, 2019 to January 24 of this year. She finished 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st in four straight outings. However, keep in mind that this was only after Sugary dropped in class significantly. She was getting nowhere fast against better horses.
After that brush with success, Sugary went back up a class and down on the leaderboard. She finished 9th in her last performance after seeing what she can do against more difficult competition. This race won’t be that difficult, but she will still have to contend with two horses that are on a level higher than her. Qafilah and True To Herself will be the trickiest horses to get around in this one.
Qafilah has a win in 5 of 21 races and was in the top-3 in each of her last two races. The most recent performance for Qafilah was pretty solid, as she was strong enough to place in 2nd behind True To Herself by 1 ¼ lengths. That was at a mile and Qafilah didn’t have the stamina to fend off True To Herself. Qafilah was 1st out of the gate and at the top of the stretch, but faded hard in the stretch. This is another 1-mile event that could give her the same issue against True To Herself.
True To Herself has 5 wins in 16 races for a decent win percentage of 31%. Could be better, but could be a lot worse. If she can keep the same form as on March 12 in that win over Qafilah, this race should feel like dejavu. She has been in good form in recent workouts. True To Herself completed 5 furlongs at 1:01.20 on May 9, while Qafilah was clocked at 1:03.00 at 5 furlongs on the same day. She should have what it takes again over her rival.