Racing will heat up a bit more in the US this weekend, as Santa Anita Park and Churchill Downs resumes racing. Santa Anita will begin racing today, while Churchill Downs will start their season on Saturday. I’ve examined the Santa Anita card for today and I’m not entirely thrilled with it, though. There are some tough races that really could go either way. However, Saturday features two stakes races, so we will have you covered for the Echo Eddie S and Evening Jewel S. Gulfstream Park has stakes racing tomorrow as well with three races. However, the purses don’t match the $150,000 that Santa Anita is offering for their events.
I will take a look at the Churchill Downs card for Saturday and go from there. We will be covering Churchill Downs extensively even if we don’t get to the card tomorrow, though. Churchill Downs will be filled with five stakes races next Saturday. A lot of money is going to be up for grabs in those races. Charles Town is back in West Virginia, which I will be featuring in another article for today, so be sure to check that out. Another day and another shot at the Rainbow Pick 6 jackpot at Gulfstream Park. We’ll also include selections for the Race 7-11 Pick 5. Head below for our free Gulfstream Park Pick 5 and Rainbow Pick 6 selections for May 15, 2020.
Post Time: 3:45 p.m. EST
Distance: 1 Mile
The Rainbow Pick 6 begins with Race 6 at Gulfstream on Friday. 1-mile for a $28,000 purse will get us started. Speedy Hans and Fried Rice King will likely be in serious contention for the win here. Blessed Journey might be okay for an upset selection, though that’s asking a lot. He does drop a class, but will still need some help. Blessed Journey has finished 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th in four races in 2020. Overall, he has shown in three races and is still looking to place or win.
Fried Rice King will be racing in his third career race on Friday. He will be dropping a class as well after finding no success in his first two races. Fried Rice King wasn’t in contention, finishing 4th and 7th in a couple of outings. Speedy Hans is appearing in the sixth race of his career and is looking to show for just the second time. I can say that this is going to be a wide open race with several horses dropping classes to find an easier event. The same goes for Tons of Gold, who may be the best value pick out of the bunch.
Tons of Gold is likely going to be involved at the top of the stretch. He’s the only racer with Derby experience in his career. Tons of Gold was entered into the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (Gr. 2) on March 7. He didn’t run like he wished, but it was a good experience and today will not be nearly as difficult as that competition. Tons of Gold has finished in the top-3 in 4 of 11 career races. I think he’s better than the odds suggest, so Tons of Gold is worth a look.
Post Time: 4:17 p.m. EST
Distance:7 ½ Furlongs
7 ½ furlongs for a $19,000 purse in Race 7, with nine horses expected to participate in the event. This is shaping up to be a competitive race between four horses. Stella’s War, Elite Appeal, Paola’s Team, and Lil Bit Dangerous will all have good shots at the top prize in Race 7. Lil Bit Dangerous might be the best value pick out of the bunch, but it’s going to be a close race. Lil Bit Dangerous has a win in 9 races and hasn’t produced terrific results on paper, but is with a new barn and they’re dropping her class.
Lil Bit Dangerous has finished 2nd, 6th, 10th, 4th in her last four races, all against better competition. Paola’s Team might be a bit overvalued at that price. I think Lil Bit Dangerous is the pick over Paola’s Team between the +350 horses. Paola’s Team has finished 4th, 8th, 1st, 3rd, 4th in five career performances. She is racing in a similar class today and isn’t getting a downgrade. The public will be backing Strella’s War and Elite Appeal primarily in this race. Strella’s War gets a downgrade like Lil Bit Dangerous.
Strella’s War last win was on September 15, 2019. Since then she has gone 3rd, 2nd, 5th, 7th, 3rd, 4th, which isn’t too bad against fairly decent competition. Elite Appeal has shown in 3 of her last 4 races, and is a winner in 1 of 14 career starts. Her most recent victory was in August, so it’s been a while. Since that win, Elite Appeal has gone 7th, 3rd, 5th, 3rd, 3rd. This is going to be another tight race. If you want to go for the bigger payout and possible unique ticket, Lil Bit Dangerous can’t be ignored to win at +350.
Post Time: 4:48 p.m. EST
It may not be the feature race, but a handsome purse of $29,000 will be up for grabs. Eight horses are scheduled to run. Though, I only see three horses that are going to have bold bids for the top prize. Lovely Lady Lexi, Dancing Destroyer, and Bibiana should have a good chance in this one. Bibiana isn’t getting much respect at +500, but is a horse that shouldn’t be ignored. Bibiana is coming off an impressive effort on April 2 in fine form to win by 5 ¼ lengths over Markistan. She established a 4 length lead at the top of the stretch and pulled away.
Dancing Destroyer will have a good look at the win here as well. She is coming off a nice run as well, but came up just a bit short to finish 2nd on April 9. She drove hard too late and couldn’t overcome One Hot Drama with a loss by 1 ¾ lengths. Nevertheless, it was still a nice effort, just wasn’t enough kick in the tank to get it. Dancing Destroyer has finished 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 3rd, 6th, 2nd in her career. That’s top-3 in 6 of 7 career outings.
This will be a hat-trick bid for Lovely Lady Lexi on Friday. She was a winner on January 20 by a length over Markistan, and then did it again with a win on February 28 by 3 ¾ lengths against Pick Up the Fone. The hat-trick might come calling for Lovely Lady Lexi on Friday, but she’s going to have to fight for it against Dancing Destroyer. She has been coming on strong, and could be set to disrupt the win streak in this one.
Post Time: 5:19 p.m. EST
1-mile event with 11 horses for a $17,000 purse in Race 9. French Quarter is your favorite after some nice success recently. He’s finished 1st, 1st, 4th, 1st, 4th in his previous five outings. French Quarter has a lot of experience, as this will be the 66th race in his career. Most of those wins have come since the summer of 2019.
His form has improved considerably after failing to win since 2017. French Quarter won on July 14, 2019 and then won five more times. In his previous 12 races, French Quarter has notched 6 wins. Can’t do much better than a 50% win rate.
Blakey is back down a class after looking lost in his last outing. He won by 4 ½ lengths over Strategic Outlook on March 26, and then fell off in his next outing to finish 8th on April 19. He had absolutely no interest in racing that day. We’ll see what today offers for Blakey, who has been inconsistent throughout his 22-race career. He’s a winner in 3 of 22 races heading into Friday.
Cometin is with a new barn today after a lengthy layoff. He hasn’t raced since a win last June, but has been in good form in recent workouts. Cometin won by 3 ¼ lengths in that race over Native Hawk. He showed in two straight races leading up to that win, and is a winner in 5 of 30 races overall. Cometin has done some stakes racing in his career and did pretty well. French Quarter is red-hot right now, but Cometin might be able to cool him off. He along with So Long Chuck, a winner in 7 of 39 races, might be your best value options here. Edge to Cometin.
Post Time: 5:49 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Race 10 features eight horses for the grand prize of the day. A $75,000 purse will be on offer in the feature race of Friday at Gulfstream Park. It falls just short of being a stakes race. Tonalist’s Shape and Cheermeister will have a good run at the top prize in this one. Up in Smoke might have something in her tank as well. She is undefeated in her career, with three straight wins in her first three races.
Up in Smoke won on February 8 by 4 ¾ lengths over Shazzy B. Strong push from Up in Smoke at the ½ pole and she was clear. In her next outing, she was a winner again by 4 furlongs over Merseyside. And then finally on April 5, Up in Smoke completed the hat-trick by 3 lengths over R Prerogative. The problem? All of those races were at 6 furlongs. Up in Smoke has never raced anywhere close to 1 1/16 miles.
Cheermeister has appeared in six races, five of which were stakes races. After making his debut on October 14, 2019, a win, Cheermeister immediately jumped up to stakes racing and found success. He has finished 1st, 10th, 1st, 1st, 2nd in his previous five outings. Cheermeister was denied the hat-trick by a neck against Highland Glory. If it weren’t for Tonalist’s Shape, Cheermeister would have the edge here.
Tonalist’s Shape is a winner in 5 of 6 races and a winner in five straight outings before finding the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Park Oaks too tough. He finished 7th after breezing past the competition in the first five races of his career. This is a tough race on Friday, but the company is much easier. Look for Tonalist’s Shape to get back to the winner’s circle.
Post Time: 6:19 p.m. EST
5 furlongs to finish off the day at Gulfstream Park on Friday. We go from a $75,000 purse down to $17,000 in this race. There are a few horses to keep an eye on in this 12-horse field. Happy Danza, Mr Impressive, and Nothin But Net should be included on the shortlist. Happy Danza drops a class after finding no traction in his first seven races. He’s shown just once, so getting in the top-3 would be a welcome improvement. In his last outing, Happy Danza finished 6th on April 10. Prior to that race, he finished 10th on March 25.
Mr Impressive will likely have an impressive run in this one, but enough to win? Other than showing a couple of times, he hasn’t been close to getting a win. Mr Impressive finished 3rd on August 30, 2019 and November 13, 2019, but 8th, 10th, 4th, and 8th in his other races. He finished 8th in his most recent performance on January 15. Nothin But Net has been coming close recently. He’s raced in four career races and has placed in three straight outings.
All 2nd place finishes came in 2020 for Nothin But Net. He lost by 4 ½, 4, and 2 ½ lengths in those races. Nothin But Net was in his best form recently and it should be able to carry over to today. This isn’t the most difficult race for him, and he should be able to succeed if he wants to run on Friday.