What an exciting day of racing on Saturday in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The Arkansas Derby is complete, with the Div. 1 and Div. 2 Arkansas Derby in the books. It was a big day for California racing and Bob Baffert’s barn, as his two trainees swept the Arkansas Derby for wins in both races. First up was Charlatan who was gaining plenty of hype going into the event.
He lived up to his billing, as Charlatan won by 6 lengths for an easy victory. It was a wire-to-wire win for the electric 2-year-old, who many consider to be the strongest horse going to Churchill Downs in September. That performance had to gravitate the public towards Charlatan. However, then it was Nada’s turn and he put on a clinic as well.
The eyeball test didn’t suggest that Nadal was the better horse, but the numbers suggest that he was indeed faster. Nadal was .15 seconds faster than Charlatan. He ultimately won by 3 lengths, which to a casual observer probably didn’t look as impressive as Charlatan. Charlatan didn’t have to contend with Wells Bayou and was carrying 4 less pounds. With the win, Nadal is atop the leaderboard with 150 points. Don’t forget that Baffert has Authentic in his stable as well.
The Arkansas Derby had to dominate the betting handle on Saturday. Early indications suggest a record handle of over $30-million. With Charlantan and Nadal likely attracting most of the money, it probably wasn’t a fun day for the racebooks. There was also the Virtual Kentucky Derby, which we were able to enjoy a win on, too.
Secretariat, albeit the computerized form, was one of the easiest +200 winners you’re going to find in sports. On Sunday it’s back to normal, with a full slate of action at three racetracks, including Gulfstream Park. Following up a 3-0 day with a win in the Rainbow 6 would be something else. It’s no easy chore, but let’s see what we can do with the Sunday card. Head below for our free Gulfstream Park Rainbow Pick 6 and Pick 5 selections for May 3, 2020.
Post Time: 3:48 p.m. EST
Distance: 1 Mile
A mile gets us started with our Rainbow Pick 6 at Gulfstream Park on Sunday. Eight horses are scheduled to race in the event, barring any scratches. Token, Estilo Talentoso, and Guazza are all likely going to be involved in the stretch in Race 7.
Guazza had a so-so debut on March 8 and left some room for improvement. She was able to do that by showing in 3rd on April 12. Guazza presented a steady performance, though didn’t exactly have the drive in the stretch to be much of a threat to Saratoga Affair.
Estilo Talentoso has been right there in all the races in her career. She’s placed in every outing, finishing 2nd in her first outing on January 12 and then three more, with the most recent on April 4 at Tampa Bay Downs. Vigilanties Way was able to edge Estilo Talentoso out for a 2 ¼ length win. On March 1, Estilo Talentoso took the loss by 1 ½ lengths against Four Graces.
She has been competing, though it hasn’t been enough for a trip to the winner’s circle. Token has been coming on strong as well, placing in each of her previous two outings on February 9 and April 2. She was 8th in her debut outing on January 12. In her most recent entry on April 2, Token was beaten handedly by 6 ½ lengths. I’m siding with the better value on Estilo Talentoso here.
Post Time: 4:21 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Race 8 features 1 1/16 miles for a $19,000 purse. If you are betting the Pick 5, there is a card that begins with Race 1 and then another at Race 8. You can choose either or both. For the purposes of this summary, we’re looking at Race 8-12 for the Pick 5. For an upset, we’re likely looking at the No. 3 or No. 4 horse. That’s not saying a whole lot, though. Neither have produced in 2020. Between the two of them, they’ve failed to show in five races this year.
They’re going to need some luck, as are the other underdogs in this racecard. Karenina and Moon Eyes are likely going to threaten in Race 8. Karenina is coming off a poor effort on March 26 for 6th, but will be in easier company here on Sunday. Prior to that performance, Karenina finished in the top-3 in 8 of 10 races. It has had to be frustrating for her trainer Rohan Crichton. Despite only having 1 win in 29 races, Karenina has been close time and time again. She’ shown in 19 of 29 career races.
Moon Eyes is coming off a 6th place performance on April 4 and 4th on March 15. She has placed just once in 9 of her last 10 outings, but has a higher winning percentage than Karenina because of a win in 13 career races. Conversely, Karenina has placed 2nd in 3 of her last 4 outings and in 4 of her previous 7. I feel good with a selection on Karenina to get it done in Race 8 at Gulfstream Park.
Post Time: 4:53 p.m. EST
Distance:6 ½ Furlongs
A small field of six will round the track for 6 ½ furlongs in Race 9. No one is a huge underdog in this one, with Naked Avenger at +800 as the longshot. Naked Avenger was on a roll in her first three races. However, then she found out that life wasn’t going to be that easy against tougher opponents. Naked Avenger notched back-to-back wins in her first two starts, and then 2nd, which was nice, but struggled at a higher class. In her last effort, Naked Avenger finished 6th on April 12. With another difficult task on deck today, Naked Avenger may run into problems.
I’d argue that Velvet Crush, Spanish Point, and Sweet Mia all have equal opportunity to win. Velvet Crush has been hot, placing in three straight outings, including a win on December 11, 2019. Big layoff for Velvet Crush, but is going to be a threat if she returns in that form. Spanish Point was a winner in her first two starts and showed in her most recent performance on January 4. She has not been in the starting gate since January 4. Sweet Mia has won 2 of 4 races, with two wins in her first two outings and then 3rd on March 7 and 2nd April 10.
Boerne has had a lot of success as well. This is an event featuring plenty of talent, with Boerne the hottest of them all. She enters with wins on March 15 and April 11 for back-to-back trips to the winner’s circle and a career record of 2 of 3. In her latest, Boerne won on a blowout over Chart by 7 lengths. Wire-to-wire win for Boerne. In the March 15 win, it was the same story as Boerne torched the field for a wire-to-wire win by 3 ½ lengths. There’s some quality horses in this race, with Boerne a touch faster than the rest.
Post Time: 5:25 p.m. EST
We have a wide-open race for Race 10. It’s going to get a bit tricky if you have a ticket that’s still alive. This might separate the winning and losing tickets in the Pick 5 and Rainbow Pick 6. Outshine, Machiavelli, Devoted Kitten, and Souper Courage all stand to have bold bids in Race 10. Outshine is the favorite on paper, but that could go to any of the four. Outshine has had no success since placing on March 9, 2019. Since then, Outshine has gone 9th, 5th, 10th, 6th, 4th.
Machiavelli didn’t perform well in his last performance for 6th on April 12, but was nice in a win on February 5 by a neck after flying late in the stretch. He went from 5th to 1st to overtake Montatham for the win. It was the third straight outing that Machiavelli showed in, with another win taking place on April 28, 2019. Machiavelli has recorded wins in 2 of 5 career races.
Devoted Kitten has won 2 of 8 races and showed in each of his last two races. She was 3rd on April 12 and 2nd on March 26, with her most recent win on January 20. There was a trouble spot on March 18, though, as Devoted Kitten finished 7th. Souper Courage has 2 wins in just 17 races, but has been hanging around the front in plenty of outings.
He has placed in his last two outings, 2nd on April 12 and 1st on February 28 by 2 lengths. Souper Courage has shown in 11 of 17 events. Most of those performances likely would have been good enough for a win against this field he is seeing today. I’m on Souper Courage to win in what should be a competitive event on Sunday.
Post Time: 5:57 p.m. EST
6 furlongs to determine a winner in the second-last race of the day at Gulfstream Park. There are a few horses that are going to be in for serious consideration in this event. Flashing Diamonds, Corey Gal, and Aurelia Garland are intriguing options. Flashing Diamond has a win in 9 of 25 races, with her most recent win three starts ago on December 13, 2019. However, turned around and finished 4th and 6th following the win. She’s gone 5th, 3rd, 1st, 4th, 6th in her last five outings, so a bit all over. Certainly can win here.
Aurelia Garland made her debut on May 2, 2019 at Belmont Park and made good in that race. She got the win by 5 lengths over Talk You Out Of It for an easy win. Aurelia Garland has since changed barns, and if she returns to the mix in that shape, will prove to be a difficult horse to beat in Race 11.
Cory Gal is coming off two wins and looking for the hat-trick on Sunday. She won by 5 lengths on March 25 in dominant fashion, wire-to-wire. It was the same story on April 12, as Cory Gal blew past the competition for a wire-to-wire win by 5 ½ lengths. Close call between Aurelia Garland and Cory Gal. After such a long layoff, it’s difficult to pinpoint how Aurelia Garland will look on Sunday. We do know that Cory Gal has been in tremendous form of late, though. I’d consider backing her.
Post Time: 6:29 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/8 Miles
The money round of the Pick 5 and Rainbow Pick 6 card is upon us. If we’re lucky enough to make it this far, Race 12 is the final leg of the card. Somebody is going to have to catch a break, or Bourbon in May catch an unfortunate break for a contender to step up and compete with him. That’s how upsets typically happen, so it’s no guarantee that Bourbon in May gets the win from the outside post position. In any event, he has been the strongest horse of the bunch, having placed in 6 of his last 7 entries. That includes a couple of wins as well. Bourbon in May has won 3 of 11 races in his career.
Donji and Keep Quiet might be the closest competition for Bourbon in May. Donji has a lot of experience with a win in 9 of 65 races, including his most recent outing on March 18. However, prior to that start, Donji didn’t show in four straight races. Expecting him to fire back with a win again is asking a lot. Keep Quiet, on the other hand, hasn’t won since January 20, 2019. He’s gone winless in 11 straight outings, and 7th, 3rd, 7th in his previous three. Bourbon in May has been able to showcase the most consistency and should be the one to beat.