Hopefully, on Friday, May 22 Churchill keeps turf races on the lawn. The feature is an $80,000 allowance optional claiming event on the sod. We look at that race and make horse racing picks. We also handicap a couple of other interesting events on the card. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds from Churchill Downs for Friday, May 22. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Churchill Downs Horse Racing Picks
- When: Friday, May 22 at 1:00 pm ET
- Where: Louisville, KY
- Weather: Partly Cloudy
Churchill Downs Picks for Friday, May 22
Race 7 – 4:08 pm ET – 5 ½ Furlongs Turf – $62,500 Allowance Optional Claiming
Bill Mott trained Chewing Gum won’t offer great odds. That’s okay. The Candy Ride sired 5-year-old horse should get the perfect trip behind front runners Fig Jelly and Real Money. Unless Joel Rosario pushes the go button at the wrong time, Gum rates top billing in this excellent event.
Fig Jelly breaks from post-position 10. Jockey Javier Castellano must get the Brad Cox trained runner to the front. If he doesn’t, Jelly might have to go wide around the turn. We’ve got faith that Javier does get this one to the front. But Chewing Gum catches the speedy Forestry sired horse for the victory.
Mark Casse puts the saddle on Real Money, a 4-year-ol gelded son of Real Solution. Tyler Gaffalione rode this one to a neck victory in its last. Tyler sticks, which is a good thing. But the win happened in a $25,000 optional claimer. This field is much tougher.
- Win: Chewing Gum
- Place: Fig Jelly
- Show: Real Money
Race 8 – 4:40 pm ET – 7 Furlongs Dirt – $75,000 Allowance Optional Claiming
Into Mischief sired 3-year-old filly Center Aisle absolutely aired in her first race. The Chad Brown trained runner dominated her competition by 3 ¾ lengths. She could have won by much more. There’s a Steve Asmussen trained runner in this, which should help the odds on the top choice.
That Asmussen runner, Casual, broke her maiden by half a length. It was her first lifetime race, though. She should improve while, no doubt, the daughter of Curlin will offer much better odds than Center Aisle. Back Casual to win if you think the odds are too low on Center Aisle.
After Nayibeth broke her maiden in her first race, trainer Wesley Ward shipped her to Ascot to run in the Grade 3 Albany. The speedy miss failed. In her first back in the U.S., she failed again, this time as a 90 cents on the dollar chalk. But that race was on the all-weather. Back on dirt, she could run these into the ground. Consider on top and bottom because if nobody goes with Nayibeth she can win gate to wire.
- Win: Center Aisle
- Place: Casual
- Show: Nayibeth
Race 9 – 5:12 pm ET – 1 Mile Turf – $80,000 Allowance Optional Claiming
Douglas Danner isn’t a household name, but he’s trained horses since 1981. Danner has saddled just 31 horses this year, though. That could help odds on Douglas’ horse in the ninth, early runner Rogue Too. The 4-year-old filly has won 6 straight. All happened over an artificial surface. But if Silver Kitten tries to run with this one, she’ll compromise her chances.
It doesn’t mean Silver Kitten has no shot on Friday. The Danny Gargan trainee has good early speed. Jockey David Cohen must prevent a speed duel with the top choice, though. If that happens, Kitten will find it hard to hold off the closers.
Hard Legacy figures to go off the chalk. The Hard Spun sired filly drops into this event after racing in graded stakes. She’s got enough speed to stay close to both Rogue Too and Silver Kitten. But she figures to be over bet here.
- Win: Rogue Too
- Place: Silver Kitten
- Show: Hard Legacy