On Sunday, it might rain at Churchill Downs. Just in case, we handicap and make horse racing picks for three top dirt races. One of the races is a $75,000 allowance optional claimer. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds from Churchill Downs for Sunday, May 17. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Churchill Downs Horse Racing Picks
- When: Sunday, May 17 at 1:00 pm ET
- Where: Louisville, KY
- Weather: Chance Thunderstorms
- Temperature: High 79 – Low 64
John Ortiz trained Blinkers drops from a $61,000 allowance event into this $50,000 claimer. Ortiz wins 17% of his claiming races. He also wins 16% third off a layoff and 19% sprints. Those are great numbers, but the real reason to like this one is because jockey Joel Rosario picks up the reins. As they turn for home, Joel will make sure Blinkers is in position for the win.
Trainer Tom Amoss has a contender in Between the Hedges. The Union Rags sired 4-year-old filly finished second two back at the $30,000 claiming level. If she repeats that, she could win this.
Queencatniphill goes turf to dirt for trainer Chad Summers. Chad wins 22% with the move. Although Queen only has a win and third from 5 races, she drops from optional claiming to straight claiming. That alone moves her up a couple of lengths from her last.
- Win: Blinkers
- Place: Between the Hedges
- Show: Queencatniphill
We don’t like backing chalk. But Toledo looks like an obvious winner. The Chad Brown trained runner finished third in the Holy Bull Stakes in his last. In addition to Brown, Juddmonte Farms owns. Juddmonte only races horses that they believe can win stakes. Not only that, but a lot of these are light on experience.
There’s a lot to like about Bill Mott trained Acre. The Blame sired 3-year-old colt’s first race against winners wasn’t as bad some might think. Acre finished fifth by 3 ¾ lengths. The speed rating came up big, though. There’s nothing wrong with jockey John Velasquez on this one’s back and the 10/1 morning line is sweet.
New York trainer Rudy Rodriguez puts the saddle on Mr. Shortandsimple. After failing big time in the Grade 3 Withers, the Pioneerof the Nile runner finished second in a $50,000 optional claimer. Rudy puts this one up for the tag, which doesn’t mean much because Mr. Shortandsimple runs at a much higher-level.
- Win: Toledo
- Place: Acre
- Show: Mr. Shortandsimple
In her first start, Chasing Anna ran about as well as she could. She looked like a winner at the top of the stretch. But she failed to keep it gong and faded to fourth. That race was at 7 furlongs. This is at 5 ½. The cut back in distance should be all Anna needs to get her diploma.
Hoof Prince runs first time for trainer Mike Maker. The Cairo Prince sired 3-year-old colt shows excellent works for the debut. Although Maker wins just 10% with his first-timers, there’s not a ton of talent signed on for this event. Prince could get into the exacta.
Kowalski races for hall-of-fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. The Brando inspired colt has a couple of thirds and a second. He could win, but more than likely he prefers to watch the backend of a horse or two in front of him.
- Win: Chasing Anna
- Place: Hoof Prince
- Show: Kowalski