Churchill Downs starts their first full week of racing on Thursday, May 21. Rain could wash many of the races off the turf. We’ll stick with dirt races. Check out analysis and horse racing picks for 3 of the top dirt races on Churchill’s Thursday card! Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds from Churchill Downs for Thursday, May 21. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Churchill Downs Horse Racing Picks
- When: Thursday, May 21 at 1:00 pm ET
- Where: Louisville, KY
- Weather: Chance of Rain Showers
- Temperature: High 79 – Low 60
Churchill Downs Picks for Thursday, May 21
Race 2 – 1:30 pm ET – 6 Furlongs Dirt – $10,000 Starter Optional Claiming
Although 3/1 on the morning line, don’t be surprised if we get more than that on Ruler of the Nile. The Michael Lauer trained runner faces popular T Loves a Fight and a Rudy Rodriguez first after the claim runner. Let’s hope that Ruler of the Nile gets lost in the betting. Puruchased for $1 million in 2017, Ruler has won 4-of-9 at the distance and is 4-for-4 at Churchill Downs.
Rudy Rodriguez wins 26% first after the claim. That makes Big Thicket a serious contender. The runner is a presser, though. Over the weekend, speed did well at Churchill Downs. Consider for the top spot if you don’t believe in Ruler.
Well-named T Loves a Fight will go off the favorite. Trained by Orlando Noda, the 6-year-old gelding is aptly named. T most definitely loves a fight. But T has raced primarily on the New York circuit. Churchill is a much different racetrack. So, we’re not using the chalk in the win slot.
- Win: Ruler of the Nile
- Place: Big Thicket
- Show: T Loves a Fight
Race 8 – 4:40 pm ET – 1 Mile Dirt – $30,000 Claiming
Diane Kobiski trained Princess Phone could have a pace advantage in this. The daughter of Dialed In might be the lone front runner. She broker her maiden at the $50,000 level over this racetrack in her last. Princess Phone also ran great to finish second in a $25,000 claiming race over the turf at a mile in her last. Phone goes home gate-to-wire.
Addison takes a huge drop from $50,000 optional claiming to this $30,000 straight claiming race. Trainer Dale Romans wins 19% going sprint to route while Addison has a win at the distance. There’s not a lot to dislike. Well, except the fact that every class player who bets this race should be all over the Romans’ runner.
Michael Ewing trained Spun Eazy should get no worse than third in this. The Hard Spun sired 3-year-old filly finished third at this distance by 1 ¾ lengths in her last. Like Addison, she takes a big drop. The works are decent enough to peg this one for the victory. So, use in all trifecta slots if you want to be safe.
- Win: Princess Phone
- Place: Addison
- Show: Spun Eazy
Race 10 – 5:44 pm ET – 1 1/16 Miles Dirt – $50,000 Maiden Claiming
Thomas Drury trains 12/1 on the morning line Bless Em. The Blame sired 3-year-old filly failed miserably in her first life-time start. She finished ninth by 38 lengths. However, that was over Turfway’s polytrack. Drury wins 38% going maiden to maiden claiming. He wins 24% going from all-weather to dirt. Also, Bless Em had a real nice 3 furlong work on May 16.
Wayne Lukas trained Sense You Left has gotten no love from the odds makers. Sense You Left is 6/1 on the morning line even though the Street Sense sired filly posted the top last race speed rating in this field. Jockey Martin Garcia should put Sense You Left in the perfect position for the victory. So, consider for the win if you don’t like the top choice.
Flashing Red won’t go off at 9/2 odds. The Violence sired filly heads to Wayne Catalano’s barn after racing under Christophe Clement’s care. She almost broke her maiden at this level going this distance at Gulfstream in her last. She’ll end up the chalk and rates a must use in this competitive field.
- Win: Bless Em
- Place: Sense You Left
- Show: Flashing Red