McLean’s Picks for Churchill Downs 6/2/17

 

 

1st: 4-7-5-6…Karmic Destiny (4) gets the drop for one of the best young trainers in the business.  Hasn’t had a lot of starters this year so far, but has a steady stream of winners and ITM finishers.  This one could air today.  Indian Trick (7) should be the favorite at post time, but outfit sticks with the apprentice.  Not sure that is a wise move to make the winner’s circle.  Isotope (5) is the best of the rest.  I bet the 4 to win/place and key over and under ALL. And, box with 4-7 in exacta.

 

2nd: 4-5-1-2-3…Let It Ride Mom (4) gets her second start on dirt and the last one really didn’t count, since it was in the slop and against much better.  Gets the nod here.  Promises Broken (5) couldn’t handle Sweet Loretta in last, but could be much tougher today.  This one actually ran better against Benner Island than the 4.  Nineteenth Street (1) is another coming off a sloppy track and should be better. Wide open race that all have a shot in here.  I bet 4 to win/place and key over and under the rest.

 

3rd: 2-6-5-4-8-7…Iconic (2) closed with a big rush in the last out, and should benefit from that today.  He is 2-1 ML, but is definitely my Best Bet of the Day.  Should score in a tough MSW crowd. Morocco (6) has faced some tough ones in his first seven starts, but today is no bargain either.  Harlan Strong (5) is an Argentina-bred, but comes into this one off a solid start and very nice works.  Third race in this cycle could be key.  Kitten’s Gold (4) is another one with merit.  I bet the 2 to win/place and key in pick 3s and doubles.  Best Bet of the Day.  In addition, I key the 2 over and under the rest of the numbers.

 

4th: 3-7-4-8-2…Pitch Count (3) is 0-for-16, and that does NOT inspire hope and conviction.  He has finished ITM seven times, though, and the beaten favorite will be bet down again today.  Iffy choice.  Combat Controller (7) ran a big one against Multiplier (Illinois Derby winner who will get another Triple Crown shot in the Belmont).  If he runs that race back, he will win today.  Victor Again (4) is the best of the rest.  I bet the 7 (note) to win/place and box the 3-7 in the exacta.  I play the 3-7 over/under the rest of numbers, too.

 

5th: 6-2-4-8-7…A wide open affair that should offer good betting options.  I go with Speightful Song (6), who plummets from $50K-claiming all the way to near bottom.  Either wins going away, or backs up to the rear.  Condominium (2) is another dropper, who has shown ability in the past but has only 1 win in 21 lifetime starts.  Goes to the near-bottom today.  Start a War (4) ran a big one at this level last out and has been better with the addition of blinkers.  I bet the 6 to win/place and the 6-2 in an exacta box.  I play the 6-2 over/under the rest of the numbers.

 

6th: 3-2-5-7-1-6-8…Prado Vision (3) gets a slight drop and comes into this one off four straight competitive tries.  This deep closer picks up a new rider today, and this jock is known for his strong finishes. Might be the trick to help this one get there first today.  Like a Hurricane (2) is all speed and has been running against some of the best grass fillies in the country.  If she gets a clean trip, she may have a chance today – despite the fact that she gets the services of one of the coldest riders in the country. I’m Indy Havin Fun (5) is a Texas-bred, who actually may have a chance in open company.  Another speedster who will try to hold on in the deep stretch.  Holiday’s Angel (7) may be a good claim candidate today.  Love the pedigree.  I bet the 3 to win/place and key over/under all the numbers.

 

7th: 2-6-8-7-1…Audrey’s Double (2) gets a huge drop from a handy trainer-jock duo, and could close enough at a mile today to get the job done.  Drop Dead Red (6) gets a good jock improvement today for a barn that is dropping significantly in the first race off a claim.  Curious move here, but if OK, this one should be able to contend in this field.  Seeking Bull (8) is a third one that is dropping in class.  Won her second just two starts back and did so convincingly.  No match in her last.  Harlan’s Rose (7) is another one that may be a nice claim prospect.  This true closer could have a shot with a clean run late.  I bet the 2 to win/place and box with the 2-6-8 and the 2-6-7.

 

8th: 7-5-4-3-2-9…Tizahandful (7) ran a good one on the grass here on May 12 and comes right back for another try.  Wants to be close to the lead and that may not be good today.  Fiesta (5) could be the best stalker / closer in the group and may benefit from a fast pace scenario if able to rate off the front like she did in the last after a rough start.  Jokasa (4) goes for a hot trainer, and one of the few in this race with multiple wins.  Jet Away Sue (3) cost a lot of money ($320,000 at OBS last May). Has faced tougher than today.  I’m Betty G (2) comes off a big win at Indiana, when she got equipped with the glasses.  I bet the 7 to win/place and exacta box with the 5.  Then, I play the 7-5 over/under the rest of the numbers.

 

9th: 2-4-5-1-7-8…A tough one to end the card.  I settle on Internet Success (2), who is a 6YO gelding that trainer JR Caldwell used to train and then he went back to re-claim.  A good sign.  Beaten favorite at odds-on in last.  Gets a slight drop here and that could be enough in a very competitive field of well matched horses.  Special Jo (4), Areed (5) and Twirling Cinnamon all have a chance in here, too.  I bet the 2 to win/place and then box in the exactas with 2-4-5 and 2-4-1.

 

Good luck &

All the Best/

Gene

 

First off, thanks to the owner and Kelly for the opportunity to ride such a nice horse,” said Toledo. “He gave me everything he had. I think he needed the couple of races off the layoff. Kelly did a great job to get him ready for this race, and we got the job done.”

From Jevian Toledo, rider of the winner Diversidero, Rider of the winner Diversidero
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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