Rob Murphy’s Picks For Opening Night 2018 At Churchill Downs

Live racing returns for Opening Night 2018 at Churchill Downs. Ten races including the William Walker Stakes. The William Walker features a large field of ten three year-olds for five furlongs on turf with a purse of $100,000. Rob Murphy has his picks for today’s races. First post is at 6 p.m. (ET) with the William Walker Stakes race at 10:11 p.m.

Race 1- #3- Googleado is the speed of the speed.  There aren’t really any closers in this race.  Play #3 in the early double with the #1 & #6.
Race 2- #6- Flight Risk comes from the Steve Asmussen stable.  He has been close, drops in for a tag, and gets blinkers for the first time.  #1- Long Gray Line is dropping for a tag after running 2nd in  his  only start at Evangeline.  He is stretching out for the first time, but his 1st race running line should allow him to stretch out. Play Long Gray Line to win, and cover him in an exacta with Flight Risk.
Race 3 – #1- Amberspatriot is the ONLY horse that has showed she can close.  Wheel her in the exacta top/bottom.
Race 4- #7- Esposito might have been a good claim 2 races back.  Taking the blinkers off might just be enough to get him to settle today.  The only thing I don’t like is Lanerie getting off.  #2- Go Navy Go picks up Corey Lanerie . He is also dropping in and has a win on this turf.  Box the 2/7 in the exacta.
Race 5- #8- Eye on Harper can close in another  race with a ton of speed.  #4- White GOld might be the best of the speed horses.  Play an exacta box 8/4.
Race 6- #2- Unfading Beauty has closed well.  This is another race on the  card with a lot of front runners.  Play #2 to win.
Race 7- #8- Patriot Drive is the best play in here.   The only horse that looks close to him is #6 Chantmeupbaby.  Play #6 to  win.
Race 8- A tight race…Play an exacta box 2/3/5/7.
Race 9- #1 Salmanazar is the Best bet of the Day!  He should lead at every pole.  Play to win, and cover in  an exacta with #8 & #9. Also, bet him in late double with #2/3/8.
Race 10- Exacta box 2/3/8.

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Rob Murphy

    Rob Murphy

    A horse racing and thoroughbred enthusiast, Murphy has devised his own method for handicapping and breeding. Murphy's company, M375 Thoroughbreds, Inc., has bred, raised and raced successful horses such as Platinum Tiara, Swing and Miss, Diamond Studs, Strike Three and Golden Spikes. Murphy is a former Major League Baseball player. ...

    Full Bio >

More From Rob Murphy