Churchill Downs Picks: Promise Keeper has something to prove in R8 on May 13

HOF trainer Todd Pletcher brings his 4-yr-old colt to Churchill Downs on Friday for their 'feature.' Promise Keeper will be the favorite in Race 8, but there are others drawn-in ... here is how J.N. Campbell sees it, below!
HOF trainer Todd Pletcher brings his 4-yr-old colt to Churchill Downs on Friday for their "feature." Promise Keeper will be the favorite in Race 8, but there are others drawn-in ... here is how J.N. Campbell sees it, below!

Churchill Downs Picks - Friday, May 13, 2022

  • Race 1: 4-5-2-1
  • Race 2: 6-7-4-5
  • Race 3: 4-2-1-3
  • Race 4: 8-4-7-1
  • Race 5: 9-7-1-4
  • Race 6: 2-7-3-8
  • Race 7: 8-2-5-7
  • Race 8: 4-10-3-1
  • Race 9: 10-12-3-7
  • **Most Likely: More Romance #2 (Race 6)**
  • **Best Value: Uninvited Guest #8 (Race 4)**

Churchill Downs once again put on a splendid running of the Kentucky Derby last Saturday! If you did not see Rich Strike roll late down the lane, then you missed out. The colt by Keen Ice stumped all the 'cappers, winning at odds of 80/1. Now, the rest of the Meet begins to unfold as it is set to run through the July 4th holiday.

Today, an 9-race card is up for grabs! Our turfwriter J.N. Campbell will be with you every step of the way. One of the features this summer is the new Matt Winn Turf Course, which opens with a brand new sodded surface. Should be fun, and make for some excellent wagering opportunities.

At we have you covered, including all of the action! It is a good time for some of the best that North American racing has to offer. Stay tuned! If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country this Friday be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter ... Horseracing_USA !!!

Horse Racing Picks

Most Likely Winner: (Race 6: More Romance #2, 10/1):

It might seem odd to pick a 10/1 shot as the “Most Likely Winner,” but I think this filly by More Than Ready is just that … more than ready to win. She was a claim last fall from the barn of Ron Moquett, and trainer Marianne Scherer started “working her back” down at the Fair Grounds in March. I think she catches a somewhat easy field, and will be up for the turnback in distance. She was running as a miler last year. What I particularly like is the addition of Reylu Gutierrez, who in my opinion, is perfectly suited to handle dirt sprint runners. He is an aggressive gate jockey, and I find that he knows how to hustle his mount out for the lead. This could be one of my best picks … I wouldn’t miss out.

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #2


Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 4: Uninvited Guest #8, 6/1):

Trainer Steve Margolis has a history in the training biz, and even though he has a small stable, that doesn’t mean he cannot challenge the larger barns at Churchill. This 3-yr-old colt by Distorted Humor did not get to try the Stall Course at the Fair Grounds last time out because it was an off-track day. He was stepping up in company from MC50k open company. He dueled on the dirt, but he had to settle for Show. A former member of Todd Pletcher’s outfit, I think he is ready to take on this Starter band with Joe Rocco in the saddle. With 3 solid works to his credit, plus a strong ability to rate, he could be ready to take on some older, more experienced runners.

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager WPS #8 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)


Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 8: Dirt, 1 1/16th, OC80kn3x, 3+):

Here is an interesting contest on this Friday at Churchill, and it brings together a strong group of 10 older males. You will probably remember Todd Pletcher’s Promise Keeper #10 from last year when he won the Grade 3 Peter Pan Stakes. In ’22 he already has a pair of races under his saddle, and they were not for the faint of heart ... the Razorback (G3) at Oaklawn, and the New Orleans Classic (G2) at the Fair Grounds. Having to run against Plainsman and the Olympiad was no small task, and he has a legitimate excuse for why he didn't win in either of those contests. Coming into this softer spot with Tyler Gaffalione aboard, one would think this is a cinch … but I am not so certain. Afterall, 9 others have drawn-in too, and some of those look pretty enticing. For instance, I like Greg Foley’s Major Fed #4, a horse by Ghostzapper that is making his 3rd start of the year. A homebred, this 5-yr-old was up against some tough company in an OC80kn3x race at Keeneland last time. He posted a strong speed fig., gets a rider switch to Florent Geroux with Gaffalione on the favorite, and is not without some nice class. The price will be right at 10/1. One other runner that looks interesting is Al Stall’s Masqueparade #3. The colt is a 4-yr-old, and was last seen in the Travers S. (G1) at Saratoga against Essential Quality. Coming off-the-bench is never easy, but clearly the reigning Ohio Derby (G3) champ can make a splash in this spot as he starts his ’22 campaign. Let’s use both of these on top, and maybe they can get the best of the Pletcher ace.

Wagering Recommendation: Exacta Wheel, 3/4 w 10


Enjoy some racing under the Twin Spires! Best of luck on another run at Churchill Downs!

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