Churchill Downs Picks & Analysis for June 13

Churchill Downs closes out the week with a 10-race card on Sunday
Churchill Downs closes out the week with a 10-race card on Sunday
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Another week of racing at iconic Churchill Downs comes to a close on Sunday with a solid 10-race program. As usual, our in-house handicapper has shared his thoughts on the card, with picks for every race and analysis of his strongest opinions throughout the day.

If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country on Sunday, be sure to check out our Free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.

Horse Racing Picks

Most Likely Winner:  Dominga (Race 9) - The threat of thunderstorms on Sunday again puts turf racing in jeopardy, but for the purposes of this analysis I’m going to assume all such races remain on their intended surface, which is going to make Dominga darn near unbeatable in the feature. I loved this filly last out in the G3 Bewitch after she appeared to take a big jump forward in her 4-year-old debut in the Tom Benson Memorial at Fair Grounds. While she finished a disappointing sixth in the Bewitch, that race came going a mile and a half, which in retrospect is likely farther than she wants to go. I think the turnback to a mile and an eighth is going to suit her perfectly, and I’m expecting her to build on her promising run in the Tom Benson, which I don’t believe anyone else will be able to match.

Best Value:  Pure Courage (Race 6) - There’s very little proven turf form to latch onto in this maiden claimer, which is what makes Pure Courage so appealing, in my opinion. Many are going to dismiss him because his recent turf outings have come in Texas, however his last race at Lone Star was no worse than this one in terms of quality. The addition of blinkers in that spot may have moved him up a bit, and I think he’s primed to run another solid race against this lackluster bunch. His 12-1 morning-line odds would be a gift.

Other Races of Interest:  Race 8 - This appears to be a fascinating optional claimer for 3-year-olds with several different ways to go, but that’s not necessarily so if you’re a believer in the recent maiden win of Macron (#9), as I am. It did come over a sloppy track, which is going to raise some eyebrows, however I believe Macron’s sudden improvement is just due to him progressing as a 3-year-old. I thought his prior try at Oaklawn Park was deceptively strong, so it didn’t come as a complete surprise to me that he easily handled a maiden field here with an 85 Beyer Speed Figure. He’s my top pick in this race, though I’d also consider Angkor (#4) at a bigger price. This horse won his debut over this track and ran well again in his second start as a juvenile, both earning him Beyers in the 80’s, and if he improves at all as a 3-year-old he’s going to be a major player.

Race 10 - There Goes Harvard (#3) is more of a ‘very likely winner’ than a straight-up value play, but he’s still worth highlighting in the finale. This horse had a ton of juice in his first local start on April 27 and certainly ran to that backing, though he ultimately came up short in that 1 ¼-mile race. The way he ran that day leads me to believe the cutback to a mile is going to be much more to his liking, and there’s also a good chance he improves in his second start over this surface as he’s had plenty of time now to acclimate to Churchill Downs. If he does, he should be out of reach for his competitors.

 

*If you're interested in seeing payouts for these races, you can find them on our Results page linked to below*

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