Churchill Downs Picks: Turf puzzle brings value on May 19

The Matt Winn Turf Course underwent a complete facelift last year, and with that expansion, we are going begin to see how it 'plays.' Check out our free picks, and targeted analysis, below ...
The Matt Winn Turf Course underwent a complete facelift last year, and with that expansion, we are going begin to see how it "plays." Check out our free picks, and targeted analysis, below ...

Churchill Downs Picks - Thursday, May 19, 2022

  • Race 1: 4-3-7-1
  • Race 2: 1-7-5-3
  • Race 3: 5-2-3-6
  • Race 4: 8-2-7-4
  • Race 5: 1/1A-8-2-4
  • Race 6: 5-1-4-3
  • Race 7: 12-4-3-5
  • Race 8: 5-1/1A-7-2
  • **Most Likely: Go Virtual #1 (Race 2)**
  • **Best Value: Sweet Beauty #8 (Race 4)**

Churchill Downs has the Kentucky Derby in the rearview mirror, but rest of the Meet continues on in earnest. Set to run through the July 4th holiday, there will be a regular set of races Thursday through Sunday ...

Today, an 8-race card is coming your 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 Thursday 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 2: Go Virtual #1, 5/2):

Much to like about this gelding by Dialed In. Trainer Juan Cano has a good stable, and he proved it down at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans over the winter. This 3-yr-old already got his debut out of the way, and should be able to improve after a 2nd place finish in a tough MC against a wild long shot. If we could get 5/2 on this one, then that qualifies as an overlay against this field.

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #1


Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 4: Sweet Beauty #8, 5/1):

Looking for a price horse on this card, I came up with this filly owned and trained by Steve Asmussen. Well-bred by Maclean’s Music, she used to be in the barn of Brad Cox. In a couple of tries under her new boss, she was against some tough company at Oaklawn. You have to understand that even the MC races in Hot Springs regularly bring the heat. This is going to be an easier spot for the filly, and she has the chance to notch her 1st maiden victory. The addition of Brian Hernandez is a good move, and I am looking for her to run much better in Louisville. Did Asmussen make a sharp claim down in the box back in March? The Claiming Game was on at Oaklawn … let’s see how it plays out …

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


Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 7: Turf, 1 1/16th, OC62.5kn2x, F&M 3+):

Here is a nice route on the turf that is going to test this dirty dozen. Handicappers can make a case for almost any runner, but this race has such depth to it. Quite a few of these are alums from 2 races on the Keeneland 24 April card. Instead of taking one of these more recent ones, I am looking for a “turfer” who is looking to get back to her preferred surface. Brendan Walsh’s Longpants Required #12 has not raced on the green since Keeneland … in October. The daughter of New Year’s Day was competitive at Saratoga, Kentucky Downs, and at Keeneland. Walsh is a trainer on fire right now, and Brian Hernandez is going to need to find a spot early on, which he can use to strike. It will not be easy, but the homebred has the late turn-of-foot. As for who to roll underneath … I also like Tyler Gafflione’s mount, Flatter Me Silly #3, Chad Brown’s Café Fleur #4, and Brian Lynch’s Lashara #5. Each of these is going to be a great price, and comes out of a solid turf barn. What a race!

Wagering Recommendation: Trifecta Wheel, 12 w 3/4/5 w 3/4/5


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