Churchill Downs Picks – Friday, September 18, 2020
Thoroughbred racing at Churchill Downs kicks off the weekend with a ten-race card featuring maiden, starter, and claiming races. I find three of the richest purses and take a close look at the competitors, the underdogs, and the value bets.
Read on for my picks and predictions for Friday’s richest races at Churchill Downs.
Picks for Churchill Downs Race 5
This is a maiden special weight race for three-year-olds and upward running a distance of 1-1/16 miles on turf for a purse of $75,000.
Regardless of whether the 2/1 also-eligible Lake Nimrod makes it into the race, I like the 5/2 Ten Flat, with Shaun Bridgmohan aboard, for the win here. This three-year-old colt posted second-place wins in two of his three career starts.
There are three entries here at 10/1, and I think one of them—Vedder, piloted by Florent Geroux, stands the best chance of a money finish. This four-year-old gelding finished in the money two of his four career starts at Woodbine, where he placed fourth and fifth in the two no-money finishes. Those were all in 2019, however, so this is a little more chancy than I like, so feel free to ignore my show bet recommendation.
- Win: Ten Flat 5/2
- Show: Vedder 10/1
Picks for Churchill Downs Race 7
This is a maiden special weight race for two-year-olds running a distance of 6-1/2 furlongs for a purse of $75,000.
I like the second-favored (3/1) Stayin’ Out Late, with Ricardo Santana, Jr., aboard. This colt has no starts on record but has shown performance in recent workouts superior to the morning line favorite.
At 15/1, Coastal Waters, with Shaun Bridgmohan in the irons, could be a value show bet. This colt finished fourth in his sole career start but has shown good performance in the longer distances during recent workouts at Canterbury Park.
- Win: Stayin’ Out Late 3/1
- Show: Coastal Waters 15/1
Picks for Churchill Downs Race 9
This is an allowance race for three-year-olds and upward running a distance of 1-1/8 miles for a purse of $77,000.
I’m sticking with the 2/1 morning line favorite here—Communicator, with Florent Geroux in the irons. This four-year-old gelding moneyed two of his four career starts, winning one of them.
At 12/1, I like Glory Road, with Tyler Gaffalione aboard, for a show ticket. This three-year-old gelding moneyed one of his two career starts (he finished fourth in the other one), and his recent workouts show he has what it takes for a money finish here.
- Win: Communicator 2/1
- Show: Glory Road 12/1
More Racing Tips for Today
Churchill Downs had plenty of value bets today, and I found even more at these other two tracks I put under the microscope: