Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:53 PM
Horse Races Today: Sunday's Churchill Downs and Santa Anita Park Analysis & Odds
Horse Racing Action at TVG!
We received more good news on Saturday as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the New York Racing Association the green light to start up racing on June 1.
Racing will go on without spectators and Belmont Park likely will open on June 4. Saratoga is slated to kick off their summer meeting on July 16.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that the Preakness Stakes (G1) will be moved to Saturday, Oct. 3 at Pimlico. That is four weeks after the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5. Normally there is a two-week gap between the first two jewels of the Triple Crown.
The NYRA has not announced a date for the Belmont Stakes (G1), which now likely will be the first Triple Crown race to be run this year. With the Breeders’ Cup on Nov 6-7 at Keeneland, it is not feasible to run the race after the Preakness.
It likely will be run in late June or early July. There is talk of cutting back the distance from 1 1/2 miles to 1 1/8 miles. Traditionalists might not like the move, but it certainly makes sense. The race would serve not only as a prep for the Derby but possibly for the Travers (G1) at Saratoga as well.
It seems very unlikely that spectators will be allowed at Saratoga, which will be a tough economic hit to the NYRA and Saratoga Springs.
September will be here before we know it, and Churchill Downs attracts over 100,000 fans for not only Derby Day but also Oaks Day. The two days are a huge cash cow for Churchill Downs. There are just 111 days to go, and it really is too early to tell if spectators and how many would be permitted under the Twin Spires.
FS1 will be covering the Churchill Downs meeting each day. Sunday’s coverage on FS1 is from 2:00 to 6:00 ET while FS2 will cover the racing action from 1:00 to 2:00 and 6:00 to 6:30 ET.
In addition, the NBC Sports Network will simulcast the TVG Network from 4:00 to 8:00 ET. Horseplayers can also stream all the horse racing action using the Watch TVG App. The horse betting company based in the U.S. is offering a risk free bet up to $300 for new players.
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from Churchill Downs and Santa Anita.
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Here is the opening race from Churchill Downs to get the day off to a good start:
Churchill Downs Race 1 Analysis - 5/17
#11 Liam's Lookout 5-1
#1 Common Courtesy 2-1
#2 My Sweet Kat 10-1
#6 Orb's Soul 5-1
Analysis: Liam's Lookout stalked the early pace and made a mild late rally to finish fourth last out against $50,000 foes in her second career start. She caught a racing strip that day that was playing to inside speed. She was eighth in her debut against maiden special weight foes two back. The winner Finding Fame beat Alw-1 optional claimers in her next outing on April 10. The Kenneally trainee has worked quickly at Keeneland and looks well spotted here dropping in for a $30,000 tag. She is out of a Cherokee Run mare that has dropped five winners and three are stakes winners, top earner Hot Sean ($411,200).
Common Courtesy makes her first start off a 3 1/2 month break here after two starts at the Big A. She was a good second in her debut, then regressed second out in a fifth-place finish as the beaten favorite over a wet track. She drops into an easier spot here for the Mott barn that is 19% winners dropping runners from maiden special to maiden claiming. She is out of a Storm Cat mare that has dropped five other foals to race with three winners. Johnny V. picks up the call and she faces much easier here on the class drop.
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Churchill Downs:
Churchill Downs Featured Race 7 Analysis - 5/17
CD Race 7 Alw $81,000N1X (4:08 ET)
#6 Lost Ticket 9-2
#8 Fierce Scarlett 4-1
#4 Devious Charm 5-1
#9 Quiet Dignity 9-2
Analysis: Lost Ticket broke her maiden at the Big A over good ground in her second career start and Mott thought enough of her to try her in stakes company in the Herecomesthebride (G3) here he checked in ninth, beaten four lengths. She showed some promise back in her debut where she ran third behind Antoinette, who won the Tepin in her next outing, then was third in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) and Gardenia. She has worked sharply at Payson for her return off a 2 1/2-month break. She was a $400,000 purchase, the first foal to race out of an Empire Maker mare.
Fierce Scarlett makes her first starts since last October for the Brown barn that is 28% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. She graduated back in '18 in her second career start, then ran fourth in the Jessamine (G2). She only made three starts last year, coming up short at this condition in each outing including a neck loss behind repeat winner Itsmyluckycharm who is now a multiple stakes winner. She should be fit and ready to go off works at Palm Meadows and Castellano takes the call.
Santa Anita Featured Race 8 Analysis - 5/17
SA Race 8 The Desert Stormer (4:08 PT)
#3 Mother Mother 5-2
#5 Bellafina 6-5
#1 Fighting Mad 4-1
#2 First Star 6-1
Analysis: Mother Mother prompted the early pace, came four wide and finished up well while no match for hard Not to Like in a runner up finish in the Santa Monica (G2) last out here at seven furlongs. The winner came back to run second in the Beholder Mile (G1) to Ce Ce on March 14. The Baffert trainee rarely runs a bad one, her last win coming two back in the Kalookan Queen at 6 1/2 furlongs and she has landed in the exacta in 7 of her 11 outings. She owns a solid pace profile throughout with the edge in late pace numbers and she graduated at six furlongs in her debut, her lone trip at this distance.
Bellafina was off a beat slow and after stalking the early pace made a middle move and then did not show her usual punch in the stretch in a fourth-place finish in the Carousel at Oaklawn Park, beaten 10 lengths. It was her first start off a four-month break. She had run a career top in her runner up finish in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) and then ran a good second to hard Not to Like in the La Brea (G1). She popped a bullet work for the Callaghan barn that is 39% winners (with a +ROI) with runners making their second start off a 45-180 day layoff. She has not missed landing in the exacta in her six trips here with four wins. She should show more here but is going to be a light price.
Fighting Mad is making her first start since wiring the field in the Torrey Pines (G3) last summer at Del mar at a mile. The Baffert barn is 19% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. She draws the rail which may force the jock's hand, but she is quick enough to be forwardly placed in here.
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.
R1: #2 My Sweet Kat 10-1
R3: #9 Powerful Ally 8-1
R4: #3 Teller to Sing 15-1
R4: #8 Three Flamingos 12-1
R5: 32 Niles Channel 10-1
R6: #3 Rucksack 8-1
R6: #6 Go Uncle Bob 10-1
R6: #2 Never Even Called 10-1
R9: #3 My Man Flinstone 8-1
R10: #4 Jack and Noah 8-1
R11: #6 Prince Jersey Town 15-1
Good luck today!