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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:53 PM

Horse Races Today: Thursday's Churchill Downs Analysis & Odds

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In this topsy turvy world we now live in, this year’s Triple Crown is getting a major shakeup, as the $1 million Belmont Stakes (G1) will now kick off the 2020 classic races for three-year-olds.

Belmont Park announced they will open for racing on June 3 and the Belmont Stakes has been scheduled for June 20. The race will have a distance switch from 1 1/2 miles to 1 1/8 miles.

Some horseplayers are upset with the distance cutback, but it really makes sense as most trainers would not be excited about running 1 1/2 miles after many of the Kentucky Derby preps were canceled due to the pandemic.

The Kentucky Derby (G1) is set for Sept. 5 and the Preakness Stakes (G1) will conclude the Triple Crown on Oct. 5.

Some are saying an asterisk should be added to this year’s Triple Crown, but I think we should reserve that for Bonds, Armstrong and the Astros.

The gap between the Derby and Preakness is normally two weeks, giving trainers little incentive to run back so quickly except for the Derby winner. With four weeks between the races this year, it should mean a bigger and more competitive field for the Preakness and you could make an argument the Triple Crown will be much harder to win with more spacing between the races.

The June 20 date for the Belmont Stakes is exciting. Other sports likely will still be on the sidelines. NBC will cover the action during a three-hour telecast and there will be five supporting stakes on what will be a blockbuster betting card.

Even with no fans in attendance, the betting handle could easily top years where there was a Triple Crown hanging in the balance.

In a crazy year in which sports have basically come to a complete halt, it is hard to believe the Triple Crown countdown is here and we are only a month away from kicking it off.

To purchase my Churchill Downs Report for Thursday click here .

Fox Sports 2 will cover the action from Churchill Downs from 2:00 to 6:00 ET. In addition, horseplayers can 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.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Churchill Downs or Belmont Park Reports daily and my Best Plays Report which will include all the major Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races.

Here is the opening race from Churchill Downs to get the day off to a good start:

Churchill Downs Race 1 Analysis - 5/21

2 Mad Maddy 3-1

4 Tequila Queen 2-1

3 Hopeful Princess 6-1

5 Prettyhappy 15-1


Analysis: Mad Maddy makes her debut for the Asmussen barn that is 17% winners with first timers. This gal is by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah out of an unraced Tale of the Cat mare, this her first foal to race. She has done most of her prep work at Keeneland and has one morning drill over the main track here. This is the barn's first juvie firster this season. She looks ready to go and this field is made up mostly of barns with weak numbers with debut runners.

Tequila Queen is sent out by Ward who does have good numbers with firsters, hitting at a 28% clip. The trainer is just 1 for 7 with two-year-old first timers this season and they have all been bet. This filly was a $325,000 purchase, also by the Triple Crown winner. She is out of the stakes winner Agave Kiss ($339,400 who was a really good sprinter that won 6 of her 10 starts, a Grade 3 winner and Grade 1 placed. She has dropped two foals to race and they are a combined 0 for 8. A tough call here as the Ward firsters don't seem to be showing the same zest as in previous springs but not much else in here to get excited about.

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Churchill Downs:

Churchill Downs Featured Race 8 Analysis - 5/21

1 Addison 9-2

5 Moorac 8-1

6 Princess Phone 9-2

4 Spun Eazy 7-2


Analysis: Addison drops in for a tag here facing non-winners of two. Last out he raced in last while toward the outside and could not make up much ground in a fourth-place finish, catching a racing strip that was kind to inside speed. He put in a solid effort on turf two back, checking in third and placed second via a DQ. Three back he tracked the early pace and finished up well in a runner up finish at Gulfstream Park at six furlongs, again catching a surface that was kind to speed. He yesterday going a one turn mile for a $30,000 tag last November and sure looks primed for a top effort here. I like the jock switch to Talamo and the 9-2 looks fair although he may end up a bit lighter.

Moorac stalked the early pace while in behind foes, was in some traffic and finished up well while no match for the gate to wire winner and getting beaten two lengths for the runner up spot. The winner was Cherished, who came back to beat $50,000 starter optional claimers in his next start at Oaklawn Park on April 19. He has not been long on dirt and is bred to handle more ground, by Jack Milton out of a Maria's Mon mare. The barn is 0 for 17 moving runners from sprint to route. Now going back five years the numbers look much better, the barn hitting at a 17% clip on the stretch out.

Live Longshots:
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.

Churchill Downs
R1: #5 Prettyhappy 15-1
R3: #11 Beauty Day 8-1
R5: #5 Jersey Agenda 8-1
R6: #2 Mineyourownmalone 8-1
R7: #5 Winandyourin Gin 12-1
R8: #5 Moorac 8-1
R10: #3 Eden 12-1

Good luck today!

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