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May 24, 2020

Horse Races Today: Monday's Churchill Downs and Santa Anita Analysis & Odds

Horse Racing Action at TVG!
We have a stakes tripleheader at Santa Anita today and a solid 10-race card at Churchill Downs with plenty of full fields for our Memorial Day action.

The $200,000 Monrovia (G2) kicks off the stakes at Santa Anita on Monday, a competitive field of eight going 5 ½ furlongs on turf, the fifth race on the 11-race card.

Jolie Olimpica is the 8-5 morning line favorite for trainer Richard Mandella. The filly suffered her first defeat in five starts when second in the Buena Vista (G2) going a mile. The cut back in distance will suit her but she has to deal with a nice mare in Oleksandra.

The $300,000 Shoemaker Mile (G1) is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” race, the winner stamping a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) this November at Keeneland.

A strong field of 11 will battle including last year’s Preakness Stakes (G1) winner War of Will. The Mark Casse trainee will be making her first start on turf since a fifth-place finish in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).

Trainer Chad Brown ships in two major threats in Without Parole and Raging Bull.

The nightcap is the $300,000 Gamely (G1) for fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on turf. A field of 11 go to the post led by the Brown trained Etoile.

The filly makes her U.S. debut after keeping top flight company overseas. She won a Group 3 in France and was beaten just ¾ of a length in a fourth-place finish in the prestigious Prix de Diane (G1) at Longchamp.

No stakes at Churchill Downs this afternoon, but again every race is competitive and we have mostly large and evenly matched fields which should lead to some very good payoffs and great betting opportunities for players that fire at the Pick 4 and Pick 5’s.

You can catch the action from Churchill Downs from 1:00 to 6:00 ET on FS2. In addition, the NBC Sports Network will simulcast the TVG Network from 6:30 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 Monday includes my nine strongest plays from Churchill Downs and Santa Anita.

To purchase my Churchill Downs and Best Plays Reports for Monday click here .

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Churchill Downs 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 - 5/25 (1:00 ET)

8 Full Velocity 3-1

9 Mr. Pickles 5-1

3 The Beat 4-1

7 Tourista 8-1


Analysis: Full Veleocty gets the slight nod in a wide open field of juvenile first timers. Our top pick is by Tapiture out of the stakes winner City Tone ($108,889) who has dropped three foals to race with a pair of winners, one a winner as a juvenile. The Calhoun barn is 14% winners (with a +ROI) with first timers. With juvie firsters the trainer is 13% winners (with a +ROI) with two-year-old firsters dating back three years.

Mr. Pickles debuts for the Lyster barn that is showing a 1 for 10 mark with first timers. He is 1 for 16 with juvenile firsters going back three years. The colt is by Twirling Candy out of a Tribal Rule mare, her first foal to race. The colt has solid looking works at Trackside for his debut here.

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

Churchill Downs Race 8 Analysis - 5/25 (4:40 ET)

3 Echo Town 9-5

1 By Your Side 5-1

8 Meru 7-2

4 Hop Kat 8-1


Analysis: Echo Town dueled for the early lead and battled on gamely in the stretch to miss by just a head in the Bachelor at Oaklawn Park, earning the top last out speed fig. The colt was five lengths clear of the rest of the field in the effort. He beat Alw-2L foes two back in the slop, drawing off to win by 3 3/4 lengths. He earned a solid number breaking his maiden in his debut four back at Far Grounds. he owns a solid pace profile throughout and looks tough in this spot. He catches a field here with plenty of early speed but has shown an ability to sit just off the pace which should come in handy here.

By Your Side is making his first start since last October where he checked din fifth in the Breeders' Futurity (G1). The winner Maxfield ran big on Saturday winning the Matt Winn (G3) here. The Kenneally trainee broke his maiden over the main track here in his debut at 5 1/2 furlongs and then won the Sanford by three lengths at the Spa in his first start against winners. His juvie numbers are on the light side but he has been working quickly in the mornings. The barn is 19% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. He may come back running and is going to be a fair price.

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Santa Anita:

Santa Anita Race 9 Analysis - 5/25 (4:38 PT)

1 Without Parole 4-1

8 Raging Bull 7-2

5 War of Will 4-1

11 River Boyne 4-1


Analysis: Without Parole returns off a return off a four month break after failing to fire in the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) last out, checking in 11th. Note he raced without Lasix in that outing. In his U.S. debut two back he made a good late rally to finish third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), beaten 2 ¾ lengths. The runner up Get Stormy returned to win the Matriarc (G1) in her next start on Dec. 1. This guy has not won since taking the St. James Palace Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot back in June of ’18 but has made just seven starts since that victory. The Brown barn is 26% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff. The son of Frankel gets his Lasix back and the cut back to a mile suits him.

Raging Bull is returning off a 6 ½ month layoff. He went 0 for 5 last year, his best finish a runner up in the Fourstardave ‘Cap (G1) last summer at Saratoga. In his last start in the Woodbine Mile (G1) he had a trough trip. He was pinched back leaving him last in the early going. He started picking up momentum splitting rivals and then was interfered with in deep stretch, finishing fourth and beaten 1 ¼ lengths. The offender was Lucullan, who came back to win the Knickerbocker (G2) in his next outing. He could use some pace which is no sure thing here. Brown is 28% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. A solid one-two punch for Brown who is 4 for 13 shipping here dating back two years, three of those wins coming in Breeders’ Cup races.

War of Will, last year’s Preakness Stakes (G1) winner returns to turf here for the first time since his two-year-old season. His first four career starts came on turf including a runner up finish in the Summer (G1) at Woodbine in his second career start. This will be his first start since running ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). He is bred to like grass, out of a Sadler’s Wells mare that has dropped four turf winners including Group 1 winner Pathfork ($237,831). The colt has been working sharply at Palm Meadows for his return. He may win a few turf races this year, but this is a really tough spot here.

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: #7 Tourista 8-1
R2: #5 Anna’s Fast 8-1
R3: #4 Petrov 8-1
R4: #9 She Loves Me 8-1
R5: #1 Conquest Lemonraid 10-1
R6: #8 Tuxedo Lemon 15-1
R7: #5 Wild Love 12-1
R8: #4 Hop Kat 8-1
R9: #5 Limonite 10-1
R10: #11 Swither’s Shortcut 12-1
R10: #5 Our Philly Special 12-1

Good luck today!

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