A Few Horses to Consider for the Thursday Pick 6 Carryover at Churchill Downs
Thanks in large part to the upset victory by Funny Duck in Saturday’s Pat Day Mile there is a Pick 6 carryover of $385,132 with a mandatory payout on Thursday at legendary Churchill Downs.
The six-race sequence commences in Race 3 and concludes with the Thursday evening finale in Race 8. It is a challenging slate of races that includes a five-furlong dash over the sod, a pair of competitive maiden special weight events, and a couple of “grab bag” claiming races. The featured race on the card is a high-level optional claimer run at a one-turn mile in Race 7.
There are a slew of ways to attack this solid series of races in Louisville, but here are a few thoughts that can hopefully lead you to the windows in what should be a juicy payout.
Most likely winner (Race 7):
There are no “free squares” on Thursday evening, but if I had to pick a horse that is likeliest to get his/her picture taken it would be California import #3 Life’s Blessings.
The Hal Earnhardt homebred was extremely impressive winning on debut for Kentucky Derby winning trainer back in the summer of 2016, but struggled to get back to the winners’ circle in five tries versus victors in 2017 and early 2018. The daughter of Tapit did not embarrass herself in those one-turn events, but burnt a ton of money at the windows losing at odds of 8-5 or lower in 5 straight.
Baffert opted to stretch the four-year-old filly out to two turns in her most recent start at Santa Anita on March 16th and she stalked early and drew clear late en route to a two and a quarter length score. The Hall of Fame conditioner has shipped Life’s Blessings into Kentucky and finds a beatable group in her first try in over seven weeks.
I am slightly concerned with the amount of speed signed on in this spot, but if jockey Florent Geroux can relax her just off the early leaders she should find the one-turn mile right up her alley. She is far from a cinch, but I like the way she finished in her first try at an extended distance. She should appreciate the slight cutback to eight panels assuming she takes to her new surroundings.
A long shot to include (Race 6):
#3 Trenton Bridge makes his third start of the form cycle for trainer Thomas Van Berg after a less than ideal beginning in his initial try versus winners last month at Oaklawn Park. That race was over the sloppy going, but the son of Giant’s Causeway should appreciate getting back to a fast track, much like the one he broke his maiden over on March 25th.
Trenton Bridge was able to work out a perfect trip just off a four-horse battle on the front end in that first career win, but I think he could find himself in a similarly advantageous position again on Thursday.
In a race where I do not fully trust 2-1-morning line favorite #5 Frank the Butcher, I will be looking to find a couple of horses that could provide separation from the public. This five-year-old gelding is listed at 12-1 on the line and has a serious chance to spring the upset in this conditional $8K claimer over the main track.