Churchill Downs Predictions, Woodbine Picks and Belmont Odds For Saturday June 13
Only 2 graded stakes on the Saturday Program the grade one Ogden Phipps at Belmont and the grade 3 Louisville at Churchill Downs. Both Woodbine and Santa Anita have a pair of non graded stakes events (one of which we’ll look at). Let’s look at some races.
Churchill 5th (3:10 pm Et): Shared Sense back on dirt
The Churchill 5th is an Allowance Optional Claiming event going for 3-year-olds who have not won 3 races (all of today’s runners are eligible under this condition) or for a claiming price of $100,000. Finnick the Fierce ran well in the grade one Arkansas Derby last time to be 3rd but he saved all the ground and got to angle out in the stretch. He is the morning line favourite and may be over bet in this spot because of that effort and the 2 times he has been in allowance company he has been 6-1 and 34-1. Art Collector ran very well last time but I want to see him make a thorough rally going a route.
Necker Island has won twice at Churchill at shorter distances and in one-turn races. He is also dropping out of graded stakes company. Though he was just a minor player in those races, running in them likely means he also takes a lot of money. He is eligible for this race under the N3L condition so I don’t like seeing the connections enter him for a tag where they could lose him. While he can win and I’d use him, I don’t entirely trust him on the win end.
The horse I want is Shared Sense (7/2 ML) who has competed on a fast main track 3 times. The first was his debut in his lone attempt sprinting and he lost to Silver Prospector who is now a graded stakes winner. His second attempt was his first time going a route and he rallied well to be 2nd. The horse that beat him came back to win again. His 3rd try on a fast track, he rallied to win at Oaklawn. Note that win represents the only time a horse has crossed the finish line 1st going 2 turns on dirt in this field.
Woodbine 7th (4:21pm Et): Giving Newstome another chance
The Woodbine 7th is the Woodstock going 6 furlongs on the Tapeta for 3-year-olds. Untitled figures to take plenty of money as he has a recency edge having been running in Florida and is graded stakes placed. He goes 6 furlongs for the first time since he won his debut by 11 lengths. My problem with Untitled is he has shown he needs the lead to be effective and I don’t see him making the front with Aye Aye Sir and Striking Moon in this race.
Clayton also figures to take plenty of tote support as he dazzled in his debut winning by over 7 lengths earning an 88 Beyer which looks very strong in this field. Don’t be fooled by the comment line which says ‘blocked’ as Clayton got a perfect ground-saving trip, he angled to the 3 path and kicked clear.
The ‘off slow’ part of the comment line is correct and while he got away with it in a maiden race, I doubt he’ll be as successful with a slow start in a stake. While I wouldn’t let him beat me, I doubt he offers much value to win thanks to his flashy debut. The main concerns being he is going from a maiden race to a stake while stretching out in distance off a 7-month layoff and he’s giving up plenty of seasoning. Also, none of the 6 horses Clayton beat in his debut came back to win their next race so it’s fair to question who he beat.
The horse I want is Newstome (4-1 ML) who is a perfect 2 for 2 at this 6-furlong distance including a win in a stake on a synthetic track at Presque Isle Downs. Yes, he provided a poor effort last time but he also provided a poor effort in a race at Colonial Downs and came back to win his next start. Luis Contreras takes the call and he and trainer Michael Trombetta were successful together last year.
Belmont 8th (5:04pm Et): Bustin Scones runs well fresh
The Belmont 8th is an allowance optional claiming event for fillies and mares 3 years old and up going 6 furlongs on dirt. The race is restricted to New York Breds. Quality Stones along with the inside runners Medellin and Happy Sophia likely will ensure an honest pace. Their presence also means I don’t want Good Credence whose lone win has come on the lead and as one of the favorites, I don’t want to find out if she can rate.
Officer Hutchy can win as she has never been worse than second in four career outings but she is running at Belmont and facing older horses for the initial time. The logical closer is Behind the Couch but the 2nd place finishes as the favorite in 2 of her past 3 races makes her hard to trust at a short price on the win end.
The horse I want is Bustin Scones (15-1 ML) who has run well off a layoff previously. She won her debut at this distance. She ran well to be 2nd off a 7-month layoff last September at long odds and the horse that beat her is now a stakes winner. Also, she has excuses for her last couple of races. 2 back she appeared to be making a move on the turn when another horse came out about 5 paths, forcing Bustin Scones to lose momentum. Last time Bustin Scones was squeezed at the start which put her in last in a race where the race flow favored speed horses. With a contested pace and some racing luck, Bustin Scones may be able to pull the upset.