Sunday at Churchill Downs: RT picks two races with the help of SmartCap

First race post time is 1:00 pm EDT


In 1974, I went to the Kentucky Derby with my crazy cousins from NW Indiana. They made the traveling poker game trip to Louisville in my oldest cousins RV. I sat on my brothers’ shoulders and watched, as best as I could with 100,000 people in the infield, Cannonade take to the center of the track mid-stretch and win. I was hooked. The next Tuesday, a friend of mine and I cut school and went back to Churchill and wandered around not knowing who to bet on and how to read all the material we got. Suddenly, I noticed it. I started to walk briskly in the other direction when I heard a familiar voice say, “where are you going so fast?” I abruptly made an about face and very ashen looking, was tongue tied. I was then asked, “what are YOU doing here?” Stunned, I couldn’t think of fast answer, so I quipped, “what are YOU doing here? Laughing while talking, he said, “don’t tell your mother.” Happy Fathers Day Dad. That was one of many unforgettable highlights with you.

Today at Churchill, it is 81° and rain as a possibility

Race 1, post time 1:00 pm EDT

$50K Claimers, 3yo+ NW2l going one mile

SmartCap numbers point overwhelmingly to #2 The Rock Says (1/1). His trainer, Stanley Hough, is 40% with horses off 6+ months and his jockey, Tyler Gafflione, took this mount in lieu of the #1 Revenio (12/1) which he won on last out. He has had solid workouts of late and is 3:1-2-0 at CD.

#4 Tikhvin Flew (7/2) is our second-best overall class, speed and second best last. I’ll pass on this horse due to its trainer, Steve Asmussen, is now 0-30 in routes at Churchill.

#5 Cool Bobby (3/1) Cherie DeVaux 9% with 1-2 months rested horses and this son of Shanghai Bobby got a race in this year at Gulfstream. He’s had three so/so works and the fourth, on June 14, was a brisk :47.6.

Contest Bet: $20/w #2 The Rock Says

Race 8, post time 4:46 pm EDT

$62.5K Optional Claiming for 3yo+ NW$ or NW3 going 6f

#3 Guest Suite (7/2) the bad news? He is in for a tag today. Not the best sign. The good news? He has our best overall speed, class and best races two and three back. He is also 5:3-0-0 for $222K on a sloppy track. Gets a major cutback in distance today and I do not see where this is an advantage. (Editor: scratched)

#5 Rubus (10/1) has best last and was bothered in the stretch last out, then gave way to stay up for the place. That was November of last year and his trainer, Phil Bauer, is 0-fer with horses coming off 6+ months. Pass

#7 By Your Side (15/1) has best two cumulative, third best overall class and speed and second best last. This guy can be a danger in this as his previous two and three races back were in G! stakes and he went off at relatively short odds. He’s had a $100K OC race three weeks ago and was beaten by Echo Town and Digital. He has had two freshenings’ since.

#6 KJ’s Nobility (6/1) Borel bothers entry went to post on May 29th in a $80K optional claimer on 5/29 and gave way to Hog Creek Hustle and Lexingtonian. Has since had a workout and is 7:3-0-2 in the mud and 6:1-1-0 at CD.

My bet: $7/w on #6 and $13/p on #7

Follow me @RtsSpot for more.

If you are interested in getting more daily evaluations, please email

SmartCap analysis of the 1st at Churchill Downs on 6/21/2020
SmartCap analysis of the 1st at Churchill Downs on 6/21/2020 RT
SmartCap analysis of the 8th at Churchill Downs on 6/21/2020
SmartCap analysis of the 8th at Churchill Downs on 6/21/2020 RT
Explanation on how to read SmartCap
Explanation on how to read SmartCap RT
Bettors Insider