Black Friday 11.26 Churchill Downs Picks: God's Tipster handicaps 5 races, including the Grade 1 Clark Stakes
Maxfield runs in the Grade 1 Clark Stakes. God's Tipster isn't picking him.@Churchill Downs on Twitter

Black Friday 11.26 Churchill Downs Picks: God's Tipster handicaps 5 races, including the Grade 1 Clark Stakes

Midnight Bourbon and Maxfield square off in the Clark.

Thursday’s Race Recap from Churchill Downs:

(All odds US)

Replays for yesterday’s races from Churchill Downs can be found here:

Churchill Downs:

Race 3: 5th@ 4.20/1

Race 9: 3rd@ 7.00/1

Race 10: 2nd@ 3.30/1

Race 11: SCRATCH

Race 12: 4th@ 9.00/1

A close second, a third a fourth and a fifth place finish wrapped a bow around Thanksgiving Day for us. Race 3 - AK Safari stalked the pace on this sloppy track and was never quite able to mount a serious rally finishing 5th. In Race 9, first time starter - Gilded Ruler stalked the pace and finished a professional third at 7/1 odds. In Race 10, Laughing Boy led throughout to draw away in the stretch only to get caught on the wire by Commandeer in a heartbreaking finish as he ran too well to lose. We scratched in Race 11 and in Race 12, Gambler’s Fallacy seemed to have perfect positioning off the speed and then once they hit the stretch he wasn’t really persevered with.

Onward.

It’s Black Friday so let’s leave the bookmakers black & blue while we spend their money on Christmas gifts. We’re staying at Churchill Downs for Friday’s races which includes a rare Friday Grade 1 - the Clark Handicap. A few runners bypassed the Breeder’s Cup Classic to run here. It’s obviously not as lucrative as the Classic is but the field also isn’t as decorated. We’re expecting chilly temperatures and sunny skies with a fast main track. Let’s get started!

Black Friday picks for Churchill Downs:

Race 1: Rousing Siren - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 5/1)

Maiden Claimers race a mile-and-a-sixteenth to kick off Black Friday festivities and we’re looking to get our Friday started with a Rousing Siren. Rousing Siren will be making his third career start after a 17 point improvement on speed figures from debut to Race 2. This runner really caught the eye as he made his move last time out and while he wasn’t gaining on the winner late, he was nearly 13 lengths ahead of the third place runner and leveling out nicely. Rousing Siren for us in Race 1.

Race 3: Miss Tulsa - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 7/2)

Maiden claimers sprint 7 furlongs and Closet Shopper is the likely favorite but there’s reasons to bet against her as her form has gone a bit downhill over her last few starts albeit over sloppy tracks – but she’s bred to like the mud so I’m not sure where that puts her. Like that runner, Miss Tulsa drops into maiden claiming ranks for the first time off a better-than-it-looks 6th place finish on turf – a surface she’s not bred for in the least. She switches back to the main track today and if she can run back to the form she displayed last winter and spring at Oaklawn Park , she’ll be a top contender here. Workouts say she’s ready.

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Race 10: Notary - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 20/1)

This mile allowance race attracted a solid field of runners, somewhat equal in talent. Our 4/5 morning line favorite breaks from post 12 from a 0 for 20 barn that’s only 11% for the year so we’ll be taking a stand against. Notary is interesting here. While he finished behind a few of these in his most recent starts, he was taken too far off the pace in his two most recent starts. Today he gets blinkers off – a move you’d think that wouldn’t sharpen her speed but the last time they took blinkers off it produced the best speed figure of his career. That race also happened to be at this very distance. Snappy workout leading into this on Nov. 11. Rider change might wake him up. Upset pick.

Race 11: Midnight Bourbon - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 8/5)

Interesting showdown in the Grade 1 Clark Stakes as our two morning line favorites were both withheld from the Breeder’s Cup Classic to take a shot here. Midnight Bourbon – ever the bridesmaid this year winning just one race from 8 starts against the very best three-year-olds in the division faces Maxfield – a winner of 3 of 6 races this year but the victim of pace-less races in his last two starts – losing to Knicks Go and Art Collector who were both loose-on-the-lead. I’m siding with Midnight Bourbon here since trainer Steve Asmussen has caught fire lately and he’s the lone speed nearest the rail. Maxfield – his main competition has lost his two most recent starts in this exact same scenario – a lone front runner and that’s a challenging thing to close into for a runner that comes from off the pace.

Race 12: Greener Pastures - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 5/1)

Starter allowance runners close out our Black Friday races and there are enough die-hard speed types in here to set the table for Greener Pastures – the strongest closing kick in the field. On turf last time out, Greener Pastures now races on browner pastures – as he hits this 6 1/2 furlong dirt sprint and that’s the surface and track that has produced the top speed figure of his lifetime so far. Three workouts since his most recent start have him ready to fire today.

Good luck to everyone playing Friday’s races from Churchill Downs!

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