Churchill Downs Horse Racing Picks for Thursday 5/4/23

Churchill Downs Horse Racing Picks for Thursday 5/4/23


It's Kentucky Derby week and the first full week of the Churchill Downs Spring Meet. There are 11 races on Thursday, including a pair of stakes. First post is at 12:45 p.m. ET.

As always, check the program for scratches and changes, monitor the weather and keep an eye on the track conditions.

(I will reference Equibase's Speed Figure in selected races, which tells you how fast a horse has been running in each of its races after adjusting for track, distances, and conditions).

Churchill Downs Betting Picks

According to numberFire horse racing projections and Guaranteed Tip Sheet (GTS), these are some of the best bets to make at FanDuel Racing today.

Did you follow FanDuel Racing picks and cash in on the biggest longshot in a recent Allowance race at Keeneland? Time For Trouble (18/1) cashed $2 win bets for $37.50 and a $2 exacta paid $189. 

Mobile betting on horse racing is easy with the best-in-class experience at FanDuel.

1. Run Classic and Strava, Race 6

FanDuel Racing Odds: 3/1 and 4/1
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Race 6 is an Allowance race at 7 furlongs. Guaranteed Tip Sheet has a best bet on Run Classic (3/1). He's been competitive in three straight graded stakes this year and hit the board running on the deeper surface at Fair Grounds.

Strava (4/1) finished fifth in a Grade 1 race in Dec. and makes his 2023 debut. He's a contender after winning twice at Churchill Downs, including at this level.

2. Bango and Miles Ahead, Race 9

FanDuel Racing Odds: 2/1 and 5/2
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Race 9 is the $175,000 St. Matthews Overnight Stakes for older horses sprinting 6 furlongs. The favorites Bango (2/1) and Miles Ahead (5/2) are the top win contenders, according to Guaranteed Tip Sheet and numberFire's data. Bag Boss (6/1) on the rail with top jockey Irad Ortiz aboard is also in the mix.

Bango has top jockey Tyler Gaffalione riding. Bango is an 11-time winner with many triple-digit speed figures, including in a pair of stakes wins last fall at Churchill Downs. His 2023 race in Jan. was a runner-up finish at lower odds in a minor stakes race.

3. Annapolis and Set Piece, Race 10

FanDuel Racing Odds: 7/5 and 5/2
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Race 10 is the $300,000 Opening Verse Stakes for older horses at 1 mile on the turf. The favorites look best again with GTS adding Set Piece (5/2) and Annapolis (7/5) as win contenders.

The top jockey/trainer combo of Irad Ortiz, Jr. and Todd Pletcher lead Annapolis, who has 5 wins in 8 starts, including Grade 1s and 2s. The War Front colt defeated older rivals last fall in winning the Grade 1 Coolmore Turf Mile. Stitched (15/1) is a longshot who missed the money in two recent graded stakes starts but has won minor stakes and has improved speed. Consider including in Exacta and Trifecta additions for bigger payoffs.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.