Churchill Downs Horse Racing Picks for Thursday 6/18/20

With most of the sports world on pause, it's a great time to dive into horse racing, and TVG gives you the chance to do just that.

Starting at 1:00 p.m. EST, we have nine races at Churchill Downs. Let's look at some of the best bets.

As always, keep an eye out for scratches and changes.

Jumper, Race 2

TVG Odds: 6/1

The day's second race gives us a scheduled 14-horse field. Jumper (6/1) has just the seventh-best odds, per TVG, but the gelding has plenty of appeal. Prior to an eighth-place finish in his last outing, Jumper had won two straight, according to Timeform. While he'll face some stiff competition, Jumper rates out well via, with DHP giving him the best pace and speed ratings in the field. A bet on Jumper to win may be a bridge too far, but I like him to get in the top three. His jockey, Colby J. Hernandez, has a top-three rate of 38% this year at Churchill Downs, per Equibase.

Queenofcatniphill, Race 5

TVG Odds: 5/1

At 5/1, Queenofcatniphill is enticing in Race 5 and jumps out as a betting value. Coming off the rail, the filly has a win across her last five outings, but the rest of her results have been scattered (11-7-3-4). The 11th-place and 7th-place finishes have been her lone two races this year, so she's failed to recapture her solid 2019 form. Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, owner of a 14% win rate and 32% top-three rate here in 2020, should help, and DHP gives Queenofcatniphill the field's best speed rating as well as picking her to win.

Johnny Cab, Race 7

TVG Odds: 3/1

Johnny Cab (3/1) is the favorite in Race 7, and it's easy to see why. The gelding is running very well, going 1-3-3-2-4 over his last five events. In his 13-race career, Johnny Cab has come in the top three nine times, including in four of five 2020 outings. Jockey Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. posted a 48% top-three rate and 14% win rate at Churchill Downs across the tail end of 2019. It's worth noting that DHP sides with I'm Busy (4/1), the third-favorite, giving him a race-best 13% chance to win.