​Churchill Downs Horse Racing Picks for Saturday 9/5/20

It's a great time to dive into horse racing, and TVG gives you the chance to do just that.

Starting at 11:00 a.m. EST, we have 14 races at Churchill Downs. Using numberFire’s projections and Daily Horse Picks as a guide, here are some of the best bets.

As always, check the program for scratches and changes, and watch for any weather issues that affect the racetrack.

(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 -- adjusted for track, distances, and conditions.)

Echo Town and Sonneman, Race 9

TVG Odds: 7/2 and 20/1

Race 9 is the Pat Day Mile for 3-year-olds, and it's racing 1-mile. It's a very competitive group with a number of win contenders, including some horses that were on the Kentucky Derby trail. That includes Daily Horse Picks (DHP) top selection Cezanne (3/1), who is now a late scratch along with No Parole (6/1).

Rushie (4/1) is on the outside breaking from the No. 9 post, and he’s been racing against runners in today’s Kentucky Derby. He has a pair of third-place finishes in his last two races with a best 99 speed figure behind Honor A. P. and Authentic in the Santa Anita Derby. Daily Horse Picks projects Rushie to hit the board.

Tap It to Win (4/1) races without a break and was leading into the stretch last race before Echo Town (7/2) flew by him for the win in a Grade 1 win. Echo Town had a 107 speed figure in that race and has finished in-the-money in all seven starts, including four wins. Guaranteed Tip Sheet (GTS) adds that Echo Town has made up ground in the stretch in five starts.

Sonneman (20/1) has two wins and two runner-up finishes, including in the Easy Goer Stakes, but he finished fifth in his stakes debut behind Echo Town and Tap It to Win. This race will likely have even more pace with a number of runners going faster down the back stretch, setting up Sonneman for his deep closing run and rush down the lane. The early speed in the race should be Vertical Threat (8/1) with Cezanne and Tap It to Win adding pressure.

Julie Foxtrot, Race 11

TVG Odds: 5/1

Race 11 is the Grade 2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile for older fillies and mares racing 1-mile. There are a number of EPO trainers racing their female runners. That includes Chad Brown on heavy favorite Newspaperofrecord (4/5), who has won 5-of-8 starts racing against the best fillies and mares, including her last two while posting a 110 speed figure.

GTS rates Newspaperofrecord as the Class of the field but projects 6-year-old Beau Recall (5/1) to win. She’s 0-for-3 this year with a runner-up finish in graded stakes races and was the favorite in her last face when finishing fifth.

Juliet Foxtrot (5/1) by EPO trainer Brad Cox is a top contender, and GTS notes she’s finished in-the-money in 7-of-8 starts since coming to the U.S. from Great Britain. Juliet Foxtrot finished a close third in her last race in July but posted a sparkling 116 speed figure running against one of the best mares in training.

She’sonthewarpath (15/1) is a capable longshot from off the pace with two wins, a second- and a third-place finish in five starts at this distance.

Honor A. P. and Money Moves

TVG Odds: 5/1 and 30/1

Race 14 is the 146th running of the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby for 3-year-olds racing the classic 1 1/4 mile distance. A total of 16 runners are scheduled to race after two more horses scratched in recent days.

Tiz the Law (3/5) is the prohibitive morning line favorite. He’s won 6-of-7 starts, including the 1 1/8 mile Belmont Stakes and then the 1 1/4 mile Travers Stakes last month. Tiz the Law has posted the highest speed figures of all horses entered.

But let’s try to beat this talented colt. There are more variables in place to consider, including Tiz the Law trying to get into stalking position early while breaking from a far outside post. There's many more capable challengers, and Tiz the Law is running in the Derby on a new racetrack and also off of two grueling distance races. There are such short odds on Tiz the Law as he tries to win the second leg of the Triple Crown and make history.

A leading contender at favorable odds includes Honor A. P. (5/1), a projected winner by Top Race Reports. A. P. is so good and bred to excel at this Classic distance. Honor A. P. has finished first or second in all five starts and showed his powerful late kick when winning the Santa Anita Derby to blow past Authentic (8/1), who will try to get near the lead breaking from the far outside. Honor A. P. can ‘Honor’ his grandsire A. P. Indy, a legend who won the Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic and passed away earlier this year at age 31. Mike Smith rides Honor A. P. for trainer John Shirreffs, and this colt has late pace figures on par with Tiz the Law, according to GTS.

Money Moves (30/1) is making his stakes debut in the Kentucky Derby -- a rare situation as he is a late addition to the Derby by EPO trainer Todd Pletcher, who has his record 55th Kentucky Derby starter. Money Moves is a late-developing 3-year-old and expensive purchase as a son of Candy Ride. He’s won 2-of-3 starts and posted a solid 109 speed figure last race. He has the potential to explode onto the scene on racing's biggest stage.

Other Kentucky Derby contenders as value plays and longshots to includes in your Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta and horizontal wagers (Pick 3, 4, 5) include Horse Racing Nation's Super Screener top longshot Max Player (30/1). Also, Ny Traffic (20/1), South Bend (50/1), Attachment Rate (50/1) and Sole Volante (30/1) are big longshots with potential to blow up the tote board.