Churchill Downs Saturday Expert Picks and Analysis: What are the best bets for Downs After Dark?

Chris Adams

Saturday will mark another running of “Downs After Dark”. As the name implies the racing will occur in the night at Churchill Downs. Below is our summary of the races, be sure to check out our friends at Daily Horse Picks for expert picks on the races.

Churchill’s Saturday Card

Churchill Downs will run an 11 race card under the lights on Saturday, June 12. The card is a real handicapping challenge as almost have the races are for maidens. A maiden is a horse that has yet to win a race.

The event will be comprised of mostly dirt races with 3 turf races sprinkled throughout the card.

Watch and Wager on Churchill Downs

The first race goes off 6:00 pm ET. Players hoping to watch and wager on the races can do so from race tracks around the country or by opening an account with a major online wagering platform such as TVG, NYRA Bets, or Twinspires which is run by the parent company that operates Churchill Downs.

The Mint Julep Stakes (G3)

The marquee event on the Churchill card is the Grade 3 Mint Julep. It will be run at a mile and 1/16th on the turf course. Juliet Foxtrot was installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite in the event that is scheduled to go off at around 10:10 pm ET.

Analysis of the Churchill Card

Most Wide Open Race

Race 5 from Churchill Downs is an optional claiming race for fillies and mares 4 years of age and older. It will be run over a mile on the dirt. While Keep Your Distance enters as the 9-5 favorite, there are several horses in the race that have reasonable chances to win the purse.

If the #5 drops much below 9-5 it might be wise for horseplayers to start looking for other candidates that could find their way to the winner’s circle.

Best Bet of the Day

Race 9: #2 Juliet Foxtrot (6-5) comes out of a Grade 1 victory in the Jenny Wiley. While cases can be made for others in the race, this one seems to stand head and shoulders above the competition in Churchill’s featured race.

Live Long Shots

  • Race 4: #2 Legendary Gift (8-1) is looking for her first win, but will switch surfaces. The pedigree suggests the turf could be good to this one.
  • Race 7: #1 Preseli’s Tale (8-1) makes his second career start after a respectable third in the debut.
  • Race 11: #6 Lenni Be Lucky (10-1) goes out for a trainer who is 23% on the meet. In a race with several proven losers, a first time starter could come in a spring the upset.

Churchill Downs Expert Selections

Understanding the Picks

Horses are listed in order of preference.

  • * Indicates the best bet of the day
  • (LS) Indicates live long shots


  • Race 1: 2-3-1-4
  • Race 2: 6-4-2-1-7
  • Race 3: 7-2-5-6
  • Race 4: 2 (LS)-5-12-7
  • Race 5: 5-1-2-6-7
  • Race 6: 6-1-4-3
  • Race 7: 1 (LS)-4-8-13
  • Race 8: 10-4-12-1-9
  • Race 9: 2*-3-8-6
  • Race 10: 6-5-1
  • Race 11: 6 (LS)-7-2-5

Good luck in all of your wagering endeavors at Churchill Downs and venues across the country.

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