Kentucky Derby 149: Churchill Downs Full Card Analysis

Chris Adams

Written by: Chris Adams

Last Updated:

Read Time: 7 minutes

Horses break from the gate in the Kentucky Derby


Saturday, May 6, will be a marathon. 14 Races from Churchill Downs including the Kentucky Derby. Betting News has you covered with analysis of each and every one.

Full Card Selections

Full Card Selections for the Kentucky Derby Card
Full Card Selections for the Kentucky Derby Card

Kentucky Derby Undercard Analysis

Kentucky Derby Undercard- Race 1

Post: 10:30 AM ET; $127k Allowance Optional Claiming going 6 1/2 furlongs on dirt; Entries: 8

  • #1 EXTRA ANEJO (6-5) easily broke the maiden on debut at Keeneland at the 7 furlong distance which is no easy take. The speed figure in that race makes this a two horse race at best.
  • #2 OLAZABAL (15-1) is a bit of a stretch but at a nice price that may benefit from the pace of the race.
  • #3 FEDERAL JUDGE (2-1) ran the highest last out speed figure while breaking his maiden at Oaklawn. Anything close to that figure and he is probably running 1-2 with the #1.
  • #6 WESTERN GHENT (20-1) has been in some tough spots and now gets some relief with numbers that are very competitive with the 2nd tier of options here.

Selections: 1 -2-3-6

Kentucky Derby Undercard- Race 2

Post: 11:01 AM ET; $120k Maiden Special Weight going 1 1/16 miles on dirt; Entries: 11

  • #1 CAPE TRAFALGAR (2-1) is the top pick. He has the pedigree to be a major player in this spot. This one comes into the race in really good form.
  • #8 QUALITY CHIC (3-1) makes sense on speed figures. This one is well bred for this spot.
  • #6 QUATERNION (6-1) took a big step forward in figures last time while finishing beaten 8 lengths to a wise guy horse for the Preakness Stakes. This spot doesn’t have a First Mission in it and maybe that will help this one.
  • #5 SIR ROCK (15-1) goes out for the McCarthy barn after a forgivable putrid performance in the slop. The debut before that was decent.

Selections: 1-8-6-5

Kentucky Derby Undercard- Race 3

Post: 11:31 AM ET; $134k Allowance Optional Claiming going 1 mile on dirt; Entries: 15

  • #1 BRIGHT FUTURE (5-2) appears to be a major player in this race. He has races good enough to beat this group. This one has the top overall power rating in the group.
  • #5 KING OTTOMAN (3-1) comes off back to back mid 90 Beyer speed figures which will make him a tough customer here.
  • #14 PETULANTE (6-1) has never been more than 2 lengths off the lead at the end of the race in 4 career starts.
  • #11 BRIGADIER GENERAL (12-1) comes off a wire to wire win for Dallas Stewart who can strike with longshots at this Churchill Downs meeting.

Selections: 1-5-14-11

Kentucky Derby Undercard- Race 4

Post: 12:04 PM ET; $750k Derby City Distaff S. presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery going 7 furlongs on dirt; Entries: 6

  • #2 GOODNIGHT OLIVE (4-5) confirmed in April that she still owns this division posting a near 100 speed figure en route to victory in the Grade 1 Madison.
  • #3 WICKED HALO (3-1) is a three time grade 2 winner and has to be respected in this spot against the horse that beat her by 3+ lengths in their last skirmish.
  • #5 MATAREYA (7-2)won the 8 Belles at Churchill on Derby weekend last year and returns to the scene of the crime. She lost last time out to the #3 but that was going 6 in the slop so maybe that can be forgiven and the tables will turn here.
  • #1 HOT AND SULTRY (6-1) has improved the speed figure in each of the last four starts and could just be hitting stride as a 4 year old.

Selections: 2-3-5-1

Kentucky Derby Undercard- Race 5

Post: 12:36 PM ET; $500k Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile S. going 1 mile on turf; Entries: 8

  • #5 SPENDARELLA (7-5) is 4 for 5 with the only blemish coming at the prestigious Royal Ascot meet. Even then she was 2nd. This is a solid group of American turf runners, but nothing like what she faced in Europe.
  • #7 FLUFFY SOCKS (9-2) is the type that will likely be right there at the end. Unfortunately she’s struggled to carry her late kick past the final horse. That said, money on this one is a bet to be cheering full throat as they come to the wire.
  • #2 SPEAK OF THE DEVIL (7-2) won this race last year, but the turf course played oddly and she has burned money since. Talented? Yes! Trustworthy? No.
  • #4 WAKANAKA (5-1) has some good efforts but it’s concerning that the only win in recent starts came in a listed stakes. It was at Keeneland so maybe it could be classified as a soft grade 3 type race, but there is a monster afoot here.

Selections: 5-7-2-4

Kentucky Derby Undercard- Race 6

Post: 1:14 PM ET; $175k Knicks Go Overnight S. presented by L&N Federal Credit Union going 1 mile on dirt; Entries: 12

  • #3 BABY YODA (3-1) returns off the layoff which has been productive in the past. There is a touch of question about the class of this horse, but the speed figures are strong enough against this contingent.
  • #6 ZOZOS (5-2) would have most of this field over a barrel if he finds that 100 Beyer again, but that was against optional claimers. He is fast enough but just hasn’t reliably shown that he’s a winning type.
  • #9 KNEEDEEPINSNOW (10-1) is more than a hunch play for a Minnesotan finally thawing from the third snowiest winter in history. The 7 year old shoed a ton of heart at Keeneland narrowing losing in the final 1/8th of a mile. He has a win over the track and may just prefer to ration his speed over a mile.
  • #12 CADDO RIVER (4-1) will either beat this field by 5 or lose by 10. His most recent starts have shown that he may have found some of that old form with 3 straight exacta finishes. However, the speed numbers are down from 2022 when he was consistently flirting with 100 Beyers. He could win but he’s so tough to trust.

Selections: 3-6-9-12

Kentucky Derby Undercard- Race 7

Post: 1:56 PM ET; $500k Twin Spires Turf Sprint S. presented by Cohere Health going 5 1/2 furlongs on turf; Entries: 14

  • #7 NOTHING BETTER (5-1) feels like one who could get the absolute dream pace setup here. You have to go back to July of 21 to find the last time he didn’t hit the board. The question here is class.
  • #10 ARREST ME RED (4-1) is the opposite of the top pick. He’s picked up some garbage results, but against fields much better than this.
  • #11 MOTORIOUS (8-1) will be ridden by Flavien Prat. The Californian will try to prove that the west coast can compete with the traditional turf dominance of East Coast runners.
  • #13 ARTEMUS CITYLIMITS (12-1) has a wide post and a horrible last race, but if he runs one of those 100 Beyers that he paired up at the end of last year, this one is a steal at 12-1.

Selections: 7-10-11-13

Kentucky Derby Undercard- Race 8

Post: 2:46 PM ET; $500k Pat Day Mile S. presented by TwinSpires going 1 mile on dirt; Entries: 14

  • #1 KANGAROO COURT (8-1) will test his metal against open graded stakes company. If this one wins it would be a positive sign for his workmate Practical Move who runs in the Kentucky Derby.
  • #7 FORT BRAGG (9-2) was on the Derby trail but just couldn’t ever get traction. This is more realistic spot based on his past performance.
  • #5 ECHO AGAIN (7-2) rolled in an allowance race last out at Oaklawn. His last speed figure is tied for highest last race number in the field.
  • #9 GENERAL JIM (4-1) also earned a 90 Beyer while winning the Swale. He has every right to win in this spot.

Selections: 1-7-5-9

Kentucky Derby Undercard- Race 9

Post: 3:40 PM ET; $500k American Turf S. presented by BMW going 1 1/16 miles on turf; Entries: 16

  • #1 MAJOR DUDE (5-2) would have been an interesting player in the Kentucky Derby. He didn’t draw in and so goes to this spot instead where he should get a great rail trip.
  • #5 JOHANNES (15-1) is coming off of three straight wins and a 92 Beyer last out. That was out in California so the question will be if the form transfers.
  • #11 CARL SPACKLER (3-1) was dominant breaking the maiden last out. The draw is a bit wide but the speed figure says this one makes sense
  • #2 FAR BRIDGE (7-2) is 2 for 2 and the last race at Gulfstream was one of the more impressive efforts in the stretch you will see from a horse. Rosario hops back on.

Selections: 1-5-11-2

Kentucky Derby Undercard- Race 10

Post: 4:31 PM ET; $750k Churchill Downs S. presented by Ford going 7 furlongs on dirt; Entries: 11

  • #7 CODY’S WISH (4-5) was the story of the 2022 Breeders’ Cup. He’s a cool horse with a cool story, but he’s also the likeliest winner of this race.
  • #1 WHITE ABARRIO (6-1) searches for his first grade 1 win since the Florida Derby in early 2022. The last figure was great, but he’ll have to prove it against the class.
  • #10 ENDORSED (5-1) looks to make it three wins in a row in graded stakes company after wins the G3 Fred Hooper and the G2 Gulfstream Mile
  • #6 TEJANO TWIST (6-1) will have to prove that he can handle the distance but the recent speed figures put him right in the mix with this group.

Selections: 7-1-10-6

Kentucky Derby Undercard- Race 11

Post: 5:27 PM ET; $1000k Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic S. going 1 1/8 miles on turf; Entries: 10

  • #5 UP TO THE MARK (4-1) is the top pick for Todd Pletcher and Irad Ortiz
  • #3 WOLFIE’S DYNAGHOST (10-1) will look to bring that synthetic number over to the turf, but if he can you’re getting great value.
  • #10 BYE BYE MELVIN (6-1) has in each of the last two starts off a layoff improved. Stepping forward off a 94 speed figure makes this one dangerous.
  • #1 OCEAN ATLANTIQUE (20-1) is on the rail stepping up in class, but going long on the grass its in Maker we trust.

Selections: 5-3-10-1

Kentucky Derby Analysis

Kentucky Derby- Race 12

Post: 6:57 PM ET; $3000k Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve going 1 1/4 miles on dirt; Entries: 23

Practical Move
  • #10 PRACTICAL MOVE (10-1) is well drawn and is the only horse in the field to pair up 100 Beyer speed figures. He has yet to lose a race at over a mile in his career and this one just may get the best of this field at a fat price.
  • #15 FORTE (3-1) is the best until he’s not. He hasn’t lost since being crowned two year old champ so you can’t hold much against him.
  • #3 TWO PHIL’S (12-1) ran a huge number on all-weather last out. That doesn’t always translate to dirt, but if he finds that number the price is just too big to let go by.
  • #6 KINGSBARNS (12-1) benefitted in a big way from the post draw and may just get the dream tactical trip.

Selections: 10-15-3-6

Post Derby Races

Following the Kentucky Derby there are 2 additional races. However, the pools will drop precipitously after the big race with many fans packing up and heading home for the day. For this reason the normally strong payouts seen throughout Derby day usually dip below average and are not optimal betting opportunities.

If you plan to play the final 2 events, here are the plays to guide you:

  • Race 13: 2-9-7-10
  • Race 14: 2-14-9-5

Chris Adams
Chris Adams

Chris first got introduced to horse racing in 2009 at Canterbury Park (Shakopee, MN). Along with handicapping and betting, Chris has worked as a teller at his local track and participated in ownership partnerships. He now enjoys sharing his passion with his wife and two young daughters who love going out to the track each and every summer.

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