Team Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes for Kentucky Derby Day at CD, plus BEL, SA


Horse racing Best Bets for Saturday

Welcome to the Kentucky Derby Day edition of “Team Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes.”
Our regular team – Rampart race and sportsbook manager Duane Colucci, Ed Sehon and John Lauro – has already posted our Derby picks in the VSiN Kentucky Derby Betting Guide, so check that out, though we’re repeating those plays here as well as adding more picks after scratches and on the rest of the Derby undercard. In addition, we also have plays at Belmont Park and Santa Anita Park to mix in with the action from Churchill Downs.
And don’t forget that Sehon (aka Mr. Ed) also has a full breakdown of Churchill’s card.
For the rest of VSiN’s Kentucky Derby Weekend coverage, check out our dedicated Derby page.
Good luck today (and every day)!


Churchill Race No. 5 (12:36 p.m. ET/9:36 a.m. PT)

Duane Colucci likes #3 Haughty (7-2 morning line) in the Grade 2, $500,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes. “Chad Brown speedster away since Aug. 22 has won over 3 different surfaces and has been working exceptionally well. Has to overcome Spenderella and entrymate Speak of the Devil, who scratched at Keeneland 2 weeks ago, but Jose Ortiz should have the jump on both of those opponents. Chad is hitting at 27% this year, but has been shut down at Churchill so far, so he is due! Bet 3 to Win and key 3 over 2,4,5 in Exactas, Trifectas and reverse, plus box the Brown Exacta 2 and 3.”

Churchill Races Nos. 5-8 (12:36 p.m. ET/9:36 a.m. PT)

Duane Colucci likes a $0.50 Pick 4 (cost $72)
Race 5: 2,3,5
Race 6: 3,6,9,11
Race 7: 2,4,7,10,12,14
Race 8: 1,7

Belmont Race No. 5 (2:37 p.m. ET/11:37 p.m. PT)

Ed Sehon likes #10 Captain Party (10-1 morning line). “Betting stretch-out holds the key to victory after a sharp closing effort in five-furlong debut. Cagey George Weaver trains, Feargal Lynch picks up mount. All aboard. Wager: Win and Place.”

Churchill Race No. 9 (3:40 p.m. ET/12:40 p.m. PT)

Dave Tuley likes #12 Funtastic Again (12-1 morning line) in the Grade 2, $500,000 American Turf Stakes. “Like the Derby, this is for 3-year-old colts, but it’s on the turf. Funtastic Again should be sitting off the pace in this mile-and-a-sixteenth race and be in position to make one big run turning for home. Wager: Win and Place.”

Belmont Race No. 6 (3:13 p.m. ET/12:13 p.m. PT)

Duane Colucci likes #3 Prince of Pharoahs (9-2 morning line). “The legend Richard Dutrow returns from a 10-year suspension. Horse is 3-for-4 at Belmont. Claim steps up here with 2 solid workouts and hot rider Eric Cancel. Out of American Pharoah on Derby Day. Bet 3 to Win and key 3 over 1,5,6 in Exacta, Trifectas and reverse.”

Churchill Races Nos. 9-12 (3:40 p.m. ET/12:40 p.m. PT)

Duane Colucci likes a $0.50 Pick 4 (cost $75)
Race 9: 1,2,4,5,11
Race 10: 7,10
Race 11: 3,9,10
Race 12: 5,8,14,15,17

Belmont Races Nos. 7-11 (3:48 p.m. ET/12:48 p.m. PT)

Duane Colucci likes a $0.50 Pick 5 (cost $144)
Race 7: 1,2,3,6,7,8
Race 8: 1,3,7,8
Race 9: 3,5,6
Race 10: 2,5
Race 11: 10,11

Belmont Races Nos. 8-11 (4:19 p.m. ET/1:19 p.m. PT)

Ed Sehon likes a $0.50 Pick 4 (cost $54)
Race 8: 3,5,9
Race 9: 2,3,5,6
Race 10: 1,4,5
Race 11: 8,10,11

Belmont Race No. 8 (4:19 p.m. ET/1:19 p.m. PT)

Ed Sehon’s PRICE PLAY OF THE DAY is #9 High Oak (15-1 morning line) in the $150,000 Elusive Quality Stakes. “There’s much to like: Graded-stakes tested, moving to turf, previous tough luck, outside post and rider switch to Improving Katie Davis for trainer Bill Mott. Wager: Win and Place.”

Churchill Race No. 10 (4:31 p.m. ET/1:31 p.m. PT)

John Lauro likes an Exacta box in the Grade 1, $750,000 Churchill Downs Stakes. “I really like the Exacta box with #7 Cody’s Wish (4-5 morning line) and #10 Endorsed (5-1). Cody’s Wish is the favorite, but Endorsed cuts back in distance and may catch Cody’s Wish off the layoff. Wager: 7-10 Exacta box.”

Gulfstream Race No. 11 (5:49 p.m. ET/2:49 p.m. PT)

Dave Tuley likes #8 Swan Lake (6-1 morning line) in the $75,000 English Channel Stakes. “This is about an hour before the Derby to help break up the wait. But I like Swan Lake to steal this on the front end. This 3-year-old gelding is stepping up in class, but he’s 2-for-4 at Gulfstream and I like that he’s shortening up to a mile after losing his last race (at a mile-and-a-sixteenth) by a neck. Wager: Win and Place.”

Churchill Race No. 12 (6:57 p.m. ET/3:57 p.m. PT)

Dave Tuley likes #3 Two Phil’s (12-1 morning line) and a five-horse box in the Grade 1, $3 million Kentucky Derby. “Two Phil’s has the highest prior speed figures in the field, though that was at unheralded Turfway Park (but don’t forget that Mine That Bird came from even less-heralded Sunland Park). In the VSIN Kentucky Derby Betting Guide, I listed Practical Move and Skinner among my exotic plays, but both were scratched. I also included #18 Rocket Can (30-1) and #21 Cyclone Mischief (30-1). Rocket Can ran second to Forte in the Fountain of Youth and then lost as the Arkansas Derby favorite, which I see as a good sign as he would have much shorter odds if he had won (and his fourth-place finish isn’t as bad as it looked, plus Bill Mott adds blinkers to get him more focused). I also wrote that Cyclone Mischief “could be this year’s Rich Strike from the also-eligible list” if he drew in. After the scratches, I’m now using the favorite, #15 Forte, as I believe the addition of Cyclone Mischief helps ensure a quicker pace to run at for the closers. In my five-horse box, I’m also including #8 Mage, who was second to Forte in the Florida Derby as I see the Gulfstream preps as being key races. Wagers: Bet 3 to Win as well as the 18 and 21 at 20-1 or higher, plus five-horses boxes (Exacta, Trifecta and even Superfecta as the payoffs will be worth it, especially if we can get two of our higher-priced colts in there) with 3-8-15-18-21..”

Duane Coiucci likes #14 Angel of Empire (8-1 morning line). “Brad Cox is always a trainer to watch and Angel of Empire has a monster chance, winning 2 in a row in easy fashion, including a massive sustained move to crush the Arkansas Derby field by 4.5 lengths. He has no distance limitations. Jockey Flavien Prat chooses this horse over others as well. Cox and Prat hitting at 36% this year. Workouts are also amazing. Breaking just inside his major threat Forte, post 14 should not be a problem. All systems are go! Picking #8 Mage second and #15 Forte third. Bet 14 to Win and key 14 over 5,8,15,17 in Exactas, Trifectas and reverse. Also key 14 in Superfectas (no reverse).”

John Lauro likes a Trifecta box. “I’m playing a 6-horse Trifecta box with #2 Verifying, #3 Two Phil’s, #5 Tapit Trice, #14 Angel of Empire, #15 Forte and #17 Derma Sotogake. Wager: 2-3-5-14-15-17 Trifecta box. Also, as we mentioned in the VSiN Kentucky Derby Betting Guide, #5 Tapit Trice (5-1 morning line) is a huge colt with a massive stride and is a strong Win bet.”

Santa Anita Race No. 7 (7:37 p.m. ET/4:37 p.m. PT)

Dave Tuley likes #5 Chismosa (8-1 morning line) in the Grade 3, $100,000 Senorita Stakes. “This is for 3-year-old fillies. Chismosa is making her 2003 debut after going 3-for-3 in her 2-year-old campaign with all the wins at Del Mar and she has every right to continue improving off the layoff. This should set up for a closer and all 3 of her wins were off the pace, so we’re not scared off by the step up in class. Wager: Win and Place.”

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