When handicapping the Kentucky Derby, it can be a good idea to analyze the races at Churchill Downs in the final days before the race, searching for any signs of a track bias that could potentially affect the Kentucky Derby. To save you time, The Turf Board has you covered with Churchill Downs Track Bias Reports!
This two-part series will analyze the dirt races at Churchill Downs on Thursday, May 5th, and Friday, May 6th, the final two days before the Kentucky Derby. I hope you enjoy!
On Thursday, nine dirt races were run over a drying-out main track that started off “good” and wound up “fast.” Two races were held around two turns, both at 8.5-furlongs, and both were won in gate-to-wire fashion by well-bet runners that set modest fractions and drew off to win by six lengths and three lengths.
However, in one race, a deep closer rallied from 8 1/2 lengths behind to finish second, and the day’s one-turn races were won by horses showcasing a wide variety of running styles. Horses setting the pace, tracking the pace, racing in mid-pack, and closing from last all won races, as did horses racing on the inside and horses rallying on the outside.
In other words, while the day’s two-turn races were on by front-runners, the overall results suggest that the track was not biased in any way, which is good news for Kentucky Derby day! Let’s hope that the track continues to play fairly for all over the next two days.
On a side note, jockey Corey Lanerie–who will ride Mo Tom in the Kentucky Derby–enjoyed a very successful afternoon on Thursday, winning four of the nine races on the main track. Gary Stevens, who will ride Mor Spirit, and Florent Geroux, who will ride Gun Runner, each rode one winner apiece.
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to sign up for email newsletters and special offers from The Turf Board!