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​Check out my Churchill Downs free stakes pick for Saturday (5-6-23) below.

Jarrod’s Recent Free Pick Winners
April 15 – First Mission ($16.38), Trifecta ($109.28)
April 16 – Key of Life/Interpolate Exacta ($6.70)
April 30 – Hacking It Up ($9.60)

​CD 6 (Knicks Go, 8f)
Primary – #6 ZOZOS, #2 Masqueparade
Secondary – #3 Baby Yoda, #12 Caddo River
Wagers: #6 to win, Exacta 6/2-3-12, Exacta 2-3-12/6

Comments: #6 Zozos (5-2) won his first two career starts last year and landed the place in the LA Derby (G2). He chased strong fractions and split a 10-horse field in the Kentucky Derby, and he was given a few months off after that. He returned with a nice optional claiming route at Fair Grounds late last year and was a flat 5th as the beaten favorite in the Louisiana (G3) Jan. 21. He bounced back with a smart optional clang route score as the favorite March 2, and the 2-3 finishers were next-out winners. This minor stakes race is a great spot for this one. #2 Masqueparade (6-1) is usually in the mix for Al Stall Jr. This is his first start in 9+ months but he runs well fresh and fired a local 5f bullet for this April 27. He won the Ohio Derby (G3) in 2021 and was right there is all three dirt routes last year including a runner-up finish in the Alydar under Saturday’s pilot Rosario. The tactical type cuts back in distance and is a head away from a perfect 3-for-3 local record. He adds blinkers for this. #3 Baby Yoda (3-1) makes his first start since last fall for Bill Mott. The 7-for-15 gelding had success in his last two starts at one mile. He aired in a flat mile optional claimer last October, and attended the pace and was clearly second best as the beaten chalk when last seen in the Kelso (G2). He captured his lone local start and figures to mix it up from the get-go. #12 Caddo River (4-1) was part of the trifecta in all six starts at this distance. He easily captured a local flat mile optional claimer last June. He moved to the Lukas barn and ran well in his last pair. He scored by a neck as the favorite in the slop on Feb. 25 and stalked, led, and held the place in the Oaklawn Mile (G3) April 1. Gaffalione is 2-for-6 with this outfit recently and he figures to stalk wide from the outside post. ​

Analysis by Jarrod Horak

Jarrod Horak

Jarrod Horak posts stakes recaps from Del Mar and Santa Anita Park, along with full card recaps and free stakes picks from Southern and/or Northern California.