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Check out my Thursday (5-2-24) Race 11 analysis at Churchill Downs below. 

CD 11 (Opening Verse, 4up, 8T)
Primary – #6 ICE CHOCOLAT, #9 Carl Spackler
Secondary – #10 Talk of the Nation, #4 Smokin’ T

Horse Comments:

#6 Ice Chocolat (5-1) just missed in a pair of graded sprints at Woodbine last year. He returned with a smart optional-claiming turf route win at Gulfstream on Jan. 27, and rallied wide from the outside post to complete the trifecta in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf on March 2. He was the favorite in the Appleton on March 30 and got caught in traffic and was beaten 1 3/4 lengths in a bunched up field. Jose Ortiz is his new pilot and he wins races with Mark Casse. He can win this if he gets a clean trip. 

#9 Carl Spackler (2-1) was one of the top sophomore turf horses last year for Chad Brown. He missed by a head in his turf route bow and ran off the screen second time out. She stalked and weakened in the local American Turf (G2) last year and that was his only below par effort. He smartly rallied to victory in the Hall of Fame (G2) at Saratoga last summer, and chased from second and kicked away when last seen in the Saranac. This is his first start in more than eight months and Tyler Gaffalione is 2-for-2 with him. He is talented enough to take this. 

#10 Talk of the Nation (3-1) fired exacta shots in all six turf starts for McGaughey last year. He won the Columbia and Gun Runner, and just missed in the Grade 3 Bryan Station last fall. Todd Pletcher is his new trainer and he is firing bullets for this. He figures to stalk the pace under Ortiz Jr. in his first start in half a year. 

#4 Smokin’ T (6-1) surged late to win the Appleton by a head. Johnny V was aboard for his last four wins and the multiple stakes winner has struck twice at this course and distance. 


#6 to win

Exacta 6/4-9-10

Exacta 4-9-10/6

Bettor Bet$ Free Pick Winners – April 2024
April 5 – De’ Medici/Feel the Magic Exacta ($55.40)
April 10 – Native Land/Heartened/Rocketeer Trifecta ($49.04)
April 14 – Tizzy in the Sky ($3.70) – Aqueduct Stakes Triple-Header
April 14 –  Antonio of Venice/Doc Sullivan Exacta ($8.90) – Aqueduct Stakes Triple-Header
April 14 – Sunday Girl/My Shea D Lady/Sohana Trifecta ($37.40) – Aqueduct Stakes Triple-Header
April 15 – Palacein ($7.00), Trifecta ($63.60)
April 16 – Jackman/Connors Outlaw/C W Prize Trifecta ($85.20)
April 19 – Raging Sea ($7.58)
April 22 – Far Mo Power ($17.00), Trifecta ($317.80)
April 23 – Masrour/Neigh Dude Exacta ($6.80)
April 24 – Accede ($5.56), Exacta ($12.52)
April 25 – Bourbon Heist ($5.74)

Please visit The Runaway Horse Shop to purchase my Santa Anita Park analysis and Triple Crown Series full cards.

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.

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