Churchill Downs: Horse racing pick of the day for Nov. 18

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

November 18th, 2020

Weekday picks and plays for Thoroughbred racing.

Wednesday, Nov. 18

Churchill Downs, Race 4: Maiden special weight (1 1/4 miles, 2:30 p.m. ET)

Originally slated to be held over 1 3/8 miles on turf, Wednesday’s fourth race will instead take place over 1 1/4 miles on dirt, which should lend a significant advantage to #1 Beachwalker (8-1 on the morning line).

A son of 2007 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Street Sense, Beachwalker has spent the majority of his career racing with limited success on turf. But the stoutly bred 3-year-old took a big step forward in an off-the-turf maiden race over 1 3/16 miles at Keeneland last month, when he tracked the pace and finished clearly second-best, behind 3-5 favorite Obsessed.

That effort produced an 88 Brisnet Speed rating, the highest figure in Wednesday’s field. The rail draw sets the stage for a ground-saving trip, and hot jockey Ricardo Santana (a 21% winner at Churchill Downs) will have the mount. What’s not to like?

#10 Patriot’s War (6-1), who finished third in the Keeneland allowance race, can round out the exacta. But our primary play will be a win bet on the rail runner.

$25 to win on #1 Beachwalker
$5 exacta: 1 with 10
Total: $30

Good luck!