Churchill Downs: How to bet the Bashford Manor S.

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

July 3rd, 2022

A busy Independence Day weekend of stakes racing at Churchill Downs continues on Monday with the $175,000 Bashford Manor S. ranking among the highlights.

The six-furlong dash for two-year-olds has drawn half a dozen entries, and while handicapping early-season stakes for juveniles can be tricky, the Bashford Manor appears relatively straightforward. That’s because morning line favorite #1 Gulfport (4-5) looks like a star in the making and a highly probable winner.

Gulfport was pretty sensational in his debut sprinting five furlongs at Churchill last month. The son of champion two-year-old and successful sire Uncle Mo started as the 1-2 favorite and ran to expectations. After pressing an opening quarter-mile in :22.35, Gulfport sprinted the second quarter-mile in less than :22.66 (good for half a mile in :45.01) and roared away through a final furlong in :11.84 to win by seven lengths in :56.84, missing the track record by just 0.44.

This massive debut earned a 92 Brisnet Speed rating, the highest figure found in the Bashford Manor field. Accomplished Churchill Downs rider Brian Hernandez retains the mount for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, cementing Gulfport as the horse to beat.

If you assume Gulfport is destined for victory in the Bashford Manor, then identifying which runners will round out exotic wagers is the key to cashing for a big payday. #5 Stayhonor Goodside (6-1) is one of the most intriguing possibilities. The son of champion Honor Code was tons the best in his debut sprinting 4 1/2 furlongs over the Tapeta track at Woodbine, leading by daylight at every call to win by 5 1/2 lengths.

#2 Owen’s Leap (8-1) also offers appeal. Sire Bolt d’Oro, dam Defy Gravity, and half-sister Green Destiny all won stakes at age two, and Owen’s Leap comfortably defeated a promising field in his debut sprinting five furlongs at Churchill last month. Edgar Morales is slated to ride, a meaningful assignment since Morales has won at a 26% rate teaming up with trainer Tom Amoss over the last two months.

#6 Simply Super (7-2), a Keeneland maiden winner who finished eighth in the Kentucky Juvenile S. at Churchill two months ago, is eligible to bounce back under Churchill’s leading jockey Tyler Gaffalione and vie for a spot in the trifecta.

Here’s how we’ll bet the Bashford Manor:

  • $10 Exacta: 1 with 2,5 ($20)
  • $2.50 Trifecta: 1 with 2,5 with 2,5,6 ($10)
    Total: $30

Good luck!