Churchill Downs track update for April 27

Profile Picture: Nicolle Neulist

April 27th, 2021

All eyes are on Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby (G1), but before making your final decisions about your handicapping for all the stakes races later in the week, let's take a look back to see who has been successful in Louisville.


It's tough to call anything a trend early in the Churchill meet, though there were three multiple winners on the first day.

Tyler Gaffalione won three, while Luis Saez and Gerardo Corrales won two. It is particularly notable Saez won two, since he was so hot at Keeneland (he won 29 of his 96 starts and was the runaway leading jockey), and his first day suggests he may be carrying that hot streak to Louisville.

Gaffalione has been one of the strongest riders in Kentucky in recent years, and he was the leading rider for all three meets at Churchill last year. He has been dependable on both turf and dirt, though at last year's spring meet, his win rate on grass (25%) was stronger than dirt (18%).


A couple familiar faces got out of the gate sharply on Churchill's opening day.

Mike Maker had two wins and a second in five starts, and Brad Cox had a win and two seconds in just three.

Maker may well pick up where he left off, since he was leading trainer of the fall meet. He won with 21 of his 73 starters last fall. Though Maker's opening-day wins both came on dirt, he is one to watch on the lawn in Louisville. He led all trainers in turf wins through all three 2020 Churchill meets.

Perennial leading trainer Steve Asmussen won the two other training titles last year at Churchill, and finished second to Maker in the fall, with 16 wins.

At a Glance

For more information about trends at Churchill Downs, and tracks all around the country, make sure to read the latest At a Glance reports on Brisnet!