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Homeracing

How to play Churchill Downs’ 2019 opening day card

Profile Picture: Dick Powell

April 26th, 2019

An historic Churchill Downs spring meet begins Saturday evening at 6 p.m. (ET) with monstrous purse levels. Field sizes should be strong throughout the meet presenting bettors with a juicy menu of options. RACE 1 LADYOFDRAGONSTONE (#6) (5-2) looks to be the lone speed in the one-turn dirt mile for maiden $10,000 claimers. The daughter of young sire Graydar draws outside where jockey Miguel Mena can either control the pace if he sends her or stalk while clear in the run down the backside. She was a good second two starts back going seven furlongs at Tampa Bay Downs then came back there and showed good speed going two turns. RACE 5 TRASHTALKINYANKEE (#9) (8-1) caught a sloppy track in his career debut at Keeneland and ran pretty well to rally for third after breaking poorly from post 1. He came back here last out and was a good second going seven furlongs when he grinded to get up for second. The son of Northern Afleet returns to the races off an 155-day layoff and has already shown he can run well fresh with enough works to be ready for this. RACE 9 SIR NAVIGATOR (#6) (8-1) returns off a 455-day layoff for Mike Maker, who wins 18 percent in this spot. The gelded son of Henrythenavigator is bred for the turf but has five wins on the dirt. He is versatile enough to run on or off the pace and draws well with Florent Geroux, who is an underrated 20 percent with his sprint mounts. RACE 10 COMBUSTIBLE (#3) (3-1) dropped down to this claiming level two starts back and won going this distance at Fair Grounds. His last start two weeks ago came off the turf and he ran an even fourth against allowance foes. Trainer Joe Sharp wins 19 percent second start off the layoff and jockey Adam Beschizza, who is 20 percent with Sharp, rides back. Don’t forget to opt in to the Opening Night Bet Back, where you can get your Win bet back up to $10 if your horse runs second in every race at Churchill Downs on Opening Night, April 27! PHOTO: Churchill Downs (c) Coady Photography/Churchill Downs

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