Scully’s Churchill Downs signature plays for May 22

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May 21st, 2020

Another challenging 10-race program at Churchill Downs awaits horseplayers on Friday.

Here are three plays for May 22:

Look forward to betting: #1 Readyformycloseup (8-1 morning line) in race 10. Tabbing the Steve Asmussen-trained filly for a wire-to-wire win. After a decent third versus maiden special weight foes, Readyformycloseup dropped into a $50,000 maiden claimer and led all the way in her third career start. The $130,000 daughter of Liam’s Map established solid splits last time (:22 and :45 3/5) and earned a 78 Brisnet Speed rating on par with her main rivals Friday. Others may have been tempted to raise the lightly-raced filly in class, but Asmussen runs his horses where they can win and risks Readyformycloseup for a $40,000 tag. The front-running filly can make it two in a row.

Favorite I’m against: #10 Sweet Carli (2-1) is race 5. After rallying to narrowly prevail over conditioned foes at Oaklawn, Sweet Carli faces open claiming rivals today. I thought she defeated a suspect bunch last time, and the stalker will have to run faster to make it two in a row. Last fall at Churchill Downs, Sweet Carli dropped a pair of maiden claiming starts at short odds, and I will try to beat the probable favorite on Friday.

Best longshot: #8 Shakes Creek (15-1) in race 3. Gray 5-year-old ran a big race at Churchill Downs when taking a $20,000 claiming event at this 7-furlong distance last September, scoring easily as the 8-5 favorite. Genaro Garcia lost Shakes Creek via claim on Jan. 31, and the trainer promptly claimed him right back for a $40,000 tag a month later with the intent to run Shakes Creek at Churchill Downs (2-1-1-0 over track). The last start at Oaklawn, which came at a 1 1/8-mile distance that is too long for him, was simply a tightener following a freshening, and Shakes Creek could surprise returning to an oval he relishes.

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