Two ways to bet Churchill's $6,463 Super High 5 carryover

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

November 21st, 2021

Looking for a carryover to pursue on Sunday? Then let us steer you toward Churchill Downs, where an enticing $6,463 prize pool awaits in the $1 Super High 5.

The carryover is up for grabs in Race 9, a $50,000 maiden claimer for two-year-olds sprinting six furlongs on dirt. If you think it sounds easy to handicap, think again—there are 13 horses in the entries (including one also-eligible), and six of them are first-time starters without any established form to analyze.

Handicapping the race in advance is tricky since #13 Smarty John (5-1), the lone also-eligible, is arguably the most promising horse in the field. A son of Bird Song (who sires 33% winners from first-time starters), Smarty John has put together a promising work tab for trainer Norm Casse, who boasts a 7-for-23 (30%) record debuting juveniles in dirt sprints at Churchill. Throw in the presence of hot jockey Tyler Gaffalione (6-for-8, 75% riding for Casse over the last two months), and Smarty John looks like an appealing win choice.

The question is, will a scratch allow Smarty John to start? There’s no way to know until race-day changes are released. If he does draw in, we’ll be inclined to key him on top in the Super High 5. Otherwise, playing the wager gets a bit trickier.

The best horse in the main body of the field might be #9 Sensei Lawrence (4-1), who has finished fifth in a trio of maiden special weights sprinting on dirt. Dropping down the class ladder can help the son of juvenile Grade 1 winner Mastery produce a more competitive effort, considering his best Brisnet Speed rating (77) is higher than the par winning figure (76) for Sunday’s conditions. Adding blinkers also stands to improve Sensei Lawrence’s performance.

#11 Heffner (9-2), third over this track, distance, and class level on Nov. 4, is a logical player for the minor awards. Meanwhile, second-time starter #10 Arrow Strike (12-1) offers some longshot appeal after finishing eighth in his debut against maiden special weight company at Keeneland. Fellow class droppers #2 Benny’s Fiddle (8-1), #5 Prayforpeace (5-1), and #12 I’ll Figure It Out (9-2) join the unraced #1 Blowdacoalwhistle (20-1) among the other contenders for the minor awards.

If Smarty John draws into the field, here’s how we’ll bet the Super High 5:

$1 Super High 5: 13 with 9 with 10,11,12 with 5,10,11,12 with 1,2,5,10,11,12 ($36)
$1 Super High 5: 13 with 10,11,12 with 9 with 5,10,11,12 with 1,2,5,10,11,12 ($36)
Total: $72

If Smarty John scratches, we’ll have to play somewhat riskier tickets, counting on Sensei Lawrence to finish either first or second:

$1 Super High 5: 9 with 10,11,12 with 10,11,12 with 5,10,11,12 with 1,2,5,10,11,12 ($36)
$1 Super High 5: 10,11,12 with 9 with 10,11,12 with 5,10,11,12 with 1,2,5,10,11,12 ($36)
Total: $72

Good luck!