Opening night at Churchill Downs turned out to be a wet one, and the track was sloppy and turf good for the evening's races. I suspected they might pull a race or two off the turf and that happened in the seventh race.
I had to jump back in and update yesterday's picks because of multiple scratches in the final four races but that didn't keep me from hitting the late Pick 4 ! I gave you 17 horses to consider over those four races and had four winners, three seconds and a show. That's a 47% "in the money" percentage and I filled eight of the 12 "payable" spots for a 66% success rate there.
RACE 7 brought Fortunty (9/2) home first in a tight battle with another of my picks -- Gershwin. I did think that the "main track only" runners stood a good chance but they finished out of the money. Tyler Gaffalione was the winning jockey on the horse trained by Michael Maker.
RACE 8 belonged to Honor Hop (4-1), who outlasted another of my picks in Queen Bourbon in the long Churchill stretch. I also gave you D'Oro Forever, who came in third. Julian Leparoux had the ride for Brian Lynch. The distance (1-14th miles) is the distance of the Kentucky Derby, but was covered in the plodding time of 2:06:48.
RACE 9 was the feature race last night -- The William Walker Stakes. This one remained on the turf at 5-1/2 furlongs and Field Day barely caught pace-setting Bodenheimer at the wire for the win. I had both in my picks. It was Tyler Gaffalione again in the winner's circle, this time for trainer Brad Cox. It was a good night for Tyler, he had three wins on the card last night.
RACE 10 ended the evening's festivities and it was Bayerness (3-1) who came charging out of the pack in the stretch to get the win. The win went to Luis Saez.and Bayerness was trained by Cherie DeVaux. Luis had two wind last night, as did Gerardo Corrales, a journeyman rider who made his name at Thistledown Park, outside of Cleveland, before hitting the Kentucky circuit a few years ago.
So, the Pick 4 paid $209.00 on the .50 cent wager. Not as much as I expected, but more than I put into it, financially, so that was a good thing. As I've said here a billion times, I can pick winners, but I can't pick what I'd like to get paid.
I did make a tidy sum on a couple of side bets last night as well. I loved Bodenheimer in Race 9 and Bayerness in Race 10. Bodenheimer ran second but I bet him across the board, so he turned a $20 WPS wager ($60 total) into $108 for me. I did the same thing with Bayerness -- $20 to win, place and show and that $60 investment returned $174. My other venture was going to be a $20 win, place, show on Attorney Tim in Race 7, but, he didn't keep his court date and was a scratch for Luis Saez and Hreg Foley.
We'll "give it a go" (in the words of Louisville Field Hockey head coach Justine Sowry ...and hip-hop, rap artist Timbaland) on Wednesday as Derby Week continues at Churchill. You are cordially invited to return to Paulie Picks and view my choices for "Louisville's Day at the Track" on Weds.