Dan’s Double: Challenging Saturday Card at Churchill Downs

Dan’s Double of the week, featuring handicapping analysis from America’s Best Racing’s New York correspondent Dan Tordjman, is brought to you by Horseplayers.com, the official online qualifying site of the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and National Horseplayers Championship (NHC).

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When it comes to making money when handicapping races and betting on horse racing, it’s all about picking winners. Tordjman – DanonymousMan to those who follow him on Twitter – is one of the sharpest horseplayers around.

Each week, Tordjman will provide readers with his two best bets of the weekend and strategies for how to bet them. Good luck!


Saturday, May 16

Churchill Downs, Race 9, 5:12 p.m. ET

#9 Box of Chocolates: It has been a while between pictures for this horse but he’s shown some significant improvement of late and could benefit from an ideal pace setup in this spot. In his last two starts, he’s had to navigate through some interesting trips. Last out, he was down on the rail and had to shift out before the turn to make a pretty wide move that left him a touch flat late. In spite of that, he still earned a 98 Equibase Speed Figure (best sprinting number of any horse in this field) and a 78 Beyer Speed Figure (tied for second-best last out). His Equibase Late Pace Figure of 108.5 is tops in the field, as well. You’re also getting a major jockey upgrade here to Javier Castellano. He should enjoy a brisk pace in front of him with #3 News Flash and #10 Saratogian very likely to go at it early.

Strategy on a $10 Budget 

$4 win, place on #9 Box of Chocolates ($8)

$1 exacta box: 2,9 ($2)

Strategy on a $25 Budget 

$4 win, place, show on #9 Box of Chocolates ($12)

$4 exacta 9 with 2 ($4)

$2 exacta 2 with 9 ($2)

$1 trifecta key 9 with 2,4,11 ($6)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$10 win, place, show on #9 Box of Chocolates ($30)

$10 exacta 9 with 2 ($10)

$4 exacta 2 with 9 ($2)

$1 trifecta key 9 with 2,4,11 ($6)



Churchill Downs, Race 10, 5:44 p.m. ET

#2 Portrait: It’s pretty amazing that this filly is eligible for this first-level allowance race because she’s been competitive in graded stakes company and was best when she was last seen at Fair Grounds in February. She couldn’t possibly cover more ground than she did that day and still just barely gave up the lead late to Alta’s Award, a filly who came back to finish second in theGrade 3  Honeybee Stakes in her next start. Prior to that, Portrait had another less-than-ideal trip when finishing behind Finite, who came back to win the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes Presented by Fasig-Tipton. I think Portrait will appreciate the cut back here to seven furlongs. Last time she tried this distance, she won by more than 12 lengths and posted a 90 Equibase Speed Figure as a 2-year-old.

Strategy on a $10 Budget 

$10 to win on #2 Portrait ($10)

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$10 to win on #2 Portrait ($10)

$5 exacta 2 over 1,5 ($10)

$2 exacta 1,5 over 2 ($4)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$20 to win on #2 Portrait ($20)

$10 exacta 2 over 1,5 ($20)

$5 exacta 1,5 over 2 ($10)

Last Week’s Earnings: $113.60

2020 Earnings: $1,695.80