Winners, Payouts for All Horse Races from Churchill Downs on May 16

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2020

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - MAY 02:  The track sits empty at Churchill Downs on May 02, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky.  The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby, originally scheduled for May 2nd, has been postponed to September 5, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Horse racing returned to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday as opening day of the 2020 Spring/Summer Meet emanated from the historic track with no fans in attendance.

The Kentucky Derby, which was originally scheduled for May, was moved back to September because of the coronavirus pandemic. While none of Saturday's races were at the level of The Run for the Roses, many of the best jockeys and trainers were competing.

Here is a look at how every race on the program for Saturday's opening day at Churchill Downs played out.


Race 1

1. Arch Ability: $12.40, $4.60, $3.40

2. Baudette Blizzard: x, $3.60, $2.80

3. J's Warrior: x, x, $4.00

The first race of the day was six furlongs in length and featured a dominant performance by Arch Ability, who came away with the win at 5-1:

Churchill Downs PR @DerbyMedia

Arch Ability wins the first race of the 2020 Spring Meet. First time in 145-year history of ⁦@ChurchillDowns⁩ that a race was run without fans in the stands. https://t.co/IhXYVEb459

Guided by jockey James Graham, Arch Ability opened the Spring/Summer Meet in impressive fashion by beating out the more highly touted Baudette Blizzard, who broke at 2-1 and finished in second with Joe Talamo aboard.

The most surprising horse in the money was J's Warrior, who broke at 5-1 and nearly scored a second-place finish, although Baudette Blizzard was able to hold him off.

Race 2

1. Diamondcoat: $5.80, $3.80, $2.80

2. Dutch Treat: x, $4.60, $3.20

3. Strollin the Bayou: x, x, $3.00

The second race looked like it could be a battle on paper with several horses boasting fairly low odds, but Diamondcoat proved to be the clear class of the field.

Going off at 9-5, Diamondcoat blew away the rest of the field by five lengths and helped give jockey Rafael Bejarano a win upon his return to Kentucky:

Marty McGee @DRFMcGee

9-5 favorite Diamondcoat wins #ChurchillDowns R2 under @sambitoperu, who's back making Ky. his primary circuit after more than a decade as a top rider in SoCal. 6-2-3-5.

Dutch Treat guided by Corey Lanerie was a clear second, while Joel Rosario road Strollin the Bayou to a third-place result.

Race 3

1. Louie's Kingdom: $4.80, $3.80, $3.00

2. Uncle Gregory: x, $8.20, $5.60

3. Jimmy At Last: x, x, $3.60

Saturday's third race was no contest with 7-5 favorite Louie's Kingdom blowing past the rest of the field to pick up the win with Albin Jimenez on board.

While Louie's Kingdom was favored, Woodbine track analyst Jason Portuondo was among those who questioned whether he was a smart bet:

Jason Portuondo @jporty13

Louie's Kingdom just raced a week ago and had to ship from GP...not me for thanks. I'll try Leparoux and Tom's Last General...Baker does alright with these types off the bench.

Louie's Kingdom eliminated all doubt, though, by scoring the easy win with Uncle Gregory and Joel Rosario finishing second, and Jimmy At Last and Martin Garcia coming in third.

Race 4

1. Monomoy Girl: $3.00, $3.00, $2.20

2. Red Dane: x, $14.40, $6.40

3. Miss Bigly: x, x, $3.00

Monomoy Girl did not disappoint in her long-awaited return to competition Saturday after a year and a half off.

The five-year-old mare was a 1-2 favorite, and she showed why by making her move to the outside on the final turn and then outclassing the rest of the field with Florent Geroux on the saddle:


SHE IS BACK! Monomoy Girl dominates her 5YO debut @ChurchillDowns with @flothejock for @bradcoxracing! https://t.co/jKuIaSG5BT

Monomoy Girl won the Kentucky Oaks back in 2018, and while there were some questions about how she would fare Saturday following such a long layoff, she proved that she is still an elite horse.

Race 5

1. Oxide: $6.60, $4.40, $3.40

2. Contractor Bill: x, $21.60, $9.20

3. Fortuity: x, x, $4.00

The fifth race was scheduled to occur on the turf, but since track conditions were so poor, it was moved to the dirt, which worked to Oxide's advantage.

Oxide went off at 2-1 and had little issue winning in fairly simple fashion with jockey Jose Ortiz leading the way.

While Oxide's win didn't come as a big surprise, those who had Contractor Bill in their exacta or trifecta fared very well, as he went off at 32-1 and managed to place behind Oxide with Sonny Leon on the mount.

Race 6

1. Strong Yen: $16.20, $7.40, $4.20

2. Here's Carlos: x, $13.60, $7.20

3. Irritator: x, x, $2.80

Strong Yen pulled off a bit of an upset in the sixth race, as he essentially led from wire to wire despite going off at 7-1.

Irritator was a significant favorite at 1-1, but he was never able to make his move, and the James Graham-ridden horse had to settle for a third-place finish.

An exacta paid well in the race since Here's Carlos came in second at 17-1 with Lanerie on the saddle. He was no match for Strong Yen, though, as the winner had a great trip courtesy of jockey Gerardo Corrales.

Race 7

1. Say Moi: $3.40, $2.80, $2.60

2. Skinny Dip: x, $4.80, $3.60

3. Majestic Blend: x, x, $13.00

The 3-5 favorite Say Moi was impressive Saturday at Churchill Downs, as she took control late in the seventh race for fillies and mares.

Say Moi made it look fairly easy, which prompted NYRA's Andy Serling to point out that the horse and jockey John Velazquez deserved some praise for coasting to victory:

Andy Serling @andyserling

Say Moi unsurprisingly wins the @ChurchillDowns 6th race for Mott and @ljlmvel. Probably better than it looks as she attacked a pace that collapsed. Skinny Dip makes a run from well back to get second in a pretty logical exacta.

Although she didn't win, Skinny Dip turned in a good showing as well, coming from way behind to finish second. The 67-1 shot Majestic Blend helped bettors make some money by squeaking into the third-place spot with jockey Sophie Doyle guiding.

Race 8

1. Dinar: $7.20, $4.40, $3.40

2. Motagally: x, $4.60, $3.20

3. Sea of Hope: x, x, $4.40

3. Mantra: x, x, $4.40

The eighth race was another race that was moved from the turf to the dirt because of the sloppy conditions, and it played to the advantage of Dinar and jockey Tyler Gaffalione.

Dinar went off at 5-2 and used his experience on dirt to beat out the field, including Motagally, who finished second at 3-1.

There was a dead heat in third between Sea of Hope and Mantra, which gave bettors additional opportunities to win on a trifecta or show bet and added some intrigue to a race that was altered significantly by the surface change.

Race 9

1. Sacred Oath: $11.40, $6.40, $4.60

2. Box of Chocolates: x, $4.60, $3.60

3. Hersh: x, x, $4.80

Sacred Oath pulled off a minor upset in the ninth race, as David Cohen led him past Box of Chocolates and Javier Castellano for the win.

NYRA's Andy Serling noted that Sacred Oath didn't seem to have much trouble in picking up the victory:

Andy Serling @andyserling

Sacred Oath wins the @ChurchillDowns 9th fairly easily. It appears Hersh got 3rd, but simply wasn’t good enough, unfortunately, to fill out the exacta. Oh well....at least my Pick-4 is still alive:-)

Sacred Oath went off at 9-2 compared to Box of Chocolates at 3-1. Hersh brought some level of value by finishing third at 7-1 with Corey Lanerie at the helm.

Race 10

1. Four Graces: $9.40, $4.60, $3.40

2. Miss T Too: x, $6.60, $4.80

3. Aurelia Garland: x, x, $5.20

The 10th race on the program turned out to be fairly straightforward with 7-2 shot Four Graces winning with Julien Leparoux in tow.

Miss T Too led for much of the race, but the 5-1 choice got chased down late. Another 5-1 choice in Aurelia Garland finished third, and Serling was especially impressed by her performance:

Andy Serling @andyserling

Four Graces gets it done in the @ChurchillDowns 10th but Aurelia Garland ran the best race given her slow start, which put her back to last, and then she encountered considerable traffic in the stretch. She will be overbet next time however.

If not for a rough start, Aurelia Garland and jockey Jose Ortiz may have had more for Four Graces and Miss T Too down the stretch.

Race 11

1. Reagan's Edge: $27.00, $13.40, $6.60

2. Call On Mischief: x, $8.60, $5.00

3. Karak: x, x, $3.20

Racing concluded Saturday at Churchill Downs with a fairly surprising result, as 12-1 shot Reagan's Edge pulled off the win with Jose Lezcano aboard.

Churchill Downs @ChurchillDowns

A close victory for REAGAN’S EDGE over second-place CALL ON MISCHIEF for Race 11 brings Opening Day to an end at Churchill Downs 👏🐎 https://t.co/aMgdz3lDTU

Karak was favored at 2-1, but he had to settle for a third-place result, while 7-1 Call on Mischief came in second with Brian Hernandez Jr. on the saddle.

Many of the races on Saturday's slate were fairly straightforward, but Reagan's Edge rewarded those who took a chance on a longer shot.