Best Horse Racing Bets for Friday, July 2, 2021

| July 2, 2021 4:52 am PDT

The three tracks I reviewed for my Friday picks—Arlington International Racecourse, Monmouth Park, and Pimlico Race Course—offered up a gratifying number of underdogs with real potential.

I only found two morning-line favorites worth the wager for Friday’s picks—one at Pimlico and the other at Arlington. Interestingly, all my picks at Monmouth Park were third-favored entries.

Good luck!

Friday Picks for Arlington International Racecourse

Starting with race two—a six-furlong all-weather track run for three-year-olds and upward—I’m in agreement with the morning line, so my bet’s on the 7/5 favorite, Nicky Two Shoes, with E.T. Baird in the irons.

This three-year-old colt moneyed two of his three career starts, winning his initial maiden run, then finishing third in the Animal Kingdom Stakes (Black Type) at Turfway Park in March.

That compares very favorably to the rest of this six-horse field, and it certainly doesn’t hurt his chances that his jockey, E.T. Baird, is having a very, very good year.

William D. Cowans trains Nicky Two Shoes for owner-breeder Southern Comfort Stable LLC.

For race three—a one-mile run for Illinois-bred fillies and mares three years old and upward—I’m putting my two dollars on the 6/1 underdog, Manhattan Legacy, ridden by veteran jockey Julio E. Felix.

This three-year-old filly moneyed three of her seven career starts, winning one, which may not seem particularly impressive, but she actually has a statistical edge in this six-horse field.

Hugo Rodriguez trains Manhattan Legacy for owners AJM Racing, Inc. and Walters Racing. Rodriguez also put Julio Felix in the irons for Manhattan Legacy’s maiden victory.

We move to the turf course for race seven—a one-mile grass run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. My money’s on the second-favored (at 4/1) Brunella, with Christopher A. Emigh aboard.

This four-year-old filly had six money finishes in her 12 career starts, winning three. In this ten-horse field, that’s good enough to move her to the head of the class.

James M. Watkins, who’s having a very good 2021 for both wins and earnings, trains Brunella for owner Dennis Pohl. Watkins has put Emigh aboard Brunella for her two most recent races.

My Friday Picks for Monmouth Park

Starting on the turf for race one—a 1-1/16 miles grass run for New Jersey-bred three-year-olds and upward—I’m banking on the 9/2 third-favored Counterfeitcurency, ridden by top jockey Paco Lopez.

This three-year-old gelding moneyed three of his five career starts, winning one.

Derek S. Ryan—who took Musket Man to third-place finishes in 2009 in both the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby—trains Counterfeitcurency for owner Gerald Jay Briscione.

Race four takes us back to the main track for a six-panel run for New Jersey-bred fillies and mares three years old and upward. My money is on the 9/2 third-favored Oddsondustymiller, with Carlos J. Hernandez in the irons.

This five-year-old mare moneyed three of her five career starts, winning one.

So far, Tony Wilson, who’s having a good 2021, trains Oddsondustymiller for owners-breeders Nick and Joan Sacco. Incidentally, Wilson has put jockey Carlos Hernandez in the irons for all five of Oddsondustymiller’s starts.

Back on the turf course for race five—a five-furlong run for three-year-olds and upward—I’m buying a win ticket on the 9/2 third-favored Kentucky Cool, ridden by Jorge Luis Gonzalez.

This three-year-old gelding moneyed six of his ten career starts, winning four, which gives him the statistical lead in this ten-horse field.

Kentucky Cool is trained by his owner, Anthony Foglia.

Friday’s Picks for Pimlico Race Course

We’ll start with race two—a 1-1/16 miles main track run for three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting my two dollars on the 9/5 second-favored Iywaan with veteran jockey Tyler Conner aboard.

The six-year-old Iywaan moneyed 17 of his 26 career starts, winning eight, which gives him a statistical advantage over the 9/5 favorite.

Both show solid triple-digit speed figures in recent races, but I believe Iywaan will prevail in this one.

Mark V. Salvaggio trains Iywaan for owner Jeffrey W. Parthemore. Tyler Conner has been aboard for two of Iywaan’s most recent victories.

Race five is a 1-1/16 miles main track run for three-year-olds and upward, and I’m betting on the 9/5 morning-line favorite, Miami Mumbles, ridden by top jockey Victor R. Carrasco.

This five-year-old gelding moneyed seven of his 13 career starts, winning one.

While there are a couple of horses with comparable stats in this six-horse field, they don’t have the advantage of a jockey at the top of his game in the irons and an up-and-coming trainer already making his mark in graded stakes races.

Speaking of whom, Horacio DePaz trains Miami Mumbles for owners Liberty House Racing, Take a Shot Stables, and The Posse.

In race seven—a six-panel main track run for fillies and mares three years old and upward—I like the 4/1 third-favored Virginia Beach, with veteran jockey Julian Pimentel aboard.

This four-year-old filly moneyed four of her eight career starts, winning three, including her initial maiden run as well as the M. Tyson Gilpin Stakes (Black Type) at Laurel Park last October.

Top-ranked trainer Michael J. Trombetta—who took Sweetnorthernsaint to a second-place finish at the 2006 Preakness Stakes—trains Virginia Beach for Country Life Farm. Julian Pimentel was in the irons for Virginia Beach’s most recent win, an allowance race on the main track at Delaware Park in early June.

J.W. Paine
J.W. Paine

J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at He's written for television and the printed media, and is a published novelist (as Tom Elliott).

Paine loves writing about Las Vegas nearly as much he loves living here. An experienced gambler, he's especially familiar with thoroughbred horseracing, poker, blackjack, and slots.

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