Best Horse Racing Bets for Friday, July 23, 2021

| July 23, 2021 3:02 am PDT

Let’s take a look at some of the competition at Charles Town Races, Del Mar Racing, and Saratoga Racecourse.

While Charles Town has some good matches for us to wager, both Del Mar and Saratoga headline stakes races. Even better, Saratoga is all underdogs, with a 6/1 sleeper in race eight that promises to make our bankrolls happy.

Good luck!

My Friday Picks for Charles Town Races

We start on the main track at Charles Town for race four, a 6-1/2 furlong run for West Virginia-bred three-year-olds and upward.

We’ve got some good horses in contention for this one, but my two dollars buys a win ticket on the 3/1 second-favored Fancy Concho, with veteran jockey Christian Hiraldo in the irons.

This four-year-old gelding finished in the money 12 of his 13 career starts, winning six, including the West Virginia Lottery Breeders’ Classic Stakes (Black Type) last October.

Charles Town native Timothy C. Grams trains Fancy Concho for his own Grams Racing Stable LLC. Grams has had Hiraldo saddle Fancy Concho for all thirteen of his races.

Race five is a 6-1/2 furlong sprint for fillies and mares three years old and upward, and my money is on the 3/5 morning-line favorite, Star of Night, ridden by Arnaldo Bocachica.

This four-year-old filly moneyed all nine of her career starts, winning seven, including the Sylvia Bishop Memorial Stakes (Black Type) last August, the West Virginia Tourism Office Breeders’ Classic Stakes (Black Type) in October, and the My Sister Pearl Stakes in December.

The long-time top-ranked Jeff C. Runco trains Star of Night for Huntertown Farm LLC. Runco has put Bocachica in the irons for all of Star of Night’s runs.

For race seven—a seven-panel main track run three-year-olds and upward—my money’s on the second-favored (at 4/1) V. I. P. Ticket, with top jockey Gerald Almodovar aboard.

This five-year-old had money finished in the money for 23 of his 31 career starts, eight of those wins, including the Confucius Say Stakes (Black Type) this past May and the A Huevo Stakes (Black Type) last December. He’ll do.

Former U.K. jockey Jeremiah O’Dwyer trains V. I. P. Ticket for A.R.D. Racing Stables. O’Dwyer had Almodovar aboard V. I. P. Ticket for both of his stakes wins.

Friday’s Picks for Del Mar Racing

Starting with race four, we’ve got a one-mile main track route for three-year-olds and upward. I have to agree with the morning line on this one and bet my two dollars on the 8/5 favorite, Bold Endeavor, ridden by ace jockey Juan J. Hernandez.

This five-year-old gelding moneyed 11 of his 24 career starts, winning five, and his speed figures have been in the triple-digits for six of his last eight races—all of which puts him in the statistical lead for this run.

Regularly ranked in the top 100, Mark Glatt trains Bold Endeavor for owners William A. Branch, William C. Buster, Jr., and Mark Cohen.

Let’s move to the turf course for race six, a five-furlong grass run for three-year-olds and upward. I’m calling this one for the 5/1 third-favored Lieutenant Dan, ridden by Geovanni Franco.

I do not deny that the morning-line favorite’s third-place finish in this year’s Arkansas Derby (Grade III) is impressive, but Lieutenant Dan has moneyed more of his races—and won more, as well.

For the record, Lieutenant Dan finished in the money for 12 of his 13 career starts, winning five, including the Sensational Star Stakes (Black Type) at Santa Anita last year as well as the Real Good Deal Stakes (Black Type) and the Echo Eddie Stakes (Black Type) in 2019.

Ranked among the top trainers regularly for both wins and earnings, Steven Miyadi trains Lieutenant Dan for owner-breeder Nicholas B. Alexander.

Race seven takes us back to the main track for the Fleet Treat Stakes—a $175,000 purse, seven-furlong run for California-bred or -sired three-year-old fillies. I’m betting my two dollars on the 5/2 morning-line favorite, Fi Fi Pharoah, with top jockey Umberto Rispoli aboard.

This filly finished in the money for four of her five career starts, placing second in the Evening Jewel Stakes (Black Type) at Santa Anita in April even before she broke her maiden in May—and then followed that in June with a win in the Melair Stakes (Black Type). She’ll do.

Walther Solis trains Fi Fi Pharoah for owners Tom Beckerle, Terry C. Lovingier (breeder), and Amanda Navarro.

Friday Picks for Saratoga Racecourse

Let’s start with race six, a 1-1/2 mile turf run for three-year-olds and upward. My money’s on the 7/2 second-favored He’s No Lemon, piloted by Javier Castellano.

This five-year-old gelding moneyed eight of his 14 career starts, winning four, which gives him the statistical upper hand in this race.

Winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby with Animal Kingdom, H. Graham Motion trains He’s No Lemon for owner-breeder Alex G. Campbell, Jr.

We’re back on the main track for race eight, a seven-panel sprint for three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting both of my dollars on the 6/1 sleeper, Ninth Hour, with Eric Cancel in the irons.

This seven-year-old gelding finished in the money for 13 of his 20 career starts, winning eight.

While there are a couple of younger horses with a statistical edge (one win in two starts is a 50% win rate), Ninth Hour has shown ability and consistency throughout his career.

Already making a name for himself in the NYRA circuit, Miami native Orlando Noda trains Ninth Hour for Make em All Stables.

Race nine is the Lake George Stakes (Grade III), a $150,000 purse, one-mile turf run for three-year-old fillies. I like the 6/1 fourth-favored Runaway Rumour, ridden by veteran jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr.

This filly had won all three of her career starts—her maiden graduation, an allowance race, and the Wild Applause Stakes (Listed). Ya gotta love that kind of consistency.

A former assistant trainer to Chad Brown, Jorge R. Abreu trains Runaway Rumour for owner-breeder Lawrence Goichman.

Speaking of Chad Brown, he also has a horse in this race: Amy C, who the morning line has at 9/2. Will the student become the master? Stay tuned, Grasshopper!

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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