Best Horse Racing Bets for Friday, June 4, 2021

| June 4, 2021 3:56 am PDT

I’m going with Belmont Park, Evangeline Downs, and Golden Gate Fields for Friday’s picks. As with Thursday’s races, Belmont Park is featuring multiple stakes races for the Friday race-card, so I kick off with my picks for all five of Belmont’s stakes runs.

There’s plenty to cover, so check out my picks and good luck!

My Friday Picks for Belmont Park

Belmont sure knows how to ramp up for the Saturday’s Belmont Stakes—they’ve got five graded stakes races on the Friday race-card, and I’ve got picks for all five of them.

We start with race three—the Tremont Stakes (Listed), a 5-1/2 furlong main track race for two-year-olds. The morning line would have us believe this is a race between two horses and four also-rans, but I believe this will be a much tighter race than that.

My pick is the third-favored in this six-horse field—Trust Our Journey at 8/1, ridden by Paco Lopez.

Like Little Drama, the morning-line favorite at 1/2, Trust Our Journey broke his maiden in his first start, but Little Drama’s maiden win was versus two competitors—Trust Our Journey graduated first in a class of six.

Speed figures on the two horses are similar, but while Little Drama has a slight advantage in that regard, I’ll stick with the colt that’s beaten the most competitors.

Carlos A. David trains Trust Our Journey for Palm Beach Racing. David had Paco Lopez in the irons for the colt’s maiden victory, and he’s aboard for this run, as well.

Race seven is the True North Stakes (Grade II), a 6-1/2 furlong main track run for four-year-olds and upward. While the morning-line’s top two horses have each campaigned mightily in graded stakes races, I’m putting my money on the 2/1 favorite—Firenze Fire.

This six-year-old finished in the money 20 of his 32 career starts, winning 13—and all but his maiden victory were in stakes races. Oh, and he won last year’s True North Stakes, so he knows how it gets done.

As with that 2020 True North run, Irad Ortiz, Jr. is in the irons for trainer Kelly J. Breen. Firenze Fire is owned by Mr. Amore Stable.

Race eight is the Bed o’ Roses Stakes (Grade III), a seven-furlong main track run for fillies and mares four years old and upward. My pick for this race is the 9/5 favorite, Chub Wagon, ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr.

This four-year-old filly won all six of her career starts, her most recent being the Unique Bella Stakes (Black Type) at Parx Racing in April and the Skipat Stakes (Listed) in May at Pimlico.

The top 100-ranked Guadalupe Preciado trains Chub Wagon for owners Daniel J. Lopez and George Chestnut. Incidentally, Ortiz was also aboard for Chub Wagon’s Skipat Stakes win.

We move to the turf for race nine—the New York Stakes (Grade II), a 1-1/4 mile grass run for fillies and mares four years old and upward. I’m backing the second-favored (at 9/2) entry here—Mean Mary.

Trained by H. Graham Motion for owner/breeder Alex G. Campbell Jr., this five-year-old mare moneyed eight of her ten career starts, winning six. Her latest victory was the Gallorette Stakes (Grade III) at Pimlico in mid-May. Veteran jockey Luis Saez is saddling for this race, as he’s done for all but Mean Mary’s first three starts.

Race ten is the Belmont Gold Cup Stakes (Grade II), a two-mile turf run for four-year-olds and upward. I’m going with the morning line’s 8/5 favorite, UK import Baron Samedi.

This four-year-old gelding had a rocky start in 2019, but by mid-2020, he was winning race after race with aplomb.

For the record, Baron Samedi finished in the money six of his eleven career starts, winning six.

His current six-win streak includes the Prix du Conseil de Paris (Grade II) last October at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris and the Vintage Crop Stakes (Grade III) at Navan Racecourse in Ireland in April.

Baron Samedi is trained by Joseph Patrick O’Brien for LECH Racing, LLC. O’Brien has tapped John R. Velazquez to fill the irons for this run.

Friday’s Picks for Churchill Downs

Starting with race five, a 7-1/2 furlong turf run for three-year-olds and upward, I’m calling this for the 5/2 morning line favorite, It’s a Wrap.

Trained by Keith G. Bourgeois for Hardy Racing Stables, LLC, the four-year-old gelding moneyed seven of his 12 career starts, winning two.

Bourgeois has veteran jockey Diego Saenz in the irons for this run.

In race seven—a one-mile turf run for fillies and mares four years old and upward—I’m going with the third-favored (at 4/1) entry, Glance, ridden by Diego Saenz.

This six-year-old mare finished in the money for 12 of her 27 career starts, winning six, giving her a statistical advantage over the morning line favorite.

Co-owner Corale (“Bunky”) Richards trains Glance for himself and Cynthia A. Sharp, his wife.

We move back to the main track for race eight; a 6-1/2 furlong run for Louisiana-bred three-year-olds and upward. I’m buying a win ticket on the third-favored (7/2) Knockalittlelouder.

This five-year-old gelding finished in the money six of his nine career starts, winning four, including all three of his 2021 starts.

Trained by Eduardo Ramirez for Red Rose Racing, Knockalittlelouder will have Diego Saenz in the irons for this race.

Friday Picks for Gulfstream Park

We start on the turf course for race one, a one-mile run for fillies and mares three years old and upward.

My money is on the second-favored (at 2/1) Chasingserendipity, with top jockey Kyle Frey in the irons.

This three-year-old filly moneyed one of her three career starts with a graduation win on her third maiden attempt. Frey was aboard for that win.

Owned by Michael Nentwig and Dennis B. Tiernan, Chasingserendipity is in training to Jonathan Wong.

Wong has ranked among the top 100 trainers for both wins and earnings each of the past three years.

In race four—one mile run on the all-weather track for three-year-olds and upward—I’m betting my two dollars on the second-favored Pequeno Monte (at 2/1).

This five-year-old gelding finished in the money for 11 of his 15 career starts, winning three. Jesus Ramos—who trains Pequeno Monte for Candelario Barragan—has Kyle Frey in the irons for this run.

Back on the turf for race seven—a one-mile grass run for three-year-olds and upward—I’m going with the third-favored (at 7/2) Loafers Boy, ridden by veteran jockey Alejandro Gomez.

This five-year-old gelding moneyed two of his six career starts, winning one—which actually gives him a statistical edge over the 5/2 morning-line favorite.

Relative newcomer Leanna Ekstrom trains Loafers Boy for owner/breeder George and Martha Schwary Racing LLC.

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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