Best Horse Racing Bets for Friday, May 28, 2021

| May 28, 2021 5:13 am PDT

My three tracks for Friday picks are Belmont Park, Evangeline Downs, and Penn National Race Course. While I found plenty of underdogs to tout, and even one sleeper, the real news here is the four stakes races at Penn National.

I call picks for all four of those turf run, and you might even find an underdog among those picks as well. Just sayin’.

One last thing. Don’t forget to check out all the races at one of the top online horse racing betting sites.

Good luck!

Friday’s Picks for Belmont Park

Starting with race three—one mile run for four-year-olds and upward—I’m putting my money down on the 3/5 morning line favorite, Happy Saver. It would be mostly because it would defy logic, common sense, and probably the second law of thermodynamics to wager otherwise.

This four-year-old colt won all four of his career starts, and we’re not just talking initial maiden and a subsequent allowance run—his last two wins were the Federico Tesio Stakes (Black Type) at Laurel Park last September and the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (Grade I) at Belmont in October.

Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher trains Happy Saver for Wertheimer et Frère, a thoroughbred racing and breeding business with facilities in both France and the United States.

Incidentally, Pletcher has Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the irons for this race. Ortiz rode Happy Saver to victory for all but his Federico Tesio Stakes win.

Switching to the turf for race six, a six-furlong grass run for fillies and mares—I’m betting on the 8/1 sleeper, Malibu Mischief.

Yes, the morning line favorite has some impressive speed figures, but those mean little when you only win four races out of 20.

On the other hand, the five-year-old mare Malibu Mischief moneyed 17 of her 26 career starts, winning eleven. She also has more recent money finishes in stakes races, including thirds in both the Videogenic Stakes at Aqueduct in March and the Willa On the Move Stakes (Listed) at Laurel Park last December.

Owner/trainer Rudy R. Rodriguez has tapped top jockey Manny Franco, for this ride.

Still on the turf for race eight—a one-miler for three-year-old fillies—I’m calling this one for the 3/1 morning line favorite, Nevisian Sunrise.

This filly finished in the money for all three of her career starts, winning one. (her first two maidens were second-place finishes). While she’s up against a few more experienced fillies, she still has the workout times and the speed figures to go to the head of the line.

Longtime racing veteran Chad C. Brown trains Nevisian Sunrise for owner/breeder Alpha Delta Stables. Brown has top jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard Nevisian Sunrise for this run.

My Friday Picks for Evangeline Downs

For race three, I have to agree with the morning line and buy a win ticket for Maroon Maniac in this one-mile turf race for three-year-olds and upward.

This four-year-old gelding moneyed five of his ten career starts, winning one. Cortland Harrison trains Maroon Maniac for Keith Cooper, and he’s tapped Alexis X. Batista to fill the irons for this run.

In race six—a six-furlong main track run for three-year-olds and upward—I’m betting on the third-favored (at 7/2) entry, Half Again.

This four-year-old gelding finished in the money seven of his nine career starts, winning four.

This gives him a decided advantage over his competitors in this six-horse field.

Trainer/co-owner Ron Faucheux trains Half Again for himself and his partners, Winalot Racing and Allen Cassedy. He’s asked Pedro L. Cotto, Jr. to saddle Half Again for this ride.

For race eight, a five-furlong turf run for fillies and mares, my pick for the winner is the fourth-favored Expect Ours.

This three-year-old filly moneyed one of her two career starts (her first maiden resulted in a fourth-place finish; she graduated in her second maiden run). Her speed figures are comparable to the rest of this field, but her recent workouts show better times than those of the favorite.

Expect Ours is in training to Brett A. Brinkman for owner/breeder James Ronald Magnon. Brinkman has veteran jockey Ashley Broussard aboard for this run.

Friday Picks for Penn National

Penn National starts Friday’s race card out with four stakes races (all on turf), and I’ve got the picks for all four of those.

Starting with race one—the Lyphard Stakes, a 1-1/16 mile turf run for Pennsylvania-bred fillies and mares—I’m calling the match for the second-favored (at 5/2) Midnight Obsession.

This three-year-old filly won both of her career starts, and while each of her competitors in this stakes run has distinguished themselves in other stakes races, none has a record that suggests a likely win in this one.

John Servis—who took Smarty Jones to the 2004 Triple Crown races, trains Midnight Obsession for Main Line Racing Stable. He’s tapped top jockey Joe Bravo to fill the irons for this race.

Incidentally, Midnight Obsession is also entered in the Penn Oaks (race three), so if she’s scratched in this race, bet on the 9/5 morning-line favorite for race one, Ujjayi.

Speaking of Smarty Jones: In race two—the With Anticipation Stakes, a 1-1/16 mile turf run for three-year-olds and upward—I’m betting on one of his sons, Someday Jones, the 3/1 morning-line favorite.

This eight-year-old has finished in the money for 24 of his 35 starts, winning 12. His speed figures are regularly in the triple digits, and he’s moneyed eight stakes races in his career.

Breeders’ Cup veteran Michael J. Maker trains Someday Jones for Paradise Farms, and he’s tapped jockey Kendrick Carmouche for this ride.

Race three is the Penn Oaks, a one-mile turf run for three-year-old fillies, and I’m calling it for the 2/1 second-favored entry, Amalfi Princess.

This filly moneyed five of her seven career starts, winning one. Her money finishes include a third-place in the Beaumont Stakes in April at Keeneland.

Trainer Michael Maker races Amalfi Princess for Three Diamonds Farm, and he’s chosen Kendrick Carmouche to ride for this run.

In race four—the Penn Mile Stakes (Grade III), a one-mile turf run for three-year-olds—I’m sticking with the 9/5 morning-line favorite, Outadore.

This colt finished in the money four of his five career starts, winning three, including the Animal Kingdom Stakes (Black Type) at Turfway Park in March and the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes (Listed) last September.

He also placed third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (Grade I) at Keenland in November.

Top trainer Wesley A. Ward has Irad Ortiz, Jr. In the irons for this run. Ortiz was aboard for Outadore’s maiden victory and followed that up for his win at the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint. Ward trains Outadore for owner Breeze Easy, 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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