Best Horse Racing Bets for Friday, November 19, 2021
Charles Town Races, Del Mar Racing, and Turf Paradise all delivered plenty of underdogs and even a couple of sleepers for my Friday racing picks.
In fact, I only found one wager-worthy morning-line favorite in the nine races I assessed.
Remember that you can check out the entire Friday race-card of each of the three tracks by visiting our recommended online race books.
Friday Picks for Charles Town Races
We’ll start on the main track with race five, a 4-1/2-furlong allowance run for two-year-old’s that have never won two races. My money’s on the second-favored (at 7/2) Golden Hughes, ridden by Arnaldo Bocachica.
This colt finished all five of his career starts in the money, winning his third maiden attempt in August, then finishing second in an allowance race in October. I’m convinced he’s got what it takes to best this eight-horse field.
Anthony Farrior—who’s having the best year of his career—trains Golden Hughes for Conroy Thoroughbreds LLC.
Race six is a 4-1/2-furlong allowance optional claiming race on the main track for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m betting my two dollars on the 4/1 underdog, Exact, with veteran jockey J.D. Acosta in the irons.
The morning-line favorite, on the other hand, hasn’t finished in the money once in her six 2021 races.
Michael M. Moore trains Exact for owner Michael R. Day.
Race seven is a 6-1/2-furlong allowance race for West Virginia-bred fillies and mares three years old and upward that have never won two races. I’m backing the 9/5 morning-line favorite, Love to Zoom, with top jockey Jose Montano aboard.
This three-year-old filly moneyed three of her four career starts, winning one—solid stats in comparison to those of the other seven competitors in this race.
Love to Zoom is trained by co-owner Ronney W. Brown for himself and Nicole Brown. Jose Montano has been in the irons for Love to Zoom’s last three races.
Friday’s Picks for Del Mar Racing
Let’s begin on the main track with race two, a one-mile allowance optional claiming race for fillies and mares three years old and upward.
Despite being aggressively campaigned at the graded stakes level, the morning-line favorite’s erratic record doesn’t convince me that she can win this race, so I’m putting my money on the third-favored (at 7/2) Velvet Slippers, piloted by Juan J. Hernandez.
This three-year-old filly finished three of her four career starts in the money, winning her third attempt in the maiden class and following up with a second-place finish in the Dark Mirage Stakes (Black Type) at Los Alamitos in September.
Hall of Famer Bob Baffert trains Velvet Slippers for owner Sarah Kelly.
Let’s move to the turf course for race four, a five-furlong claiming race for three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting both of my dollars on the 5/1 sleeper, Bedrock, with Abel Cedillo in the irons.
Robert B. Hess, Jr. trains Bedrock for owners David A. Bernsen LLC, Todd Cady, Thomas Kilgore, Jeffrey Lambert, David Medina, and William F. Moore.
We’re back on the main track for race seven, a 6-1/2 furlong allowance optional claiming race for California-bred or sired fillies and mares three years old and upward. I like the second-favored (at 7/2) Kristi’s Tiger, ridden by veteran jockey Mike E. Smith.
This four-year-old filly moneyed eleven of her 16 career starts, winning four—which gives her a better statistical record than that of the morning-line favorite. She’ll do.
With more than four decades in the business, Thomas Ray Bell, II trains Kristi’s Tiger for owners Richard A. Bell and Clark O. Brewster.
My Friday Picks for Turf Paradise
We’ll start on the turf with race two, a five-furlong allowance optional claiming race for fillies and mares three years old and upward. My money’s on the second-favored (at 7/2) My Crafty Gal, with veteran jockey Leslie Mawing aboard.
This six-year-old mare finished 21 of her 32 career starts in the money, winning eleven of them. In 2021, she’s moneyed six out of eight starts, with three wins. Her stats say she can do it. My bankroll says she better.
Twenty-year racing veteran Priscilla Leon trains My Crafty Gal for owner Alberto Flores.
Let’s switch to the main track for race four, a 6-1/2-furlong allowance optional claiming race for three-year-olds and upward. My money’s on the 9/2 underdog Smooth Papa, piloted by jockey Keivan Serrano.
Smooth Papa is trained by co-owner and longtime racing veteran Kevin Eikleberry for Reunion Racing Stables LLC and himself.
And we’re back on the turf course for race five, a 7-1/2-furlong allowance race for three-year-olds and upward that have never won four races or have never won on turf. I’m buying a win ticket on the 6/1 sleeper Avalon King, ridden by veteran jockey Daniel P. Vergara.
This five-year-old gelding finished in the money for 18 of his 27 career starts, winning seven. His 2021 record is even better: Five wins and five other money finishes in 13 starts. That makes him the star of this eight-horse field.
Longtime racing veteran Debbie O’Brien trains Avalon King for owner Larry O’Brien. She has tapped Vergara to saddle Avalon King for his last five races, resulting in one second-place finish and four visits to the winner’s circle.