Best Horse Racing Bets for Saturday, August 14, 2021

| August 14, 2021 12:10 am PDT

I picked winners in many stakes races at the three tracks I chose for my Saturday picks: Gulfstream Park, Monmouth Park, and Thistledown Racino. In fact, Thistledown had five “Best of Ohio” stakes races for our handicapping and wagering entertainment.

Before you get into the particulars, be sure to check out the full race cards on one of the top horse racing betting apps.

Good luck!

My Saturday Picks for Gulfstream Park

Let’s start on the main track with race four, a one-mile handicap for three-year-olds. Even though he’s carrying the most weight here, I like the 1/1 morning-line favorite, Papetu, ridden by Leonel Reyes.

This colt has been aggressively campaigned in stakes races. While the graded stakes have been a bit more challenging for him than his connections might have expected, he has made a good accounting for himself: Five money finishes in nine career starts, with three wins, including his most recent, the Carry Back Stakes (Listed) in July at Gulfstream.

He also had a second-place finish in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes (Listed) in February and another second in the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (Grade II) later that same month. His record sets him very far apart from his competition in this six-horse handicap.

Ranked regularly among the top trainers in wins and earnings for the past ten years, Antonio Sano trains Papetu for Magic Stables LLC.

We switch to the turf for race nine, a five-furlong allowance optional claiming run for three-year-olds and upward. Whether this race stays on the turf or moves to the main track, I’m betting on the 3/1 underdog, Henry’s World, with top jockey Edgard J. Zayas aboard.

This four-year-old gelding finished in the money for ten of his 17 career starts, winning four, which gives him a very slight advantage over the morning-line’s favorite.

Graded stakes-winning trainer Gilberto Zerpa works Henry’s World for Soldi Stable LLC.

Race ten is the Benny The Bull Stakes, a $75,000 purse, seven-furlong main track run for Florida-bred three-year-olds and upward. My win ticket is on the 2/1 morning-line favorite, Well Defined, with ace jockey Emisael Jaramillo in the irons.

While the Well Defined’s record might at first glance appear weak in comparison to the other competitors in this eight-horse field, after taking a closer look, you’d think his M/L odds should be closer to 8/5.

For the record, this five-year-old gelding moneyed 14 of his 23 career starts, winning eight. Among his wins are the 2018 FTBOA Florida Sire In Reality Stakes (Black Type) at Gulfstream, the 2019 Sam F. Davis Stakes (Grade III) at Tampa Bay, and the 2021 Big Drama Stakes (Black Type) at Gulfstream. Incidentally, he’s posted triple-digit speed figures in his last five races.

Top-ranked Kathleen O’Connell trains Well Defined for her own Kathleen O’Connell Racing Stable, Inc.

Saturday’s Picks for Monmouth Park

We’re starting on the main track for race two, a one-mile allowance optional claiming run for New Jersey-bred three-year-olds and upward. I’m calling this race for the 7/2 third-favored Target Tales, ridden by Carlos J. Hernandez.

This four-year-old gelding moneyed six of his nine career starts, winning two. Unlike the morning line’s top two faves, Target Tales has won a race in 2021. Even better—Hernandez was in the irons for that win.

Eddie Owens, Jr trains Target Tales for owner-breeder Holly Crest Farm.

We’re switching to the turf for race seven, a 5-1/2 furlong allowance run for three-year-olds and upward.

If Jose C. Ferrer rides Algebraic into the starting gate, bet them to win. The morning-line undervalues this also-eligible/MTO entry at 9/2.

This three-year-old gelding moneyed seven of his eleven career starts, winning four. Jose H. Delgado trains Algebraic for owner David Gruskos.

On the other hand, if Algebraic isn’t in the race, then go ahead and buy a win ticket on the 7/2 morning-line favorite, Nothing Better, piloted by Carlos J. Hernandez.

This four-year-old gelding finished in the money for four of his ten career starts, winning two.

Jorge Duarte, Jr. trains Nothing Better for Colts Neck Stables LLC.

Race eleven is the Incredible Revenge Stakes, a $100,000 purse, 5-1/2 furlong run on the turf course for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I agree with the morning line: I’m betting on the 2/1 favorite, Miss Auramet, ridden by top jockey Paco Lopez.

This five-year-old mare moneyed 20 of her 24 career starts, winning nine, including the Lightning City Stakes (Listed) at Tampa Bay Downs in February and the Politely Stakes (Black Type) in May at Monmouth Park.

Kathleen O’Connell trains Miss Auramet for owners David Melin, Leon Ellman, and Laurie Plesa.

Saturday Picks for Thistledown Racino

Race one is the Best of Ohio Cleveland Kindergarten Stakes, a $100,000 purse, six-furlong main track run for Ohio-bred two-year-olds.

There’s a four-horse coupled entry in this race, and I’m buying a win ticket on the 1X entry (at 5/2 morning-line), Corner Office, piloted by veteran jockey Jose A. Bracho.

This gelding moneyed two of his three career starts, both of them wins, including his maiden at Thistledown in June and the Hoover Stakes (Black Type) at Belterra Park in July. Bracho was in the irons for Corner Office’s Hoover Stakes win.

Top-ranked Timothy E. Hamm trains Corner Office for owner-breeder Winblaze, LLC.

Race two is the Best of Ohio Miss Ohio Stakes, a $100,000 purse, six-panel dirt run for two-year-old Ohio-bred fillies. I have to agree with the morning line here: my money’s on the 2/1 favorite, Candlelight Hours, with Malcolm Franklin aboard.

This filly finished in the money for all three of her career stars, winning one—her second attempt at graduating the maiden class. Her most recent race, the Morgan Memorial Tah Dah Stakes (Black Type) at Belterra Park in July, resulted in a second-place finish.

James R. Jackson trains Candlelight Hours for owner-breeder Elkhorn Oaks, Inc.

The Best of Ohio Pay the Man Stakes is race seven, a $100,000 purse, 1-1/8 mile main track run for Ohio-bred fillies and three years old and upward. The morning-line is on a roll here, so I’m betting my two dollars on the 7/2 favorite, Moonlit Mission, ridden by Jose A. Bracho.

This four-year-old filly has accomplished quite a lot in her brief career: Eleven money finishes in 15 career starts, with seven wins. And her starts have been almost entirely stakes races. Her most recent stakes win was the J. William Petro Memorial Handicap in June at Thistledown. Bracho was aboard for that win, by the way.

Silvano M. Gonzalez trains Moonlit Mission for Charlie J. Williams LLC.

Race eight is the Best of Ohio Governor’s Buckeye Cup Stakes, a $100,000 purse, 1-1/4 miles main track run for Ohio-bred three-year-olds and upward.

Often these state-specific stakes races pit one superlative horse against a field that could uncharitably be considered also-rans. This is one such race.

I’m backing the 8/5 morning-line favorite, Wicked Warrior, with Ricardo Feliciano in the irons.

This four-year-old gelding finished in the money for 13 of his 15 career starts, winning eight, including the Best of Ohio Sydney Gendelman Stakes at Belterra Park back in May.

Benny R. Feliciano trains Wicked Warrior for Bruce Tallisman. Feliciano has selected his son, Ricardo, to saddle Wicked Warrior for all 15 of his races.

Race nine is the Best of Ohio Honey Jay Stakes, a $100,000 purse, six-panel dirt run for Ohio-bred three-year-olds and upward. My money’s on the 2/1 morning line favorite, Altissimo, ridden by veteran jockey Erik Barbaran.

This eight-year-old gelding moneyed 34 of his 48 career starts, winning 20, ten of which were stakes races. He’ll do.

Richard Zielinski trains Altissimo for owners Nancy Lavrich and Ronald Zielinski.

By the way, you might want to lay down a safety bet on the 8/1 sleeper in this race, Dougie D Oro. Ricardo Feliciano is in the irons here for owner-trainer Jerry S. Sparks. For the record, Dougie D Oro moneyed six of his seven career starts, winning five.

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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