Best Horse Racing Bets for Saturday, June 12, 2021

| June 12, 2021 5:41 am PDT

I found interesting races to cover for my Saturday picks: Arlington International Racecourse, Charles Town Races, and particularly Churchill Downs, which features the Grade III Old Forester Mint Julep Stakes on the race-card.

There’s a good mix of surprising underdogs and obvious favorites at all three tracks.

While I cover three races at each of those tracks, remember that you can view all races with a visit to one of our recommended online racebooks.

Good luck!

My Saturday Picks for Arlington International Racecourse

I’m starting with race four at Arlington, a five-furlong turf run for three-year-olds and upward. I’m liking the second-favored (at 3/1) Smokin Richie, ridden by E. T. Baird.

This four-year-old gelding finished in the money two of his three career starts, winning one—his initial maiden run.

Ranked among the top 100 trainers for the past six years, Larry Rivelli trains Smokin Richie for owner/breeder Richard Ravin. This will be Baird’s first start aboard Smokin Richie.

Switching to the all-weather track for race five—a six-panel sprint for three-year-olds and upward—I’m betting on the third-favored (4/1) Lost in Manhattan.

While the morning line favorite has moneyed a higher percentage of his starts, this five-year-old gelding has the statistical edge for wins, with speed figures competitive with the morning line favorite.

For the record, Lost in Manhattan moneyed 12 of his 21 career starts, winning five of them.

Former jockey Brittany A. Vanden Berg trains Lost in Manhattan for RSR Racing Services, LLC (Robert S. Rhoads). She has Olaf Hernandez saddling Lost in Manhattan for this run.

We go back to the turf course for race seven, a one-mile grass run for three-year-olds and upward. My money is on the 7/5 morning line favorite, Dramatic Kitten, with Christopher A. Emigh in the irons.

This five-year-old gelding finished in the money seven of his 19 career starts, winning two.

Yes, I agree—that isn’t much to write home to mother about. But in this eight-horse field, it just happens to the best we’re going to get.

Already a success in Mexico, Fausto Gutierrez recently won the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park with Letruska; he trains Dramatic Kitten for his own Don Fausto Racing LLC.

Saturday Picks for Charles Town Races

Starting with race two, a 4-1/2 furlong main track run for three-year-olds and upward, I’m buying a win ticket for the fourth-favored (at 6/1) Rocket Appeal, with Gustavo Larrosa in the irons.

This four-year-old gelding has the statistical edge on the morning line favorite: He finished in the money seven times in ten career starts, winning three.

Marshall T. Campbell trains Rocket Appeal—one of his top-earning horses—for owner Lester Thornton, Jr. Incidentally, Gustavo Larrosa has been aboard for nine of Rocket Appeal’s ten races.

In race four, a 6-1/2 furlong main track run for fillies and mares three years old and upward, I agree with the morning line, so my win ticket is on the 8/5 favorite, Stowe Angel, ridden by top jockey Arnaldo Bocachica.

I banked a few bucks calling Stowe Angel for the win back in July 2020 but missed the mark when I backed her this past May (she came in second). But hey, so did the morning line, which favored her to win in both of those earlier races.

Be that as it may, this four-year-old filly has the chops: She finished in the money nine of her ten career starts, winning five, including the Robert G. Leavitt Stakes last August at Charles Town.

Top-rated trainer, Jeff C. Runco, trains Stowe Angel for owner David M. Raim. Bocachica has been in the irons for all ten of Stow Angel’s races.

Race six is a seven-panel main track run for West Virginia-bred three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting my two dollars on the third-favored auburn Mill at 9/2.

This four-year-old gelding moneyed four of his eight career starts, winning three. Sure, the favorite is statistically more likely to finish in the money, but we’re not making a show bet here. And Auburn Mill is much more likely to win than any of his fellow competitors in this ten-horse field.

Saturday’s Picks for Churchill Downs

Beginning on the turf course with race six, a 5-1/2 furlong grass run for three-year-old fillies, I’m betting on the morning line’s 9/5 favorite, Lady Edith, ridden by Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.

This filly finished in the money for three of her six career starts—all three of those finishes were wins, including her most recent, the Mamzelle Overnight Stakes (Black Type) here at Churchill Downs in May.

Thomas Drury, Jr. trains Lady Edith for owners/breeders J. David Richardson and Sandra New. And yes: Hernandez was in the irons for Lady Edith’s Mamzelle Overnight Stakes win.

Back to the main track for race eight—a seven-furlong run for three-year-old fillies—I’m betting on the 5/2 morning line favorite, Joyful Cadence, with veteran jockey Gabriel Saez aboard.

This filly moneyed three of her four career starts, winning one. After graduating from her maiden class on her second attempt, she went on to place second in the Purple Martin Stakes (Listed) at Oaklawn Park in April, and then she took a third in the Miss Preakness Stakes (Grade III) at Pimlico in May.

Multiple graded stakes winner John Alexander Ortiz trains Joyful Cadence for WSS Racing, LLC.

Race nine is the Old Forester Mint Julep Stakes (Grade III), a 1-1/16 miles turf run for fillies and mares four years old and upward. I’m betting both my dollars on the 6/5 morning-line favorite, Juliet Foxtrot, with Tyler Gaffalione at the reins.

Sure, those low odds don’t make for car-payment returns, but I’ll take guaranteed small money over possible big money every time.

Six-year-old Juliet Foxtrot moneyed 11 of her 20 career starts, winning six. Those starts included 13 stakes races (both in the U.K. and the U.S.). Three of her six wins include the 2019 Modesty Handicap (Grade III) at Arlington International Racecourse, the Gallorette Stakes (Grade III) at Pimlico last October, and the Jenny Wiley Stakes (Grade I) at Keeneland this past April.

She’s posted triple-digit speed figures in her last nine races. So yeah, it could happen.

One of the top ten trainers in the country for the past four years, Brad H. Cox, trains Juliet Foxtrot for Juddmonte. By the way: Gaffalione was in the irons when Juliet Foxtrot won the Jenny Wiley Stakes.

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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