Best Horse Racing Bets for Saturday, May 22, 2021

| May 22, 2021 3:19 am PDT

Saturday brings us some good racing from Charles Town Races, Evangeline Downs, and Santa Anita Park. Santa Anita even brings us a couple of graded stakes races, the Santa Maria Stakes (Grade II) and the Honeymoon Stakes (Grade III).

I pick winners for those two-stakes races and seven others at Santa Anita and the other two tracks. Don’t forget that you can find all of the races from those three tracks for Saturday with a visit to one of our recommended horse racing betting sites.

Good luck!

Saturday’s Picks for Charles Town Races

I’m buying a win ticket on the second-favored entry, Dancing Destiny, beginning with race two—a 4-1/2 furlong run on the main track for West Virginia-bred fillies and mares.

This five-year-old mare has a better record than the favorite: 12 money finishes in 23 career starts, eight of them wins.

And that’s not ancient history—she’s won all three of her 2021 races.

Kevin S. Paterson, who trains Dancing Destiny for Robert L. Cole, Jr., has tapped Darius Thorpe for this ride. Thorpe bettered his wins/WPS numbers significantly in 2020, and he looks on course to up them again for 2021.

Race four is a seven-furlong main track sprint for West Virginia-bred three-year-olds and upward, and I’m putting my money on an 8/1 sleeper, Rip Thorn.

This five-year-old gelding has the best record in this eight-horse field: Nine money finishes in 12 career starts, with two wins.

Longtime Charles Town racing veteran is the owner-trainer of Rip Thorn, and he’s chosen Reshawn Latchman to ride for this race. It’s probably not an accidental choice—Latchman was aboard for both of Rip Thorn’s wins.

In race seven, a seven-panel main track run for fillies and mares; I’m betting on the 3/1 morning line favorite, Stowe Angel.

Trained by the top-ranked Jeff Runco for owner David M. Raims, the four-year-old Stowe Angel finished in the money for eight of her nine career starts, winning five. This gives her the best record by far in this ten-horse field.

Runco has top jockey Arnaldo Bocachica aboard for this ride—exactly where Bocachica’s been for all nine of Stowe Angel’s races.

My Saturday Picks for Evangeline Downs

In race one—a 6-1/2 furlong main track run for fillies and mares—I’m going with the 8/5 morning line favorite, Speak to Me.

This four-year-old filly moneyed three of her five career starts, winning one.

Ron Faucheux, who’s often ranked among the top trainers in his decade-plus career, is training Speak to Me for owners/breeders World War IV Racing and Rebel Tide Racing, LLC. Faucheux has chosen top jockey Diego Saenz to fill the irons for this race.

Race five is a 6-1/2 furlong main track run for Louisiana-bred three-year-olds and upward. I’m buying a win ticket on the 3/1 M/L favorite, Strong Rules, ridden by Joe Stokes.

Trained by owner Dale White, Sr., Strong Rules moneyed five of his seven career starts, winning one—his first career start.

That gives him the best numbers in this 11-horse field.

Incidentally, Strong Rules followed up that graduation run with a second-place finish in the Shakopee Juvenile Stakes (Black Type) at Canterbury Park last August.

Switching to turf for race eight—a five-furlong grass run for three-year-olds and upward—I’m betting on the second-favored (at 5/2) entry, Full Power.

Dane Noel, a newer trainer, works with Full Power for owners Glenn M. Angelle and Glenn A. Tamporello. The three-year-old gelding moneyed all three of his career starts, breaking his maiden on his third go. Noel has Eguard Andres Tejera, who was in the irons for Full Power’s maiden victory, in the irons for this run.

Saturday Picks for Santa Anita Park

Let’s kick off with race two at Santa Anita—it’s the Santa Maria Stakes (Grade II), a $200,000 1-1/16 mile main track run for fillies and mares. My money is on the 2/5 morning line favorite, As Time Goes By. This is, by the way, a very short field (with the scratch of Last First Kiss, there will be just four starters).

Trained by Bob Baffert for owners Michael B. Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, and Derrick Smith, the four-year-old As Time Goes By moneyed all six of her career starts, winning three. Her most recent win was in April at the Santa Margarita Stakes (Grade II). Mike Smith was aboard for that run, and Baffert has him in the irons for this race, as well.

On to the grass for race seven, which is also the Honeymoon Stakes (Grade III)—a $100,000 turf run of 1-1/8 miles for three-year-old fillies.

My win ticket is on the second-favored (at 9/5) Madone, ridden by veteran jockey Juan J. Hernandez.

This Simon Callaghan-trained filly won four of her five career starts—her maiden and three stakes races, including the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes (Listed) last September, the Surfer Girl Stakes (Listed) at Santa Anita in October, and the Senorita Stakes (Grade III) earlier this month at Santa Anita.

Her single miss was a very disappointing eighth-place in a 14-horse field for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes (Grade I) last November at Keeneland.

While several top jockeys have piloted Madone during her brief career, Hernandez rode her to victory in the Senorita Stakes.

And for race nine—a six-panel turf run for California-bred or -sired fillies and mares—I’m going with one of the second-favored entries (there are two at 4/1 ) in this race, Rain Diva.

Trained by the top-ranked Mark Glatt for owners-breeders Al and Saundra Kirkwood, Rain Diva moneyed three of her seven career starts, winning three. Glatt has tapped Abel Cedillo to ride for this run; he was also aboard for Rain Diva’s two most recent wins.

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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