Best Horse Racing Bets for Thursday, August 5, 2021
My favorite tracks for Thursday are Arlington International Racecourse, Del Mar Racing, and Saratoga Racecourse—mostly because I found a few hidden gems among the favorites, including a 6/1 fourth-favored underdog as well as a 20/1 longshot show ticket.
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Thursday Picks for Arlington International Racecourse
We’ll start with race three, a one-mile starter optional claiming race on the all-weather track for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I like one of the second-favored entries (two at 3/1) in this race: Present of Hero, ridden by Julio E. Felix.
This six-year-old mare finished in the money 13 of her 17 career starts, winning five. In this six-horse field, that gives her the vote for most likely to succeed.
Manny Perez trains Present of Hero for In His Favor Stable. Perez has put Felix in the irons for Present of Hero’s most recent three races.
We move to the turf course for race five, a five-furlong allowance optional claiming run for three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting my two dollars on the morning-line’s 5/2 turf favorite, Midnight Blue Note, with Edgar Perez in the irons.
Midnight Blue Note is trained by owner Michael L. Reavis, who has tapped Perez for Midnight Blue Note’s most recent two runs, both money runs, the latest a win.
We’re still on the turf for race seven, a 1-1/16 miles claiming race for three-year-olds and upward. I’m calling this one for the 5/2 morning-line favorite, Danville, with veteran jockey Rocco Bowen in the irons.
This four-year-old gelding had money finishes in ten of his 20 career starts, winning four. Hey, it’s the best record this seven-horse field has to offer.
Cheryl Winebaugh trains Danville for owner Kenneth E. Fishbein.
My Thursday Picks for Del Mar Racing
Let’s start on the turf for race two, a starter allowance race for three-year-olds and upward. My money’s on the 2/1 morning-line favorite, Tom’s Surprise, ridden by Jose Valdivia, Jr.
This four-year-old gelding finished in the money for seven of his ten career starts, winning four. His most recent start resulted in a second-place finish in the Bertrando Stakes (Black Type) at Los Alamitos in June. Valdivia was in the irons for that run.
Jonathan Wong trains Tom’s Surprise for owners KAM Racing Stables and Brent Malmstrom.
We’re still on the turf for race six, a one-mile allowance optional claiming race for California-bred or -sired fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m betting on the fourth-favored (at 6/1) Pawnee, ridden by veteran jockey Mike E. Smith.
This three-year-old filly moneyed three of her six career starts, winning two. Just as importantly, she ran just behind the money in the Evening Jewel Stakes (Black Type) in April and the Melair Stakes (Black Type) in June, finishing fourth in both. In this 12-horse field, she’ll do.
Thomas Ray Bell, II trains Pawnee for himself and co-owner Richard A. Bell (no relation).
This three-year-old filly moneyed four of her six career starts, winning one. She’s trained by Marcelo Polanco for owners Joel and Joette Youkhanna.
Race seven is the California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Stakes, a $100,000 purse, 5-1/2 furlong main track stakes race for California-bred or -sired two-year-old fillies. I have to agree with the morning line here and bet all two of my dollars on the 5/2 favorite, At the Spa, with Tyler Baze in the irons.
This filly won both of her career starts—breaking her maiden in May and then finishing first in the Fasig-Tipton Debutante Stakes (Black Type) back in June, both at Santa Anita. She’s the only entry in this nine-horse field with stakes-level experience.
Jorge Periban trains At the Spa for owners Tom Beckerle, Saul Carrillo, and Terry C. Lovingier.
Thursday’s Picks for Saratoga Racecourse
We start on the turf for race seven, a one-mile starter allowance run for three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting on the morning-line’s turf favorite, Landbiscuit, ridden by Luis Saez.
This three-year-old colt moneyed all four of his career starts, winning one.
William I. Mott trains Landbiscuit for owners Pantofel Stable, LLC, Wachtel Stable, and Peter Deutsch.
The three-year-old colt moneyed five of his six career starts, winning one.
Air Show is trained by Thomas M. Amoss for owners Joel Politi, Maggi Moss, Greg Tramontin, S. Bradford Rives, Emil Cerullo, and David A. Bernsen, LLC.
We’re back on the main track for race eight, a 1-1/8 miles allowance race for New York-bred three-year-olds and upward. My money’s on the 2/1 morning line favorite, Our Man Mike, with top jockey Jose L. Ortiz in the irons.
This three-year-old colt moneyed five of his seven career starts, winning one. Two of his money finishes were tight seconds in the New York Breeders’ Futurity (Black Type) and the Aspirant Stakes (Black Type), both at Finger Lakes Racetrack last October.
Horacio DePaz trains Our Man Mike for owner Barry K. Schwartz. Ortiz was aboard when Our Man Mike broke his maiden at Aqueduct in April.
Race nine is the Birdstone Stakes, a $120,000 purse, 1-3/4 miles stakes race on the main track for four-year-olds and upward. While I was initially leaning toward the second-favored entry in this race, I ultimately had to agree with the morning line and back the 1/1 favorite, Lone Rock, with top jockey Ramon A. Vazquez aboard.
This six-year-old gelding has been campaigned aggressively in mile-plus stakes races and has accumulated an enviable record: 16 money finishes in 33 career starts, eleven of those wins.
Not impressive, you say? Well, he may have gotten off to a slow start at the beginning of his career, but in 2021, he’s made the winner’s circle four out of five starts. He won his two most recent races—the Isaac Murphy Marathon Overnight Stakes (Black Type) at Churchill Downs and the Brooklyn Stakes (Grade II) at Belmont Park. Both of those races are mile-and-a-halfers.
Regularly ranked among the best for the past decade, Robertino Diodoro trains Lone Rock for Flying P Stable.