Best Horse Racing Bets for Thursday, December 9, 2021

| December 8, 2021 12:10 pm PST

I found some good underdog moneymakers at Aqueduct Racetrack, Fair Grounds Race Course, and Los Alamitos Race Course for my Thursday picks, including sleepers at both Aqueduct and Los Alamitos. Fair Grounds, on the other hand, turned out to be mostly about the favorites.

Keep an eye on the odds for all the races at one of our best horseracing wagering sites.

Good luck!

Thursday’s Picks for Aqueduct Racetrack

We start with race six with a six-furlong allowance optional claiming race on the main track for fillies and mares three year sold and upward.

I’m in agreement with the morning line on the most likely winner here—the 6/5 favorite, Oxana, ridden by Trevor McCarthy.

This three-year-old filly finished three of her five career starts in the money, winning two. Most notably, she finished fourth in the Prioress Stakes (Grade II) at Saratoga in September, and second in the New Start Stakes (Black Type) at Penn National in October.

Longtime racing veteran Timothy A. Hills trains Oxana for Tee N Jay Stable.

Race seven is a 6-1/2 furlong claiming race on the main track for three-year-olds and upward that have never won two races. I’m betting my two dollars on the 8/1 sleeper, Rickys Revenge, with Dylan Davis aboard.

Most of this nine-horse field have had ample opportunity to show a distinct lack of talent in the racing world, so this three-year-old gelding is by default the right choice, with two money finishes in four career starts, breaking his maiden just last month here at Aqueduct.

Raymond Handal trains Rickys Revenge for Old Tavern Farm, LLC. Handal put Davis in the saddle for both of Rickys Revenge’s money runs.

Race eight is a 6-1/2 furlong allowance race for New York-bred fillies and mares three years old and upward. I like one of the third-favored entries (there are two at 5/1 in this race): Ok Honey, with Eric Cancel in the irons.

This five-year-old mare moneyed 24 of her 55 career starts, winning five, but this year she’s upped her game, finishing five of her 12 starts in the money, three of those wins. In this unimpressive ten-horse field, she’ll do.

Co-owner Oscar S. Barrera, III trains Ok Honey for Three Player’s Stable and himself.

Thursday Picks for Fair Grounds Race Course

Let’s begin on the turf course with race two, a one mile claiming run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m buying a win ticket on the 9/2 second-favored Nofansinthestands, piloted by veteran jockey Santo Sanjur.

This three-year-old filly finished in the money seven of her nine career starts, winning two, giving her a distinct statistical edge in this ten-horse race.

Eduardo Rodriguez trains Nofansinthestands for owner Leydi G Mendoza.

We’re back on the main track for race five, a six-furlong claiming race for three-year-olds and upward that have never won two races. While this may be the tightest race of the day, I agree with the morning-line: your best bet is the 5/2 favorite, Citizen West, ridden by newcomer Rene Diaz.

This four-year-old gelding stands out among this short field of six with seven money finishes in eight career starts, one of them a win. It also helps that Diaz brings an apprentice weight allowance to the run.

Citizen West is trained by owner Louie J. Roussel III.

Let’s switch to the turf again for race eight, a 5-1/2 furlong allowance optional claiming run for three-year-olds and upward. I like the 7/2 morning-line favorite, Commander Khai, with Brian Joseph Hernandez Jr. in the irons.

This three-year-old gelding finished five of his eleven career starts in the money, winning one. Shortly after breaking his maiden in September 2020 at Del Mar, he finished third in the Cecil B. DeMille Stakes (Grade III) at Del Mar and second in the Eddie Logan Stakes (Listed) at Santa Anita.

In this lackluster field of eleven, he’s the standout.

Among the top-ranked trainers in North America for the last seven years, Richard Baltas trains Commander Khai for owner Calvin Nguyen.

My Thursday Picks for Los Alamitos Race Course

We’re starting on the main track with race one, a one-mile claiming race for three-year-olds and upward. I’m not nearly as impressed with the favorite as the morning-line appears to be, so I’m going to buy a win ticket on the 7/2 underdog, Itsthattime, ridden by veteran jockey Edgar Payeras.

Unlike the favorite, this four-year-old gelding has won a race this year. For the record, he finished in the money ten of his 23 career starts, winning four. In 2021, Itsthattime moneyed four of his eleven starts, winning two.

In contrast, the favorite failed to money a single one of his four 2021 starts.

Impressive newcomer Sergio Morfin trains Itsthattime for owner Robert John Vanderdussen.

Race five is a 5-1/2 furlong allowance optional claiming race for fillies and mares three years old and upward. My money’s on the 4/1 underdog, Governor Goteven, with veteran jockey Tyler Baze aboard.

This three-year-old filly has been campaigned successfully at the stakes most of her brief career. She’s moneyed four of her seven career starts, winning three, including the California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Stakes (Black Type) and the Generous Portion Stakes (Black Type)—both at Del Mar and both in late 2020.

It’s true that she failed to money either of her two races this year, finishing as an also-ran in the Leigh Ann Howard California Cup Oaks (Black Type) in January and the Evening Jewel Stakes (Black Type) in April—both at Santa Anita. The shorter distance presented by this race should help her put a win on the2021 scoreboard.

Walther Solis trains Governor Goteven for owner-breeder Templeton Horses LLC.

Race six is a 5-1/2 furlong starter allowance run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m betting my two dollars on the 5/1 sleeper, Did I Stutter, piloted by Tyler Baze.

This four-year-old filly finished 11 of her 20 career starts in the money, winning six, but it’s her 2021 record that really closed the deal—seven money finishes in ten starts, six of them wins.

The favorite—On Deck—finished second in the Chillingworth Stakes (Grade III) a couple of months back, but I also see that she finished eighth in the ungraded Jeff and Jack Coady Sr. Stakes at Turf Paradise in November. I’ll take Did I Stutter’s consistency any day.

Twenty-year racing veteran Jorge Gutierrez trains Did I Stutter for owners David Landeros and Jorge T. Landeros.

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).

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