Best Horse Racing Bets for Thursday, July 1, 2021

| July 1, 2021 6:01 am PDT

I went with Belmont Park, Charles Town Races, and Evangeline Downs as the tracks for my Thursday picks. While I called a few for the morning-line’s favorites, there are more than enough underdogs to keep our bankrolls happy.

Don’t forget that you can find the full agenda for all three tracks, including horses, jockeys, morning-line odds, and betting options, at one of our recommended horse racing wagering sites.

Good luck!

My Thursday Picks for Belmont Park

Let’s start with race three, a 6-1/2 furlong main track run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I like the 2/1 morning-line favorite, Tenderness, with Jose Lezcano in the irons.

This four-year-old filly finished in the money four of her seven career starts, winning two, and she’s posted consistently high-speed figures throughout.

Robert P. Klesaris trains Tenderness for owner Michael Schmidt. Incidentally, Jose Lezcano was aboard Tenderness in early June for her most recent win.

For race seven, my money is on the second-favored (at 2/1) Town Classic, ridden by Jose L. Ortiz.

This eight-year-old gelding moneyed 37 of his 51 career starts, winning six. Yeah, I know.

Still, in March, he placed third in the Sir Shackleton Stakes (Black Type) at Gulfstream, and in May, he ran third in the Runhappy Stakes (Grade III) at Belmont.

In comparison, the 9/5 favorite, Happy Farm (ridden by Jose’s brother, Irad), hasn’t moneyed in a stakes race since March of 2020. So, all things considered, Town Classic has a better shot.

Top-ranked Saffie A. Joseph, Jr. trains Town Classic for Mercy Man Racing.

Moving to the turf for race eight—a 1-1/16 mile grass run for fillies and mares three years old and upward—I’m betting my two dollars on the 1/1 morning-line favorite, Spungie.

This four-year-old filly had three money finishes in her four career starts, one of them a win, giving her the statistical lead in this 11-horse field.

William I. Mott trains Spungie for owner Diane Manning. Mott has tapped veteran jockey Joel Rosario to fill the irons for this run. Rosario was also aboard for Spungie’s maiden victory.

Incidentally, there are five also eligible (MTO) entries standing by for this race.

If Spungie doesn’t make it to the starting gate, but Pay Grade does, then bet Pay Grade to win.

Clement trains Pay Grade for owner-breeder Robert S. Evans.

Thursday’s Picks for Charles Town Races

For race three—a 6-1/2 furlong main track run for West Virginia-bred three-year-olds and upward—I’m buying a win ticket on the 8/5 morning-line favorite, Let’s Get Physical.

This four-year-old gelding moneyed seven of his eight career starts, winning one.

David Walters, who has built a solid wins/WPS record during his four decades in the biz, trains Let’s Get Physical for his family’s Fairview Farm (Ellen Walters). David has top jockey Denis Araujo, in the irons for this run.

Race four is a 6-1/2 furlong main track run for West Virginia-bred fillies and mares three years old and upward. My money is on the 5/2 morning-line favorite, Alpine Moon, ridden by veteran jockey Keimar Trotman.

This five-year-old mare moneyed 21 of her 32 career starts, winning nine.

But, one look at the records of the rest of this six-horse field makes one thing clear—this is her race to lose.

Russell E. Davis trains Alpine Moon for Bearowitz, LLC. Davis put Keimar Trotman aboard for Alpine Moon’s most recent three wins.

I’m calling race seven—a 6-1/2 furlong run for West Virginia-bred three-year-olds and upward—for the second-favored Freedom Rider at 7/2.

This three-year-old colt finished in the money four of his six career starts, winning one, giving him a slight statistical edge over the morning-line favorite.

Jeff C. Runco, ranked among the top 100 trainers in North America for decades, trains Freedom Rider for owner David M. Raim.

Runco has tapped ace jockey Arnaldo Bocachica to saddle Freedom Rider for this run.

Thursday Picks for Evangeline Downs

We start on the turf for race three, a five-furlong grass run for Louisiana-bred three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting on the second-favored Drakkar at 3/1.

While the morning-line favorite has a slightly better win percentage, Drakkar has better speed figures. For the record, this six-year-old moneyed seven of his 14 career starts, winning three.

Regularly ranked among the nation’s top trainers, Samuel Breaux has veteran jockey Diego Saenz in the irons for this run. Breaux trains Drakkar for owner-breeder Marcia J. LaMarche.

We’re still on the turf for race five, a five-furlong grass run for three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting my two dollars on the second-favored (5/2) Carry Thy Cross, ridden by Antonio Quiles.

This four-year-old gelding moneyed one of his two career starts, breaking his maiden in the second and posting solid speed figures in both.

While the 9/5 morning line favorite—King Liam—has more experience, it’s not something to brag about: It took King Liam seven starts over more than two years to finally graduate from the maiden class this June.

Owner-trainer Marvin J. Ladner has put Antonio Quiles in the irons for both of Carry Thy Cross’ previous runs.

We move back to the main track for race seven; a 5-1/2 furlong run for Louisiana-bred three-year-olds and upward.

I’m putting my money on the 3/1 underdog Monte Man, with Gerard Melancon aboard. Sure, the morning-line’s favorite, Bertie’s Galaxy, beat Monte Man in the recent Louisiana Legends Sprint Stakes (Black Type), but I’m looking at the overall stats, and they say Monte Man wins this one.

Besides, Melancon has a score to settle here—he was aboard Monte Man to lose Bertie’s Galaxy.

He’ll have his work cut out for him, but I believe he and Monte Man will prevail.

Ron Faucheux—who has ranked in the top 100 trainers for wins these past few years—trains Monte Man for Ivery Sisters Racing.

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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