Best Horse Racing Bets for Thursday, July 29, 2021

| July 29, 2021 4:37 am PDT

I went with Del Mar Racing, Evangeline Downs, and Indiana Grand Race Course for my Thursday horse-racing picks. I found only a single favorite at each of the tracks, and the rest of my choices were all second, third, and even fourth-favored underdogs with solid chances of embiggening our bankrolls.

If you’re like me, you’re already rubbing your palms together in eager anticipation of all those trips to the winner’s circle, but don’t forget to check out the rest of the races at each track, which you can do simply by visiting one of the top online racebooks.

Good luck!

Thursday Picks for Del Mar Racing

We’re on the main track for race two, a six-furlong allowance optional claiming race for fillies and mares three years old and upward.

All of the horses in this race have campaigned in stakes races—and all have moneyed in at least one.

But while the morning-line favorite won the Polla de Potrancas (Grade I) at the Hipodromo Argentino De Palermo in Buenos Aires last October, I like the 5/2 second-favored Stellar Sound, ridden by ace jockey Juan J. Hernandez.

This four-year-old filly finished in the money for five of her six career starts, winning two. She finished third in the 2019 Desi Arnaz Stakes (Listed) at Del Mar and the 2020 Las Virgenes Stakes (Grade II) at Santa Anita, and most recently, she ran third at the Bayakoa Stakes (Grade III) at Los Alamitos last December. She’ll do.

Michael W. McCarthy, who handled 2021 Preakness winner Rombauer, trains Stellar Sound for Don Alberto Stable.

We move to the turf for race four, a one-mile allowance optional claiming race for three-year-olds and upward. My money’s on the 3/1 morning-line favorite, First Premio, with top jockey Umberto Rispoli in the irons.

This seven-year-old gelding moneyed 13 of his 26 career starts, winning seven, including the Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap (Listed) at Fair Grounds Race Course in 2019. He’s posted triple-digit speed figures for all of his most recent 13 races.

Jeff Mullins trains First Premio for owners E-Racing.Com, Moore Racing LLC, Randy Exelby, Corey La Russo, and Tom Mayo.

Race seven is a one-mile main track allowance optional, claiming race for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m betting my two dollars on one of the third-favored underdogs (there are two at 4/1), Did I Stutter, piloted by veteran jockey Trevor McCarthy.

This four-year-old filly moneyed 10 of her 17 career starts, winning five.

I’ll admit she had a tough time with her maiden attempts up in her native Canada, but once she moved to the States, she appears to have sorted herself out, as evidenced by her recent five-win streak at Parx and Aqueduct.

Breeders’ Cup veteran Jeff Mullins trains Did I Stutter for Double B Racing Stables.

Thursday’s Picks for Evangeline Downs

We’re on the main track for race one at Evangeline with a 5-1/2 furlong run for Louisiana-bred fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m betting on the fourth-favored (at 9/2) entry, Mean American, with Casey Fusilier in the irons.

This three-year-old filly is the only member of this six-horse field with a win in 2021.

For the record, she moneyed three of her six career starts, gaining her single win by breaking her maiden in June at Evangeline. That may not sound all that impressive, but it puts her statistically ahead of her competition in this race.

Mean American is trained by owner Curley E. Fontenot, who has tapped Fusilier to saddle Mean American for her last four races, including her graduation run.

For race six—a one-mile route for three-year-olds and upward—I’m buying a win ticket on the 2/1 morning-line favorite, King of the Testo, with jockey Pedro L. Cotto, Jr. aboard.

This five-year-old is clearly the horse to beat: He moneyed 13 of his 20 career starts, winning ten. His 2021 record alone makes him a standout—five wins in six starts. He’ll do.

Longtime racing veteran Keith G. Bourgeois trains King of the Testo for owner Timothy C. Guidry. Bourgeois has tapped Cotto to saddle King of the Testo for his most recent three rides—all wins.

Switching to the turf course for race seven—a one-miler for three-year-olds and upward—I like the 7/2 third-favored entry, Treys Midnite Moon, ridden by Pedro L. Cotto, Jr.

This six-year-old gelding finished in the money 30 of his 48 career starts, winning 15—which makes him the stand-out in this nine-horse field.

Multiple stakes winner Corale “Bunky” Richards trains Treys Midnite Moon for Snake Racing LLC.

My Thursday Picks for Indiana Grand Race Course

Let’s start on the main track with race two, a one-mile-and-70-yards allowance run for Indiana-bred three-year-olds and upward.

I’m betting both of my American dollars on the 8/5 morning-line favorite, Hopped Up, with veteran jockey Deshawn L. Parker in the irons.

Jeffrey L. Greenhill trains Hopped Up for Greenhill Racing Stables, Inc., which is owned by Greenhill and his wife, Sherri. He has put Parker in the irons for Hopped Up’s three most recent races, which resulted in two seconds and a win.

We’re on the turf for race eight, a one-mile allowance run for three-year-olds and upward. My money’s on the second-favored (at 2/1) Slicked Back, ridden by veteran jockey Fernando De La Cruz.

This three-year-old gelding moneyed one of his two career starts with a win of his initial maiden attempt at Indiana Grand in May.

Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad H. Cox handles Slicked Back for Jerry Marks Stables, LLC. Cox put De La Cruz in the irons for Slicked Back’s maiden victory.

Race nine takes us back to the main track for a six-panel allowance run for Indiana-sired three-year-olds and upward. I like the 9/5 second-favored Dillsboro Devil, ridden by veteran jockey Marcelino Pedroza.

This three-year-old gelding moneyed three of his four career starts, winning two, including the Crown Ambassador Stakes (Black Type) back in October.

John L. Langemeier trains Dillsboro Devil for his own Spooky Hollow Racing, Inc. Langemeier has tapped Pedroza to saddle Dillsboro Devil for all five of his professional races.

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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