Best Horse Racing Bets for Thursday, July 8, 2021

| July 8, 2021 5:32 am PDT

I found beaucoup underdogs and sleepers at the three tracks I chose for my Thursday picks: Evangeline Downs, Lone Star Park, and Thistledown Racino.

From third and fourth-favored entries at Evangeline and Thistledown to a 10/1 sleeper, there’s plenty of wagering goodness to be had at all three tracks.

Good luck!

Thursday’s Picks for Evangeline Downs

We’ll start on the turf course with race four, a 7-1/2 furlong grass run for three-year-olds and upward. My money is on the 5/2 morning-line favorite, Chop Chop Charlie, ridden by Diego Saenz.

This six-year-old gelding finished in the money 17 of his 33 career starts, winning five. Yeah, I know, but in this field, that’s a good record.

Regularly ranked among the top in the business, Ron Faucheux trains Chop Chop Charlie for McKinley Cantrell.

Incidentally, if you’re looking for a riskier but more lucrative wager, take a chance on the 8/1 sleeper in this run: Ebrio, with Devin Magnon in the irons.

This five-year-old gelding has a very similar record to that of the favorite: 15 money finishes in 29 starts, five of them wins.

Magnon may need more miles behind him before he matches Saenz’s skill, but at least his mount has won a race this year.

Ebrio is owned and trained by Rylee Grudzien.

Moving on to race seven, we’re still on the turf for this five-furlong run for Louisiana-bred fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m betting on the 5/2 second-favored entry, Harriet’s Dream, with veteran jockey Timothy Thornton aboard.

This three-year-old filly moneyed four of her seven career starts, winning her latest—a maiden run at Evangeline.

Allen Landry trains Harriet’s Dream for owners World War IV Racing and Rebel Tide Racing, LLC.

We’re on the main track for race eight, a six-panel run for Louisiana-bred three-year-olds and upward. I’m buying a win ticket on the 9/2 underdog, Palace Wind, ridden by Wallynette Rodriguez.

This three-year-old colt moneyed two of his four career starts, graduating from the maiden class in his second attempt. His record puts him statistically in the lead in this nine-horse field.

Palace Wind is trained by Kenneth Westlye for owner George Santis. Westlye has put Rodriguez in the irons for all of Palace Wind’s races.

My Thursday Picks for Lone Star Park

We’re on the turf course for race one, a one-mile run for Texas-bred fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m buying a win ticket on the 10/1 sleeper, Landons Congo, ridden by Danny Sorenson.

This four-year-old filly finished in the money four of her eight career starts, winning one.

Co-owner Danny Pish trains Landons Congo for Jay Hester and himself. He’s put Sorensen in the irons for Landons Congo’s most recent three runs, including his graduation victory in late June.

Race six is a one-mile turf run for Texas-bred three-year-olds and upward. My money is on the 8/5 morning-line favorite, John Dough, with Stewart Elliott aboard.

This four-year-old gelding moneyed four of his ten career starts, winning one—his initial maiden run. After that graduation, he was an also-ran in both the Groovy Stakes (Black Type) at Lone Star and the Houston Turf Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park.

By the way: The 1/1A coupled entry looks to be John Dough’s most significant threat. Both of these Karl Broberg-trained horses are listed to be jockeyed by David Cabrera, and either could cancel John Dough’s ticket to the winner’s circle. You might want to lay down a safety bet on the coupled entry.

Steve Asmussen trains John Dough for owner-breeder Rose Mary Chandler. Asmussen has put Elliott in the irons for all five of John Dough’s 2021 starts.

For race eight—a 7-1/2 furlong turf run for three-year-olds and upward—I’m betting on the 5/2 morning-line favorite, Gold Vermilion, ridden by Stewart Elliott.

This three-year-old colt had five money finishes in his eight career starts, with one win. As much as I’d like to bet longer odds, this race is all about picking the least worst of the field—and Gold Vermilion fits the bill.

Steve Asmussen trains Gold Vermilion for John L. Rogitz and

Thursday Picks for Thistledown Racino

We start on the main track for race three, a six-furlong allowance run for Ohio-bred three-year-olds and upward. My money’s on the second-favored (at 3/1) First Song, ridden by Malcolm Franklin.

This three-year-old gelding finished in the money five of his six career starts, winning two—putting him in the statistical lead for this six-horse field. I should also note that First Song finished third in the Loyalty Stakes (Black Type) at Belterra Park last September and second in the Joshua Radosevich Memorial Stakes (Black Type) at Mahoning Valley Race Course last December. He’ll do.

Timothy E. Hamm—who’s been consistently ranked among the top trainers in North America for the past decade—works First Song for owners WinStar Farm LLC and Blazing Meadows Farm LLC.

For race five—a 5-1/2 furlong main track run for fillies and mares three years old and upward—I’m betting my two dollars on the fourth-favored (at 9/2) Bourbon Social, with Luan Machado in the irons.

This three-year-old filly moneyed two of her three career starts, winning one (her second maiden attempt; her first ended with a second-place finish). She’s in the lead statistically for this seven-horse field, and I like the fact that jockey Luan Machado is having a very good 2021.

Kevin Fletcher trains Bourbon Social for Quarter Pole Investments, LLC.

Race seven is a 5-1/2 furlong main track run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. My win ticket is on the 7/2 third-favored Nurse Judy, ridden by Ronald Dale Allen, Jr.

This three-year-old filly finished in the money for three of her five career starts, winning two.

Maria Bowersock trains Nurse Judy for owner Ralph E. Whitney.

Incidentally, the first half of the 3/1 coupled entry in this race—Big If True—looks v-e-r-y competitive, so you may want to place a safety bet on him.

For the record: He’s six starts for two money finishes, both wins. He’s trained by Robert M. Gorham, who’s regularly ranked among the top trainers in the country.

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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