Best Horse Racing Bets for Thursday, June 17, 2021

| June 17, 2021 3:12 am PDT

I went with Arlington International Racecourse, Belmont Park, and Churchill Downs for my picks in Thursday’s selection of races. I didn’t find myself agreeing with the morning line more than twice, so there are plenty of profitable underdogs at all three tracks.

Don’t forget that you can find all the races at all the tracks—not to mention everything you need to know to make smart bets—with a visit to one of the top online racebooks.

Good luck!

Thursday’s Picks for Arlington International Racecourse

We start with race one, a six-panel all-weather track run for three-year-olds and upward. I’m buying a win ticket on second-favored (at 7/2) One Putt Richie, with Constantino Roman in the irons.

This three-year-old gelding moneyed three of his five career starts, winning his two most recent starts.

One Putt Richie is trained by Elias Lopez for Lopez Racing Stable LLC.

Moving on to race four—a six-furlong all-weather track run for three-year-old fillies—I’m backing the third-favored Lily’s Woofy.

This filly won her single career start, posting a solid speed figure at Hawthorne in April, and she’s shown good times in her recent workouts at Arlington. I also find it encouraging that her jockey, Jareth Loveberry, is having a very good year.

Former jockey Wayne M. Catalano trains Lily’s Woofy for owners Catalano Thoroughbreds, Inc. and LAZ Racing Stable, LLC.

Catalano has ranked among the top 100 trainers in wins, earnings, or both every year since 2001.

Race five is a one-mile turf run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m betting on the fourth-favored (at 9/2) April’s Gem, ridden by Shannon Uske.

This four-year-old filly moneyed six of her 12 career starts, winning one.

Yeah, I know, but that actually gets her to the statistical head of the class for this particular seven-horse field.

Owner David R. Reid trains April’s Gem.

My Thursday Picks for Belmont Park

We start with race three at Belmont, a 1-1/16 miles turf run for New York-bred fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m laying down my money for the fourth-favored entry (at 4/1) in this race: Teetotaler, with Manny Franco in the irons.

This three-year-old filly moneyed three of her five career starts, two of them wins.

More importantly, she’s the only horse among the morning line’s top four picks that has won a single race in 2021.

Even better is that both her career wins were in 2021. For comparison, the favorite’s last win was last October.

Teetotaler is trained by veteran Chad C. Brown for owner Peter M. Brant. Brown had Manny Franco aboard Teetotaler for all of her money finishes.

We switch to the main track for race seven, a seven-furlong sprint for New York-bred fillies and mares three years old and upward. My bet is on the 8/5 favorite, Maiden Beauty, with Joel Rosario aboard.

This five-year-old mare has finished in the money 14 of her 29 career starts, winning six. She broke her maiden in her very first career race, the Lynbrook Stakes (Black Type) at Belmont in 2018. More recently, she’s moneyed all four of her 2021 starts, winning two.

Anthony W. Dutrow trains maiden Beauty for owner Timothy S. O’Toole. Dutrow has been among the top-ranked trainers in North America for the past two decades.

Back to the turf course for race eight—a 1-1/16 miles grass run for fillies and mares three years old and upward—I’m betting my two dollars on the third-favored (at 4/1) Ice Princess, ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr.

This four-year-old filly finished in the money seven of her ten career starts, winning three. Her wins include the Maddie May Stakes (Black Type) in February 2020, second at the Fleet Indian Stakes (Black Type) at Saratoga last September, and the Comely Stakes (Grade III) at Aqueduct last November.

Ice Princess is trained by co-owner Danny Gargan for Flying P Stable, R. A. Hill Stable, and himself. As a trainer, Gargan has been ranked in the top 100 in earnings for the past five years.

Interestingly, Ice Princess came in a close second behind Maiden Beauty (my pick for race seven—you haven’t already forgotten, have you?) at Aqueduct in February.

Thursday Picks for Churchill Downs

In race two—a six-furlong main track run for fillies and mares three years old and upward—I’m betting on the second-favored Rising Seas (at 9/5), ridden by veteran jockey Corey J. Lanerie.

This four-year-old filly moneyed seven of her eleven career starts, winning three. Among her money finishes were a third at Keeneland in the Qatar Fort Springs Stakes (Black Type) last November and a second in the Winning Colors Stakes (Grade III) at Churchill Downs this past May.

Rising Seas is trained by Ben Colebrook, who, along with his father, John T. Colebrook, is Rising Seas’ co-owner/breeder. Corey Lanerie has been in the irons for Rising Seas’ three most recent races—all money finishes, one a win.

Moving to the turf for race six—a 5-1/2 furlong grass run for three-year-olds and upward—I am calling this one for the 9/5 morning-line favorite, Born Great, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione.

This five-year-old gelding finished in the money five of his seven career starts, winning three.

While he’ll see some serious competition from several of his competitors, particularly from both of the 3/1 second-favored horses in this seven-horse field, Born Great should easily prevail.

Brendan P. Walsh trains Born Great for owners Marc Detampel and Fergus Galvin. Ranked among the top 100 trainers for the past five years, Walsh has put Gaffalione aboard Born Great for two of his three career wins.

Back to the main track for race seven, a 1-1/16 miles dirt run for fillies and mares four years old and upward. My money is on one of the second-favored entries (two at 7/2 odds)—Its Cold in Dehere, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione.

Fun Fact: Its Cold in Dehere comes from Ice box, and Suee’s Here (by Dehere).

Be that as it may, this five-year-old mare finished in the money 19 of her 28 career starts, winning seven. For comparison, the favorite moneyed 19 of her 36 starts, winning six.

Third-generation trainer and horseman Norm W. Casse trains Its Cold in Dehere for owners Peter M. Rinato and Cardinal Hill 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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