Best Horse Racing Bets for Thursday, June 24, 2021

| June 24, 2021 4:44 am PDT

I found a lot to like with the morning line’s choices at all three tracks I chose—Arlington International Racecourse, Belmont Park, and Churchill Downs—for my Thursday racing picks. In fact, I only found two races where I disagreed with the morning line. It happens.

Oh, I did find an 8/1 sleeper at Arlington, so we’ve got that going for us.

Good luck!

My Thursday Picks for Arlington International Racecourse

We start on the turf for race four, a 5-1/2 furlong grass run for three-year-olds and upward. I’m going to agree with the morning line and bet the 5/2 favorite, Dive Deep, ridden by Jareth Loveberry.

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

Ranked among the best trainers for the past decade, Larry Rivelli trains Dive Deep for Patricia’s Hope LLC. Rivelli has put Loveberry in the irons for both of Dive Deep’s wins.

In race seven—a one-mile turf run for fillies and mares three years old and upward—I’m going to buy a win ticket on the 7/5 morning-line favorite, Naval Laughter, with Sophie Doyle in the irons.

This four-year-old filly moneyed both of her career starts, running third in her initial maiden race, then graduating in her second attempt, posting a triple-digit speed figure, as well. In this eight-horse field, she’ll do.

Christopher Davis trains Naval Laughter for owner/breeder Two Hearts Farm, LLC. Incidentally, Sophie Doyle is having the best year of her career.

And for race eight, a 1-1/16 mile turf run for three-year-olds and upward, I’m betting on the second-favored Frontana (9/2), with Constantino Roman in the irons.

While the favorite in this race, Tap the Mojo, posted a few impressive speed figures back in 2019, he’s done little to impress recently. In the meantime, the four-year-old gelding Frontana has moneyed seven of his ten career starts, winning four.

Co-owner Michael L. Reavis trains Frontana for Antonio Donato and himself.

One last codicil: There’s an 8/1 sleeper in this race that you should not ignore: a five-year-old gelding with a relatively unimpressive record of 11 money finishes in 23 starts, six of those wins.

What’s important to note here is that half of those wins (three, that is) took place in the past two months.

Thursday’s Picks for Belmont Park

We’re on the turf course for race five—1-1/8 mile grass run for three-year-olds and upward. I’m calling this race for the 2/1 turf favorite, Regal Speaker, with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard.

This four-year-old colt finished in the money four of his nine career starts, winning three.

With less than a decade as a pro, Danny Gargan has already taken many horses to graded stakes wins. He trains Regal Speaker for owner Ricky Koehler.

We’re back on the main track for race seven—a one-mile run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. My money’s on the second-favored (at 5/2) Flat Awesome Jenny, ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr.

This six-year-old mare moneyed 14 of her 28 career starts, winning eight—which puts her in the statistical lead in this seven-horse field.

Orlando Noda trains Flat Awesome Jenny for owners Zilla Racing Stables, Acqua Nova Stable, and PlayingTheField Racing.

Race eight returns us to the turf course for a six-furlong run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m betting my two dollars on the 9/5 morning line favorite, Robin Sparkles, with Jose L. Ortiz in the irons.

This four-year-old filly moneyed seven of her eight career starts, winning five, which makes her far and away from the statistical lead in this eight-horse field.

Her two most recent races resulted in a second-place finish in the License Fee Stakes (Listed) in April and a win in the Mount Vernon Stakes (Black Type) in May—both at Belmont Park. She’ll do.

Regularly ranked among the top-earning trainers in the business, Bruce R. Brown trains Robin Sparkles for owner Michael Schrader. Incidentally, Jose Ortiz was aboard for Robin Sparkles’ Mount Vernon Stakes win.

Thursday Picks for Churchill Downs

We’ll start with race four—a 6-1/2 furlong main track run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m betting on the 7/2 morning-line favorite, Hennys Crazy Train, ridden by veteran jockey Gabriel Saez.

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

Top 100-ranked for wins for each of the past four years, Genaro Garcia trains Hennys Crazy Train for owners Southwest Racing Stables Inc. and Bruce Murphy.

Race six takes us to the turf course for a five-furlong grass run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m going to call this one for the 7/2 morning-line favorite, Strong Odor, with veteran jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. in the irons.

I’m not hugely impressed with this four-year-old filly, but the rest of this ten-horse field is even less remarkable.

For the record, Strong Odor finished in the money five of her nine career starts, winning two.

Ranked among the top ten trainers for both wins and earnings for each of the last five years, Michael J. Maker trains Strong Odor for owner/breeder Freddy Lewis, Jr.

Back to the main track for race seven—a six-panel run for fillies and mares three years old and upward—I’m betting my money on the 5/2 morning-line favorite, Reagan’s Edge, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione.

This four-year-old filly has moneyed all but one of her seven career starts, and she’s won two—her initial maiden at Indiana Grand in 2019 and an allowance race at Churchill Downs in 2020.

She’s also scored second-place finishes in the Victory Ride Stakes (Grade III) at Belmont last July, The Prioress Stakes (Grade II) at Saratoga last September, and the Safely Kept Stakes (Listed) at Laurel Park last November.

What’s that they say? Oh, yeah: Can do.

Multiple stakes-winning Cherie DeVaux trains Reagan’s Edge for Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stables.

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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