Best Horse Racing Bets for Thursday, May 13, 2021

| May 13, 2021 5:25 am PDT

I decided to take a stroll through the parks for my Thursday horse racing picks: Belmont Park, Lone Star Park, and Gulfstream Park. While I had to agree with the morning line’s evaluations on more horses than I’d like, I did find plenty of underdogs worth a flyer, as well.

Don’t forget that while I detail three races at each of the featured racecourses, you can find complete rundowns of all the races at all three tracks, including horses, jockeys, morning line odds, and wagering options, at one of the top horse racing betting sites.

Good luck!

Thursday Picks for Belmont Park

Let’s start with race five, a six-furlong sprint for three-year-olds and upward. My money is on the second-favored entry in this race (at 7/2), Happy Farm. This seven-year-old gelding’s got a better record than the morning line favorite, and he’s actually won a graded stakes race.

It doesn’t hurt that Irad Ortiz, Jr. is in the irons for this ride, either. For the record, Happy Farm moneyed 17 of his 24 career starts, winning nine, including the 2019 Fall Highweight Handicap (Grade III) at Aqueduct.

Trainer Rob Atras and M and A Racing didn’t race Happy Farm much in 2020, but he’s returned to the campaign with a vengeance in 2021.

For race seven, I’m betting on Stage Left, the morning line’s second-favored entry at 3/1. This is another six-panel run on the main track for three-year-olds and upward.

While the morning line’s favorite has the edge in stats, I think Stage Left is better prepared for this run—his performance in recent workouts at the longer distances is pretty convincing.

While Jose L. Ortiz has been in the irons for many of Stage Left’s most recent races, trainer Wesley Ward has selected John R. Velazquez to saddle Stage Left for this run.

We switch to the turf course for race eight, a 1-1/16 mile grass run for New York-bred three-year-olds and upward. Depending on whether this race stays on the grass or moves to the main track, we have two very distinct choices to make.

As long as Trevor McCarthy is aboard Control Group, on either dirt or turf, bet him to win. This Wayne Potts-trained seven-year-old has finished in the money for 32 of his 45 career starts, winning 16.

If Control Group is not in the starting gate, but Good Old Boy is, then Good Old Boy is your win ticket. This six-year-old gelding has moneyed ten of his 21 career starts, winning five. Michael J. Maker, ranked in the top five trainers in 2020 for both wins and earnings, has tapped Irad Ortiz, Jr. to ride Good Old Boy for this run.

My Thursday Picks for Lone Star Park

In race one—a one-mile turf run for three-year-olds and up—we have a choice: The morning line’s 7/5 favorite is the 1/1A coupled entry, but only the first half of that entry is worth a win bet: Astounding, with David Cabrera in the irons. The second half also lists Cabrera as the jockey, but trainer Karl Broberg may select a different rider for either.

If Astounding is in the starting gate for this race, bet him to win regardless of his jockey. The nine-year-old has finished in the money 17 of his 27 career starts, winning six.

If, on the other hand, Astounding doesn’t make it into the race, bet the second-favored (at 4/1) Youvesaiditall, Steve Asmussen’s entry for this run. This five-year-old moneyed eleven of his 25 career starts, winning seven.

Asmussen has tapped Stewart Elliott to ride Youvesaiditall.

Elliott has been Youvesaiditall’s most frequent jockey and was in the irons for his three most recent victories.

Race six is a 1-1/16 mile main-track run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m going with the second-favored San Destin for the win in this short field. The four-year-old filly has a slight statistical edge over the morning line favorite.

San Destin finished in the money four of her five career starts, winning one. Her trainer, Bret Calhoun, has chosen veteran jockey Richard Eramia for this ride.

And in race seven—a six-furlong main-track sprint for fillies and mares—I like the 7/5 morning line favorite here: Ms Falsetto, ridden in this race by Reylu Gutierrez.

Trained for End Zone Athletics, Inc. by Karl Broberg, this four-year-old filly finished in the money five of her nine career starts, winning one.  This will be Gutierrez’s first race aboard Ms Falsetto.

Thursday’s Picks for Gulfstream Park

Starting with race three—a six-panel main-track run for fillies and mares—I’m going to agree with the morning line here and buy a win ticket on the 7/5 favorite, Pulling Strings.

Trained by Victor Barboza, Jr. for Sonata Stable, this three-year-old moneyed three of her five career starts, winning one. Barboza has chosen top jockey, Edgard Zayas, for this run.

We go to the turf course for race five, one-miler for four-year-olds, and upward. My money’s on the 5/2 morning line fave here, as well—Kroy, with top jockey Paco Lopez in the irons.

This seven-year-old gelding finished in the money 17 of his 29 career starts, winning nine.

Kroy’s trainer is also his owner—Armando De La Cerda, a multiple graded stakes winner who took La Tia to four graded stakes wins back in 2014 for owner Salvador Hernandez.

Race seven is also on the turf course—it’s a five-furlong run for Florida-bred fillies and mares three years old and up.

I’m buying a win ticket on the second-favored (at 7/2) entry, War Star. While the morning line favorite has better win stats (due in part to having started far fewer races), War Star has better recent speed figures.

And the five-year-old mare has a good record: 12 money finishes in 19 career starts, with two wins. War Star’s trainer, William E. Deaton, is sticking with jockey Paco Lopez for this ride, and it’s easy to understand why: Lopez has been aboard for War Star’s last four money rides.

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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