Best Horse Racing Bets for Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Derby week brings us plenty of stakes races along with some regular turf and track competitions at three of my favorite tracks: Churchill Downs, Parx Racing, and Will Rogers Downs.
Before I get on with the slicing and dicing, remember that you can always find all the races, jockeys, morning lines, and more at the top horse racing betting sites.
My Tuesday Picks at Churchill Downs
You have to like a horse that cashes out every race, and that’s what we get in race six with Prairie Wings, the morning line’s 3/1 favorite. Ridden by top jockey Luis Saez for this one-mile turf run, Prairie Wings has never finished less than second place in his six career starts.
Saez has ridden Prairie Wings for all but one of the filly’s races.
Todd Pletcher, who ranked seventh in the world for both wins and earnings in 2020, hasn’t raced Prairie Wings since October 2020 but most recently has been working her on the dirt track. The four-year-old has produced some solid competitive times.
If race six switches to the main track and Prairie Wings does not start, buy a win ticket instead for the Andrew McKeever-trained Bullseye Beauty, the also-eligible (MTO) entry that the morning line has at 5/1. Of her two career starts, she graduated on her first maiden run and placed second in the following allowance match.
In race seven, I’m backing the morning line’s 7/2 favorite, Shoplifted. Being ridden by James Graham for this six-panel main track sprint, this Steve Asmussen-trained four-year-old colt has managed to build a history of money finishes in graded stakes races. This includes the Woody Stephens Stakes (Grade I) at Belmont last June and the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (Grade I) at Saratoga last August.
Race eight is a mile-and-a-half endurance race called the Isaac Murphy Marathon Overnight Stakes. My money is on the odds-on (8/5) morning line favorite, Lone Rock. This six-year-old gelding moneyed 14 of his 31 career starts, winning nine. It is a good record, but not a great one—but it makes him a real standout in this field of eight.
Ridden for this race by Ramon A. Vazquez, the Robertino Diodoro-trained Lone Rock has won all but one of his last five races, with his single second place being the Temperence Hill Stakes (Black Type) at Oaklawn Park in March.
Tuesday’s Picks for Parx Racing
I’m backing the fourth-favored (at 9/2) entry in race six at Parx. That’s Incite, with Frankie Pennington in the irons for this six-furlong main track run. Incite’s record is competitive with the morning line favorites, but what shifts the scales in his favor is his jockey and trainer.
Pennington is at the top of his game right now, and trainer John C. Servis has been taking thoroughbreds to the winner’s circle for thirty years. All things considered, race six belongs to Incite.
Race eight is the Unique Bella Stakes, a seven-furlong run for Pennsylvania-bred fillies and mares. I agree with the morning line’s 4/5 choice of favorite: Chub Wagon.
While Chub Wagon’s jockey for this run is still building his reputation, Jomar Torres is having a good year so far. Guadalupe Preciado, his trainer, has been taking horses to stakes victories since Aqueduct in 1990, when he saw his pupil Mr. Nasty win the Gravesend Handicap (Grade 3).
And then there’s race nine, the Page McKenney Handicap—a seven-furlong main track match for Pennsylvania-bred four-year-olds and up. The choices aren’t quite as obvious in this 12-horse field, but I’m calling the win here for the second-favored (at 4/1) entry, Breezy Gust, with Jomar Torres in the irons.
Trainer Daniel Velazquez may not have decades in the business like his father, Alfredo “Freddie” Velazquez. Still, he learned enough working for him that when Daniel went out on his own in 2009, he promptly took Brooklyn Strong to a win in the 2020 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct.
Tuesday’s Will Rogers Downs Picks
Race two at Will Rogers Downs is a six-panel main track run for Oklahoma-bred three-year-olds and upward. I’m skeptical that Sooner Skuta, the 2/1 morning line favorite, can win this run. Yet, I’m unable to discover a more likely winner in this short but lackluster six-horse field.
Still, his jockey, Obed Sanchez, is having a good year. His trainer Roger F. Engel has been in the industry since 1985 and was listed among the top thoroughbred trainers in earnings in 2015.
For race five, I like the third-favored (at 4/1) Northern Playboy, with Alfredo Triana, Jr. aboard. This six-furlong run is for three-year-olds and up, and in this case, that means a short (five-horse) field. I like Northern Playboy’s record of two wins in three career starts, and I like the fact that Triana is having his best year ever. Speaking of which, Northern Playboy’s trainer is also having an excellent year, with his wins/WPS numbers for 2021 currently at 18% and 57%, respectively.
Race eight is a one-mile main track run for Oklahoma-bred fillies and mares three years old and up. I like the second-favored (at 3/1) Canada Candy for the win here. Her first win (which was also her graduation run) was in a one-miler at Remington Park back in November. Her record compares well to the favorites: Five money finishes in eight starts, two of those wins.
Jockey Floyd Wethey, Jr. was aboard when Canada Candy graduated, as he’s been since her second career start.
With his first win back in 2009 with the maiden victory of Tim’s Pick at Lone Star, trainer Scott E. Young has risen steadily in the ranks of world-class trainers. He’s also been among the top 100 winning trainers for five of the last six years.