Best Horse Racing Bets for Tuesday, August 24, 2021

| August 23, 2021 6:48 pm PDT

Besides my usual picks at Indiana Grand Race Course and Mountaineer Racetrack, I’ve got picks for four-stakes races at Parx Racing—so take a moment to limber up your wallet and then dive in.

Before you do, though, don’t forget to take a look at the full race cards for Tuesday’s races with a visit to our best horseracing wagering sites.

Good luck!

Tuesday’s Picks for Indiana Grand Race Course

Let’s start with race three—a six-furlong allowance optional claiming race for three-year-olds and upward. I like the morning line’s thinking here, so my bet’s on the 3/1 favorite in this evenly-matched seven-horse field: Naughty Alfred, ridden by veteran jockey Marcelino Pedroza.

This four-year-old gelding finished in the money 13 of his 23 career starts, winning ten.

Genaro Garcia, who’s been ranked in the top 100 for wins every year since 2017, trains Naughty Alfred for owners Southwest Racing Stables and Steve H. Lewis. Garcia has tapped Marcelino Pedroza to saddle Naughty Alfred for his last five races, resulting in three wins.

Jumping to race seven—a 5-1/2 furlong allowance race for Indiana-bred three-year-olds and upward—I’m betting on the only entry in this seven-horse field that’s had success at the stakes level: the 1/1 morning-line favorite, Nobody Listens, with Joseph D. Ramos in the irons.

This three-year-old gelding moneyed five of his seven career starts, winning two. He finished second in his two most recent runs—the Snack Stakes in July and the Governor’s Stakes (Black Type) earlier this month.

Marvin A. Johnson trains Nobody Listens for owners Matt Kwiatkowski and Roger D. Browning. Johnson has put Ramos in the irons for every one of Nobody Listens’ races since his maiden victory a year ago.

Let’s switch to the turf for race eight, a one-miler for three-year-olds and upward. My money’s on the 6/1 third-favored Rocky Rush, with veteran jockey Santo Sanjur aboard.

This six-year-old moneyed 16 of his 44 career starts, winning five—a record that does not reflect the fact that he was campaigned successfully in stakes-level races for most of his career.

He finished in the money in A. J. Foyt Stakes (Black Type) in both 2020 and in 2019 (third and second, respectively). He’s improved his speed figures every year.

Racing veteran Kim Hammond trains Rocky Rush for owners Willowbrook Stables, Ltd. and Jane Woods.

My Tuesday Picks for Mountaineer Racetrack

We start on the turf for race one at Mountaineer, a seven-furlong claiming race for three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting my two dollars on the fourth-favored Ziggy Barcelona, ridden by Gabriel Lagunes.

While I’m impressed with the morning-line favorite’s earlier races, his star seems to have dimmed steadily as time marches on.

Ziggy Barcelona, on the other hand, has been steadily improving—his record stands at seven money finishes in 15 career starts, three of those wins. All three of those wins were in 2021.

Regularly ranked highly in wins, Eric R. Reed trains Ziggy Barcelona for AES Thoroughbreds, Inc.

We’re still on the grass for race two, a seven-panel claiming race for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I like the third-favored (at 5/1) Shaharazad, piloted by Alex Gonzalez.

This five-year-old mare moneyed 16 of her 32 career starts, winning eight—and unlike the two horses the morning-line favors more, Shaharazad has actually won a race in 2021. And yes, Gonzalez was aboard for that victory.

Charles A. Walker trains Shaharazad for Nolan Family LLC.

Race three is a one-mile claiming race on turf for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m betting on the 8/5 morning-line favorite, Double Dot, with Gabriel Lagunes in the irons.

This three-year-old filly finished in the money for five of her 12 career starts, winning one. In this eight-horse field, that makes her a standout.

Thomas D. Foley trains Double Dot for owners Christopher Creel and Carole Rio.

Tuesday Picks for Parx Racing

Let’s start with race eight, the Parx Summer Sprint Stakes, a $100,000 purse, six-panel main track run for three-year-olds. I’m betting on the second-favored (at 3/1) Beren, ridden by top jockey Frankie Pennington.

While the morning-line favorite may have a better record on paper, Beren is clearly the superior competitor, with three of his most recent wins being stake-grade runs. For the record, this colt moneyed seven of his eleven career starts, winning five, the most recent three of which are the Gold Fever Stakes (Listed) and the Paradise Creek Stakes (Black Type) last May at Belmont Park, and the Crowd Pleaser Stakes (Black Type) in June at Parx.

Robert E. Reid, Jr. trains Beren for owners St. Omer’s Farm and Christopher J. Feifarek.

Race nine is the Cathryn Sophia Stakes, a $150,000 purse, mile-and-70-yards route for three-year-old fillies. Even with a disastrous ninth-place finish in the Davona Dale Stakes (Grade II) at Gulfstream Park in February, Vequist still looks to be the horse to beat in this race.

This filly moneyed four of her five career starts, winning two—the Spinaway Stakes (Grade I) at Saratoga last September and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (Grade I) at Keeneland last November. Incidentally, while the Equibase race chart reports that Vequist bumped a neighbor at the start of the Davona Dale Stakes, suggesting that this was the reason for the ninth-place finish, Vequist’s Wikipedia page attributes the poor result to congestion in her lungs.

Robert E. Reid, Jr. trains Vequist for owner-breeder Swilcan Stable LLC. At the time of this writing, Reid had yet to select a jockey for this race.

We move to the turf course for race ten, the Parx Dash Stakes (Grade III), a $200,000 purse, five-furlong grass run for three-year-olds and upward.

While I like the idea of a young jockey riding to his first graded stakes victory in this race (Charlie Marquez aboard the second-favored Francatelli), I just can’t ignore what the numbers tell me—this is the 6/5 morning-line favorite’s race to lose.

I’m talking about The Critical Way, piloted here by top jockey Paco Lopez. For the record, this seven-year-old gelding finished in the money for 17 of his 26 career starts, winning nine—and five of those wins were in stakes races, ranging from the Danzig Stakes (Black Type) back in 2017 at Penn National to the Get Serious Stakes (Black Type and the Wolf Hill Stakes (Black Type) in June and July, respectively, both at Monmouth Park.

The Critical Way has posted triple-digit speed figures for his last six races.

With just three years as a trainer, Jose H. Delgado has already been named to the top 100 of his profession. He trains The Critical Way for Monster Racing Stables.

We move back to the main track for race eleven—the Smarty Jones Stakes (Grade III), a $300,000 purse, 1-1/16 miles run for three-year-olds. I have to agree with the morning-line here and bet my two dollars on the 8/5 favorite, Fulsome, with Florent Geroux in the irons.

This colt moneyed six of his eight career starts, winning four, including the Oaklawn Stakes (Listed) at Oaklawn Park and the Matt Winn Stakes (Grade III) at Churchill Downs, both in May 2021.

Eclipse Award honoree Brad H. Cox trains Fulsome for Juddmonte. Cox has put Geroux in the irons for Fulsome’s two most recent races.

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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