Best Horse Racing Bets for Wednesday, June 23, 2021

| June 23, 2021 7:08 am PDT

I found some very lucrative underdogs hidden among the races at all three tracks I chose for my Wednesday picks: Evangeline Downs, Penn National Race Course, and Thistledown Racino.

How does a 6/1 underdog sound? I found one at Evangeline. How about a couple of fourth-favored (6/1 and 7/2)? Those are at Penn National, and we’ve got yet another 6/1 underdog at Thistledown. That’s right, 6/1 sleepers at all three tracks. Is this a great country or what?

Before you leap to the betting window, remember to check out all the races at all three tracks with a visit to any of the best online racebooks.

Good luck!

Wednesday’s Picks for Evangeline Downs

Let’s start with race one, a five-furlong turf run for three-year-olds and upward. I’m calling this race for the 6/1 underdog, Little Can.

A three-year-old gelding, Little Can actually has a better record than any of the morning line’s top choices: three money finishes in five career starts, two of them wins. And that’s all in 2021.

Roland Patt, Jr. trains Little Can for owner Tashanam Patt. He’s tapped Joe Stokes for this ride. Stokes was in the irons for Little Can’s post-graduation win in April.

We stay on the turf for race three, a one-mile grass run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. My money will be on the morning line’s 9/5 favorite—specifically, the second half of the 1/1A coupled entries, Havinfunyet.

This seven-year-old mare has finished in the money for 27 of her 42 career starts, winning 15 of them. Her winning percentages have remained fairly constant throughout her racing career.

Corale A. Richards trains Havinfunyet for herself and co-owner Cynthia A. Sharp. Richards has tapped jockey Pedro L. Cotto, Jr. to saddle Havinfunyet for this race. Incidentally, I don’t see the first half of this coupled entry—Glance—finishing in the money in this race.

Race seven is a 7-1/2 furlong turf run for Louisiana-bred three-year-olds and upward, and I’m betting my two dollars on the second-favored (at 5/2) Deer Crossing.

This four-year-old gelding has moneyed both of his career starts, placing second in his initial maiden attempt here at Evangeline in May, then graduating on his second try later that same month.

Jeff Delhomme trains Deer Crossing for Set-Hut LLC. He has Pedro Cotto, Jr. aboard for this run. Cotto was in the irons for both of Deer Crossing’s career starts.

My Wednesday Picks for Penn National Race Course

I’m starting with race two here—a five-furlong turf run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. My money is on one of the 6/1 underdogs (three at 6/1 in this race), Justalittleviolent, ridden by Julio A. Hernandez.

This five-year-old mare moneyed three of her four career starts, winning two—and her speed figures are better than those of the morning-line favorite.

Demelza McMahon trains Justalittleviolent for owner Joseph E. Besecker, and she’s had Hernandez in the irons for all four of Justalittleviolent’s starts.

Race five is a six-furlong main track run for Pennsylvania-bred fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m betting on the third-favored (at 7/2) Amigos Tune, with veteran jockey Inoel Beato aboard.

A six-year-old mare, Amigos Tune finished in the money 12 of her 16 career starts, winning six.

While the morning line favorite has occasionally posted better speed figures, Amigos Tune has a significant statistical lead here overall.

Regularly ranked among the top trainers in wins, T. Bernard Houghton trains Amigos Tune for his family’s Sylmar Farm. Houghton put Inoel Beato in the irons for Amigos Tune’s two most recent races—both wins.

For race six—a six-panel main track run for three-year-olds and upward—I’m going with the fourth-favored (7/2) Hashtag Winning, ridden by Inoel Beato.

This six-year-old gelding moneyed 29 of his 49 career starts, winning 12—which puts him statistically ahead of the morning-line favorite.

I’ll admit that the favorite, Savagery, moneyed in some graded stakes races, but the last time that happened was in 2018. Since then, Savagery’s been hit-and-missing in claiming/allowance races on both coasts.

Hashtag Winning is trained by owner Timothy C. Kreiser, who’s been annually ranked among the top 100 trainers in North America in winnings, earnings, or both for the past ten years. Incidentally, Kreiser had Beato saddle Hashtag Winning for his most recent race—a starter allowance run in May at Penn National, which they won.

Wednesday Picks for Thistledown Racino

We start with race five, a six-furlong main track run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m betting my money on the 6/1 underdog, Biscottini, ridden by Alexander Chavez.

I’m not saying this won’t be a tight match between Biscottini and the 5/2 favorite, Here Comes Jigs. I’m just saying this will be a day of sadness for Here Comes Jigs. Hey, life’s tough.

A four-year-old filly, Biscottini has a solid record: eight money finishes in 12 career starts, three of them wins.

Her edge against the favorite is the fact that she has managed to get into the money at a much higher ratio than the Here Comes Jigs has.

Valerie K. Shanyfelt trains Biscottini for owner Leroy Jackson. She had Chavez saddle Biscottini for her latest race—a May 20 allowance race here at Thistledown—which she won.

Race six is a one-mile main track run for Ohio-bred three-year-olds and upward. I agree with the morning line and call this one for the 5/2 favorite, Crafty Chief, ridden by veteran jockey Hector Berrios.

This 11-year-old gelding moneyed 39 of his 76 career starts, winning 11 of them. Yes, not exactly world-class running, but it makes him top dog in this particular seven-horse field.

Crafty Chief is in training to Valerie K. Shanyfelt for her own Shanyfelt Stables Inc. She has tapped Berrios to ride for Crafty Chief’s most recent two races (a second and a first).

In race seven—a six-panel main track run for Ohio-bred fillies and mares three years old and upward—I’m betting on the third-favored (4/1) Sally Strong, with veteran jockey Luis Raul Rivera in the irons.

A four-year-filly, Sally Strong moneyed all four of her career starts, winning three. Her speed figures are competitive with those of the favorite. While I’ll admit the favorite—Mobile Lady—has been campaigned aggressively in ungraded stakes, her results have been less than impressive.

Michael L. Rone trains Sally Strong for owner/breeder John J. Sugar.

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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