Best Horse Racing Bets for Wednesday, May 12, 2021

| May 12, 2021 5:32 am PDT

Louisiana Downs, Penn National Race Course, and Thistledown Racino were my choices for the Wednesday racing picks. I found worthy underdogs at each of the tracks but no long-odds wagers worth making. Still, some seemingly tight races are where the actual parimutuel odds should make for some profitable wagers.

Speaking of which, be sure to check out one of our recommended online racebooks for information on all the races at all three tracks.

Good luck!

My Wednesday Picks at Louisiana Downs

Starting with race two—a 5-1/2 furlong main track run for Louisiana-bred three-year-olds and upward—I’m going along with the morning line and betting on the 8/5 favorite, Banquet Chef, with Gerardo Mora in the irons.

This colt, trained by co-owner Justin Jeansonne, finished in the money for five of his nine career starts, winning one. A competitive horse, Banquet Chef’s speed figures have improved steadily throughout his career.

Jeansonne won the Louisiana Futurity (Black Type) at Fair Ground Race Course two consecutive years, with Mr. Al’s Gal in 2016 and Iona Star in 2017.

Race five is a six-furlong main track claiming race for three-year-olds and upward, and I like one of the fourth-favored entries (there are two at 5/1) in this race—South Al Sparky.

This three-year-old colt moneyed his single career start, graduating from the maiden class just last month at Evangeline. His speed figures for that run are good as any in this field, and his jockey for this run, Richard E. Eramia, is one of the more experienced (and successful) at Louisiana Downs.

With only a couple of years of experience training at the pro level, Juan A. Larrosa has been named among the leading trainers at Louisiana Downs for the 2020-21 racing season.

For race seven, I’m going with a Jeansonne-trained horse again—the third-favored (at 4/1) Go Ortega Go. As with Banquet Chef, Gerardo Mora will be aboard for this 5-1/2 furlong main track run for Louisiana-bred three-year-olds and upward.

Go Ortega Go moneyed five of his nine career starts, winning one. Looking at his 2021 record alone shows a marked improvement over 2020: Three money finishes in four starts, one a win.

Wednesday Picks for Penn National Race Course

Race three at Penn National Race Course is just for Pennsylvania-bred three-year-olds and upward, and I’m going to take a hint from the morning line and bet on the 5/2: Brave Deacon.

Ridden by veteran jockey David Cora for this mile and 70 yards allowance race, Brave Deacon moneyed seven of his 15 career starts, winning three.

Interestingly, trainer Inoel Beato has ridden Brave Deacon for all three of his wins, but longtime trainer T. Bernard Houghton chose Cora for this ride. To be fair, Cora and Beato have virtually identical wins/WPC stats.

For race five—another mile and 70 yard run for Pennsylvania-bred three-year-olds and upward—I’m going with the 2/1 morning line favorite—Hockey Puck.

This four-year-old gelding finished in the money for five of his nine career starts, four of which were wins—which puts him several lengths ahead of the rest of this six-horse field.

Included among those wins for this Erin C. McClellan-trained gelding is the 2019 Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes (Black Type) victory at Parx. McClellan has chosen Emilio Flores for this ride; Flores was aboard for Hockey Puck’s latest victory. Incidentally, while his most recent race was in the summer of 2020, Hockey Puck’s speed figures were in the triple digits.

I’m going with the second-favored entry (at 3/1) in race eight: Empress Deona, ridden by Kaylia Albright.

This is a six-furlong main track run for Pennsylvania-bred fillies and mares. The three-year-old Empress Deona moneyed both of her career starts, placing third in her first maiden run and graduating with a victory in the second—both of which were last month at Penn National.

Under training to Albright’s mother (Amy Albright, a former jockey herself), Empress Deona has had Kaylia aboard for each of her two starts.

My Wednesday Picks for Thistledown Racino

In race five—a six-panel main track run for fillies and mares three years old and up—I like the second-favored (at 5/2) entry, Golden Temple.

Ridden by Angel Ortega Stanley for this race, the three-year-old Golden Temple won her single career start, her single maiden run. Veteran trainer had Stanley aboard at Mahoning Valley in mid-April for Golden Temple’s graduation victory.

In comparison, the morning line favorite—the four-year-old Karakontie Flyer—moneyed six of her eleven starts but did not graduate the maiden class until her latest attempt last month.

Race six is a six-furlong allowance race for Ohio-bred three-year-olds and upward. While this could easily be the tightest race of the day, my win ticket is on the 3/2 morning line favorite: Serve Revenge Cold.

This five-year-old gelding moneyed nine of his 16 career starts, winning five.

Legendary jockey Mario Pino was aboard for most of Serve Revenge Cold’s starts, but he’s down in Florida at the moment (but still working on his 7,000th win). In the meantime, owner-trainer S. Matthew Kintz has chosen veteran jockey Ricardo Feliciano for this race.

For race seven—a six-furlong sprint on the main track for fillies and mares—I’m betting on the 5/2 morning line favorite, La Muneca.

This is one of those “pick the least-worst horse and then cross your fingers” races, and this four-year-old filly fits the bill quite nicely.

Finishing in the money four of her nine career starts, La Muneca only recently graduated from the maiden class (Mahoning Valley in March 2021).

Owner-trainer for La Muneca, Richard Zielinski, had top jockey Edgard Paucar aboard for La Muneca’s graduation run (as well as many earlier starts) but has chosen newcomer Brandon Tapara for this race.

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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