Best Horse Racing Bets for Wednesday, May 5, 2021

| May 5, 2021 12:18 am PDT

I found plenty of surprises at the three tracks I selected for further study for Wednesday’s racing picks: Indiana Grand Race Course, Parx Racing, and Penn National Race Course.

You can find all of Wednesday’s races, including the ones I cover here, with a visit to one of the top online racebooks.

Good luck!

Wednesday’s Picks at Indiana Grand Race Course

Race one is a six-furlong main track run for three-year-olds and upward, and I’m liking one of the morning line’s second-favored entries (there are two at 3/1): Powell, ridden by veteran jockey Emmanuel Esquivel.

The five-year-old gelding has the best record in this six-horse field: Ten money finishes in 15 starts, three of those wins.

Granted, Powell has done better in Canada than in the U.S.—all three of his wins were at Woodbine, including the Ontario Jockey Club Stakes (Black Type) in 2019.

Powell’s trainer, Cipriano Contreras, started his career in 2016, and quickly developed skills that led to him winning his first graded stakes race—the Hanshin Cup Stakes (Grade III) at Arlington Park in 2018.

For race three—a five-and-one-half furlong match for Indiana-bred three-year-olds and upward—I’m putting my money down on the second-favored (3/1) Mr Manning. This eight-year-old gelding wasn’t raced much in 2020, but his overall record is impressive: 33 money finishes in 47 career starts, 13 of those wins.

Not only that, but his recent workouts show he’s still got the speed and the ability. Veteran trainer Kim Hammond has tapped Samuel Bermudez to ride Mr Manning for this race.

And in race four, my money is on the 5/2 morning line favorite, Shy Money. This four-year-old filly finished in the money two of her three career starts, both of them wins.

Trainer Aaron West has chose Emmanuel Esquivel to saddle up for this five-and-a-half furlong run for Indiana-bred fillies and mares. Esquivel most recently rode Shy Money to victory on April 14 at Indiana Grand.

My Wednesday Picks for Parx Racing

For race seven, a seven-furlong main track sprint for fillies and mares, I’m sticking with the 9/5 morning line favorite: Castilleja.

A four-year-old filly, Castilleja moneyed five of her seven career starts, with one win, putting her in the statistical lead of this seven-horse field. She’s also done well in recent workouts.

Hall of fame trainer King Leatherbury has veteran jockey Mychel Sanchez in the irons for Shy Money’s run.

I have to agree with the morning line for race eight, as well—my money is on the 8/5 favorite, Mount Travers, to win this seven-furlong main track run for three-year-olds and up.

The five-year-old Mount Travers moneyed eleven of his 16 career starts, winning two. Veteran trainer Linda Rice has named Angel Castillo to jockey Mount Travers for this run. Rice most recently took third in the 2020 Kentucky Derby with Max Player.

Incidentally, Mount Travers will see some stiff competition from whichever of the two coupled entries (1/1A) Ruben Silvera ends up aboard, but I believe he’ll prevail.

Race nine is a main track run of seven furlongs for three-year-olds and up. While it looks like a very tight race between the top two horses, I believe the 2/1 morning line favorite, My Boy Tate, will make it to the winner’s circle.

The seven-year-old gelding moneyed 16 of his 23 career starts, winning nine.

Michelle Nevin, who has been among the top 100 trainers in earnings for the past seven years, picked top jockey Frankie Pennington for My Boy Tate’s run.

The horse that will give him the most trouble is the second-favored (at 5/2) Arch Cat, trained by Daniel Velazquez and ridden for this race by Abner Adorno. Arch Cat finished in the money 32 of his 42 career starts, winning 15.

Wednesday Picks for Penn National Race Course

Race five is a mile and 70 yards run on the main track for three-year-olds and up, and I’m buying a win ticket on the 7/2 morning line favorite, Northern Thunder.

The four-year-old gelding has not fared well in stakes races, failing to money in any of the five he’s started. On the other hand, his overall record is good: six money finished in 16 starts, with four of those wins.

In 2021, his record stands at three money finishes in four starts, two of those wins.

Top earning trainer Brandon L. Kulp has chosen veteran jockey Angel R. Rodriguez to fill the irons for this run.

Race six is a five-and-a-half furlong maiden race, and I like one of two horses (depending on which of the coupled entry Dana Whitney rides). The winner will most likely be either second-favored (at 7/2) Live Fire, with Whitney aboard, or the third-favored (4/1) Get Down Brown, ridden by Inoel Beato.

If Whitney rides Live Fire for trainer Erin C. McClellan, I give that horse a slight edge over my other choice.

For the record, Live Fire has moneyed six of his eight career starts.

If Live Fire doesn’t start the race, then I have to give it to Get Down Brown, trained by Flint W. Stites. Beato has been aboard the three-year-old gelding for his most recent two runs.

Race ten is a five-and-one-half furlong allowance race on the main track for three-year-olds and upward. I’m going to put my money on the fourth-favored (at 4/1) Commissioner Biggs, ridden for this race by veteran jockey Emilio Flores.

A four-year-old gelding, Commissioner Biggs moneyed five of his seven career starts, winning three of them. He’s under training with Erin C. McClellan, who has been practically a fixture at Penn National since he started in the industry over a decade ago.

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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