Best Horse Racing Bets for Friday, September 17, 2021

| September 17, 2021 1:54 am PDT

While I had to agree with the morning-line’s predictions in a healthy chunk of the races I covered at Belmont Park, Golden Gate Fields, and Gulfstream Park, I also found plenty of underdog moneymakers, particularly at Golden Gate and Belmont.

Before you hop into the fray below, check out the race cards for all three tracks at one of our recommended horse-racing wagering sites.

Good luck!

My Friday Picks for Belmont Park

We’re on the main track for race three, a 1-1/16 miles allowance run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. My bet’s on the fourth-favored (at 4/1) Trinni Luck, with veteran jockey Manny Franco in the irons.

While the top four morning-line choices are certainly contenders in this tightly competitive seven-horse field, this four-year-old filly has the stats to back her bid: Four money finishes in five career starts, three of them wins—including her initial maiden attempt and her two most recent races at Belmont and Saratoga.

Rudy R. Rodriguez, who’s been in the top 100 for both wins and earnings the past 11 years, trains Trinni Luck for owner-breeder Ryan Racing, Inc.

We’re on the turf course for race seven—the Allied Forces Stakes, a $100,000 purse, six-furlong run for three-year-olds. I like the 5/2 morning-line favorite, Jaxon Traveler, ridden by Jose L. Ortiz.

This colt moneyed all nine of his career starts, winning five, including the Maryland Juvenile Futurity (Black Type) at Laurel Park last December, the Bachelor Stakes (Listed) at Oaklawn Park in April, and the Star De Naskra Stakes (Black Type) at Pimlico in last month.

This is, as they say, Jaxon Traveler’s race to lose.

Steven M. Asmussen trains Jaxon Traveler for owners West Point Thoroughbreds and Marvin Delfiner.

Race eight is the Christiecat Stakes, a $100,000 purse, six-furlong run on the turf course for three-year-old fillies.

If the second-favored also-eligible/MTO Patty H enters the starting gate for this race, bet her and jockey Dylan Davis to win. The filly moneyed eight of her ten career starts, winning four.

Longtime racing veteran Michael Miceli trains Patty H for owners George Anthony, Lawrence P. Roman, Emerald Upstate Stable, Joshua Greenberg, and Thomas Milici.

If Patty H isn’t in this race, then put your money on the 5/2 turf favorite; Bye Bye, with Joel Rosario aboard. This filly finished in the money for three of her five career starts, winning two, including the Soaring Softly Stakes (Gr. 3) at Belmont last May.

Breeders’ Cup veteran Christophe Clement trains Bye Bye for Bach Stables LLC.

Friday’s Picks for Golden Gate Fields

Let’s start on the all-weather track for race six, a 5-1/2 furlong claiming run for fillies and mares three years old and upward that have never won two races. I’m betting my two dollars on the 3/1 second-favored Glitter Lake, with Catalino Martinez in the irons.

This four-year-old filly finished in the money six of her eight career starts, winning four, which gives her the best statistics in this short field of six.

Reid France trains Glitter Lake for Hat Trick Racing. France has tapped Martinez to saddle Glitter Lake for her last four races, three of which were wins and all of which were in the money.

Race seven is a 5-1/2 furlong allowance optional claiming run on the all-weather track for fillies and mares three years old and upward. My money’s on the fourth-favored (at 4/1) Warm Summer, ridden by Catalino Martinez.

This four-year-old filly moneyed nine of her 16 career starts, winning four, but her record for 2021 is what impresses: Five money finishes in five starts, with two wins.

OJ. Jauregui trains Warm Summer for owners Paradise Road Ranch, LLC, David Crossley, Daniel Preiss, and Angel D. Valadez.

We move to the turf course for race eight, a one-mile claiming run for three-year-olds and upward. Looks like I’m backing Catalino Martinez again, this time aboard the 2/1 morning-line favorite, Antarctic.

This six-year-old gelding finished in the money 16 of his 33 career starts, winning seven, and his stats have held up in 2021, keeping him at the top of the list in this scattered eight-horse field.

Ranked among the top 100 for wins every year since 2016, Jonathan Wong trains Antarctic for owner Scott Herbertson.

Friday Picks for Gulfstream Park

Let’s start with race three, a one-mile claiming run on the main track for fillies and mares three years old and upward.

I was going to back the second-favored I’m a Coco Pebbles here, but I see that the morning-line favorite has already bested her—and recently. Twice, in fact.

So my money’s on the 7/5 morning-line favorite, Pretty Rachel, ridden by Marcos Meneses.

This three-year-old filly finished in the money for ten of her 15 career starts, winning five. She’s currently on a four-win streak, her most recent two races handing second-place finishes to the aforementioned I’m a Coco Pebbles.

Armando De La Cerda trains Pretty Rachel for Big Bang Racing LLC. De La Cerda has put Meneses in the irons for all four of Pretty Rachel’s most recent wins.

Race five is a one-mile allowance optional claiming run on the main track for four-year-olds and upward. I’m buying a win ticket on the 78/5 morning-line favorite, Eye of a Jedi, with Leonel Reyes aboard.

While several of his competitors in this race have seen a stakes race or two, this six-year-old gelding has been campaigned aggressively at that level, finishing in the money 24 of his 32 career starts, six of them wins. Those wins include his most recent run, the Ghostzapper Stakes (Grade III), in March. He continues to regularly post triple-digit speed figures. He’ll do.

Eye of the Jedi is trained by owner Steve Budhoo.

Let’s move to the turf course for race six, a five-furlong allowance optional claiming run for fillies and mares three years old and upward.

The year 2019 was a good one for Awsum Road, the morning-line favorite. That year, she posted five wins (including a four-win streak). In 2021, however, she’s chalked up just one win out of eight starts.

But as much as I’d like to tout a better pick for this race, I don’t see one in this lackluster field of seven, so my money’s on the 5/2 favorite Awsum Roar, ridden by top jockey Edgard J. Zayas.

This seven-year-old mare finished in the money 26 of her 32 career starts, winning eleven. None of the other six competitors come anywhere close to those stats. Her 2021 record so far is seven money finishes in eight starts, one of those a win.

The regularly top-ranked Antonio Sano trains Awsum Roar for owners Imaginary Stables, Louis Mairone, and Carmen Pinto.

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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