Best Horse Racing Bets for Saturday, September 4, 2021

| September 3, 2021 12:32 pm PDT

I somehow managed to pick the second-favored entries in nearly all races I assessed at Arlington International Racecourse, Evangeline Downs, and Golden Gate Fields for Saturday. In fact, all but two of my nine picks were calls for wins from what the morning line considers second-best.

The two others were my admission that every now and then, the morning-line favorite really is going to win. I hate it when that happens.

Be that as it may, don’t forget to check out the full Saturday race-cards for all three tracks at our recommended horseracing wagering sites.

Good luck!

Saturday’s Picks for Arlington International Racecourse

Let’s start on the all-weather track with race two, a six-furlong claiming run for three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting on the 5/2 morning-line favorite, Upbeat Melody, with E. T. Baird aboard.

I’m sorry to say that this is one of those least-worst picks, where all the entries seem unlikely to finish as anything better than also-rans. For instance, Upbeat Melody, a three-year-old colt, finished in the money one of his four career starts, breaking his maiden on his second attempt. That makes him the most successful thoroughbred in this seven-horse field.

Ranked in the top 100 for both wins and earnings every year since 2015, Larry Rivelli trains Upbeat Melody for Suzanne Stables. Incidentally, Rivelli has tried more experienced jockeys, but it was Baird in the irons when Upbeat Melody graduated from the maiden class.

Race four puts us on the turf course for a five-furlong claiming run for three-year-olds and upward. My money’s on the second-favored (at 5/2) Smokin Richie, ridden by E. T. Baird.

Overall, this four-year-old gelding has the statistical edge on the morning-line favorite, with four money finishes in five career starts, two of those wins.

Larry Rivelli trains Smokin Richie for owner Richard Ravin. Rivelli also trains the M/L favorite, Keenesaw.

We’re still on the turf for race five, a five-furlong allowance optional claiming run for three-year-olds and upward. I’m calling this one for the 7/2 second-favored Never Have I Ever, with veteran jockey Christopher A. Emigh in the irons.

An Irish import, this five-year-old gelding moneyed 13 of his 21 career starts, winning eight. He continues to post the same high-speed figures he produced during his four-win streak at Arlington a year ago. He’ll do.

Brittany A. Vanden Berg—who’s having a very good 2021, professionally—trains Never Have I Ever for RSR Racing Services, LLC (Robert S. Rhoads). Vanden Berg has tapped Emigh to saddle Never Have I Ever for his five most recent victories.

My Saturday Picks for Evangeline Downs

We begin on the turf course with race one, a five-furlong claiming run for three-year-olds and upward that have never won two races. I’m betting my two dollars on the 5/2 second-favored entry, Perfect Perigee, ridden by veteran jockey Joe Stokes.

This three-year-old gelding moneyed seven of his eleven career starts, winning one, which puts him in the statistical lead in this seven-horse field.

For comparison, the morning-line favorite—Powershot—moneyed only two of his eight starts, one of which was a win.

Roland Patt, Jr. trains Perfect Perigee for owner Travis Dwayne Williams. Incidentally, Joe Stokes is a much better jockey than his overall statistics might suggest.

We’re still on the turf for race three, a 7-1/2 furlong allowance run for Louisiana-bred three-year-olds and upward that have never won three races. My money is on the 5/2 second-favored Drewhustle, with Joe Stokes aboard.

This three-year-old colt was campaigned at the stakes level, and his record shows limited success at that level: five money finishes in eleven career starts, two of them wins.

He did finish third among an eight-horse field in the Louisiana Legacy Stakes (Black Type) at Delta Downs last January.

Lonnie Briley, currently experiencing the best year of her two-decade career, trains Drewhustle for Norman Stables, LLC.

We’re back on the main track for race eight, a 5-1/2 furlong allowance optional claiming run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I like the 5/2 second-favored entry here—Onerollofthedice, ridden by Pedro L. Cotto, Jr.

This three-year-old filly finished in the money for three of her four career starts, winning all but her initial maiden attempt. She’s currently on a three-win streak that began with her graduation run last March.

Shane Wilson—whose earnings, wins, and WPS stats this year have already surpassed any of the previous 22—trains Onerollofthedice for owner Wayne T. Davis. Wilson put Cotto in the irons for Onerollofthedice’s most recent victory.

Saturday Picks for Golden Gate Fields

We’re on the all-weather track for race three, a 5-1/2 furlong claiming run for three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting both of my dollars on the 7/2 second-favored I’m a Cool Dude, piloted by Santos Rivera.

This four-year-old gelding finished in the money five of his nine career starts, winning two, which puts him in the statistical lead of this short field of six.

Co-owner William Delia trains I’m a Cool Dude for himself and co-owners Patricia Ford and Randy Leighton. Delia put Rivera in the irons for I’m a Cool Dude’s most recent victory, a claiming race at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds Racetrack in July.

Let’s move to the turf course for race seven, a five-furlong starter allowance run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m buying a win ticket on the 9/5 morning-line favorite, Rebalation, ridden by veteran jockey Frank T. Alvarado.

This five-year-old mare moneyed five of her six career starts, winning two. In this seven-horse field, that makes her a standout.

The regularly top-ranked Tim McCanna trains Rebalation for owners/breeders Gordy Jarnig, Kenny Marshall, and Eric M. Schweiger. McCanna also put Alvarado in the irons for Rebalation’s most win, a waiver claiming run at Golden Gate in July.

We switch back to the all-weather track for race eight, a six-panel allowance run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m betting on the second-favored (at 2/1) Go Smiley Go, with veteran jockey Catalino Martinez aboard.

This six-year-old mare moneyed 27 of her 39 career starts, winning eight, including her most recent, an allowance/optional claiming race at Pleasanton Fairground Racetrack in July.

While the morning-line favorite’s three-starts/three money finishes/two wins record is tough to beat, Go Smiley Go takes the statistical lead in consistently high-speed figures.

O.J. Jauregui trains Go Smiley Go for owners David Crossley, Carina Jauregui, and Daniel Preiss. Jauregui had Martinez saddle Go Smiley Go for her 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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