Best Horse Racing Bets for Thursday, September 16, 2021

| September 15, 2021 12:44 pm PDT

I found some excellent moneymakers at the three tracks I assessed for my Thursday picks: Arlington International Racecourse, Churchill Downs, and Thistledown Racino.

While I did agree with the morning line twice at Thistledown—where the handicaps were surprisingly tight—I chose mostly underdog moneymakers at Churchill Downs and Arlington.

Don’t forget that you can check out all the races at all the tracks at our best horseracing wagering sites.

Good luck!

Thursday Picks for Arlington International Racecourse

Starting with race two, we’re on the all-weather track for a six-furlong claiming run for fillies and mares three years old and upward that have never won two races. I like the third-favored (at 4/1) Dancin At Midnight, ridden by Javier Tavares.

This three-year-old filly is the obvious standout in this seven-horse field, having finished in the money for all four of her career starts, winning one.

The regularly top-ranked Steve Manley trains Dancin At Midnight for owner Donald L. Griffin.

Moving to the turf course for race five, we have a 1-1/16 miles allowance run for Illinois-bred three-year-olds and upward.

As much as I’d like to call this one for the 9/5 morning-line favorite—No, that horse hasn’t won a race since October 2019. I’m betting my two dollars on the 7/2 second-favored Paddy’s House with veteran jockey Rocco Bowen aboard.

This three-year-old gelding moneyed three of his six career starts, winning his second maiden attempt in March at Hawthorne Race Course. He’ll do.

Robert E. Dobbs, Jr., who’s having the winningest year of his career, trains Paddy’s House for owner-breeder Scarlet Stable.

Race eight is a five-furlong allowance optional claiming run on the turf for three-year-olds and upward. My money’s on the 5/2 morning-line favorite, Kennesaw, with E. T. Baird in the irons.

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

Larry Rivelli trains Kennesaw for owner Carolyn Wilson. Rivelli had Baird saddle Kennesaw for his two most recent races, both tightly contested but which resulted in two second-place finishes. Incidentally, in a career spanning four decades, Baird is having his best year ever.

My Thursday Picks for Churchill Downs

We’ll start with race three, a 1-1/16 miles starter allowance run on the main track for three-year-olds and upward. I’m buying a win ticket on the 3/1 second-favored Nietzsche, ridden by top jockey Francisco Arrieta. Nietzsche is the first half of the 1/1A coupled entry.

Overall, this four-year-old colt moneyed eight of his 14 career starts, winning three.

Like many horses, the penny didn’t drop for him until this year, where his record is much more impressive: Five money finishes in five starts, with three wins. He’s currently on a two-win streak.

Caio Caramori trains Nietzsche for owner George A. Sharp.

Race six is a 6-1/2 furlong allowance run on the main track for three-year-olds and upward. I’m calling this one for the 6/5 morning-line favorite, Bears Watching, piloted by veteran jockey Tyler Gaffalione.

This three-year-old colt finished in the money both of his career starts, finishing his initial maiden attempt in second place, then graduating on his next attempt. He posted near-triple-digit speed figures in both of those winning runs. He’ll do, particularly in this unevenly-matched nine-horse field.

Eclipse Award winner and Hall of Famer Claude R. McGaughey III trains Bears Watching for owner-breeder William S. Farish.

Incidentally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest you buy a show ticket on the 30/1 longshot Spankhurst, with Francisco Arrieta aboard. This three-year-old gelding moneyed two of his three career starts, winning one. He’s trained by racing veteran Thomas D. Vance for owner Jerry Bruno.

For race seven—a 1-1/8 miles allowance optional claiming run on the main track for fillies and mares three years old and upward—I’m betting my two dollars on the 9/2 fourth-favored Its Cold in Dehere, with veteran jockey Florent Geroux in the irons.

This five-year-old mare’s record puts her at the head of my list, with 20 money finishes in 29 career starts, eight of those wins.

In comparison, the morning-line favorite moneyed 11 of her 22 starts, with three wins. Advantage: Its Cold in Dehere.

Norm W. Casse trains Its Cold in Dehere for owners Peter M. Rinato and Cardinal Hill Racing. Casse put Geroux in the irons for Its Cold in Dehere’s most recent victory, a claiming race back in June at Churchill Downs.

Thursday’s Picks for Thistledown Racino

We’re on the main track for race one, a six-panel claiming run for Ohio-bred fillies and mares three years old and upward. My money’s on the second-favored (at 3/1) Fortunate Gina, ridden by veteran jockey Luis Raul Rivera.

This seven-year-old mare finished in the money 22 of her 29 career starts, winning five. In this short field of six, she’ll do.

Longtime racing veteran Anthony F. Rini trains Fortunate Gina for Mark Yagour, Inc.

Race five is a six-furlong allowance run on the main track for three-year-olds and upward that have never won two races. My bet is on the 3/1 morning-line favorite, Chaco Spirit, with Chelsey Keiser in the irons.

This three-year-old gelding finished in the money for both of his career starts, winning one, putting himself in the statistical lead of this seven-horse field. It helps that Keiser is having her best professional year since 2017.

Racing veteran David Wolochuk trains Chaco Spirit for owner Allan M. Johnson.

In race seven, a 5-1/2 furlong allowance run on the main track for Ohio-bred three-year-olds and upward. This may be the tightest race of the day, but I’m betting my two dollars on the morning-line favorite, Altissimo, ridden by veteran jockey Christian P. Pilares.

This eight-year-old gelding has been aggressively (and successfully) campaigned at the stakes level. For the record, he’s moneyed 35 of his 50 career starts, 21 of them wins, including the Best of Ohio Babst/Palacios Memorial Stakes (Black Type) at Belterra Park in May.

While the second-favored Nick Can Fix has slightly better stats, his connections have only let him test his skills at the stakes level once: The Best of Ohio Honey Jay Stakes (Black Type) last month at Thistledown. Of course, you might argue that Nick Can Fix finished second in that race—ahead Altissimo, who finished fourth. Despite that, my win ticket remains on Altissimo.

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.

More Posts by J.W. Contact J.W.



AUGUST Sportsbook of the Month
Welcome Bonus 50% up to $1,000
Read Review Visit Site
Back to top