Best Horse Racing Bets for Friday, October 8, 2021

| October 7, 2021 11:35 am PDT

We’re looking at races at Belmont Park, Keeneland Race Course, and Santa Anita Park for my Friday picks.

Keenland kicks off its 2021 Fall Meet Friday with a couple of turf stakes matches, and I look at those along with another likely moneymaker. I found nothing but underdogs at Belmont, and Santa Anita was something of a mixed bag for moneymakers. Still, together they all provide us with plenty of opportunities to keep our bankrolls fat and sassy.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out the full race cards at one of our best horseracing wagering sites.

Good luck!

My Friday Picks for Belmont Park

Let’s start on the turf course for race three, a one-mile allowance optional claiming race for three-year-olds and upward.

The morning line favorite—Analyze It—has a history full of stakes races, but those were in the past.

More recently, Analyze It has been an also-ran in allowance races. That’s why I’m betting on the 2/1 second-favored Dreams of Tomorrow, ridden by Jose Lezcano.

This four-year-old colt finished in the money for nine of his 13 career starts, winning three. He most recently finished fourth in both the Bernard Baruch Handicap (Grade II) and the Fasig-Tipton Lure Stakes (Listed) at Saratoga.

A Hall of Famer since 1988, Claude R. McGaughey III trains Dreams of Tomorrow for owner-breeder Phipps Stable.

Race seven is a seven-panel starter allowance run on the turf course for fillies and mares three years old and upward. My money’s on one of the third-favored entries (there are five at 6/1 in this race): Fraudulent Charge, with Jorge A. Vargas, Jr. in the irons.

This three-year-old filly moneyed all four of her career starts, winning her initial maiden attempt last November and then finishing in second place in the Gin Talking Stakes (Black Type), the Wide Country Stakes (Black Type), and the Beyond The Wire Stakes (Black Type), all at Laurel Park.

Lacey Gaudet trains Fraudulent Charge for owners Team Gaudet and Five Hellions Farm.

We’re back on the main track for race eight, a one-mile allowance race for New York-bred three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting my two dollars on the second-favored (at 9/2) Purple Hearted, with Eric Cancel aboard.

This three-year-old gelding moneyed five of his eight career starts, winning one. Most notably, he finished second in the New York Derby (Black Type) in July at Finger Lakes.

Ranked among the top 100 trainers in North America since 2002, Chris J. Englehart trains Purple Hearted for Epona Racing Stable.

Friday’s Picks for Keeneland Race Course

We’re on the turf for race seven, a 1-1/16 miles allowance race for three-year-olds and upward. I have to agree with the morning line here and back the 5/2 favorite, Kentucky Ghost, piloted by top jockey Rafael Bejarano.

This four-year-old gelding moneyed 11 of his 17 career starts, winning three. He most recently finished second in the Buckland Stakes (Black Type) at Colonial Downs in July and the TVG Stakes (Listed) at Kentucky Downs last month. He’ll do.

Longtime racing veteran Victoria H. Oliver trains Kentucky Ghost for BBN Racing, LLC. Oliver put Bejarano in the irons for Kentucky Ghost’s TVG Stakes run.

Race eight is the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes (Grade II), a $250,000 purse six-furlong main track run for three-year-olds and upward.

As you would imagine, this stakes race features a seven-horse field full of top athletes, and while I see a couple worth touting, I have to agree with the morning line and back the 9/5 favorite, Special Reserve, ridden by Joel Rosario.

This five-year-old gelding finished in the money 16 of his 21 career starts, winning seven, including the Maryland Sprint Match Series Stakes (Grade III) at Pimlico in May and the Iowa Sprint Stakes (Black Type) at Prairie Meadows in July.

Breeders’ Cup veteran Michael J. Maker trains Special Reserve for owners Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher.

Race nine in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (Grade I), a $400,000 purse, 1-1/16 miles main track run for two-year-old fillies. I’m calling this one for one of the fourth-favored entries (there are two at 8/1 in this race): Diamond Wow, with veteran jockey Mike E. Smith in the irons.

This filly won both of her career starts, including her initial maiden attempt in August and the Our Dear Peggy Stakes (Black Type) in September, both at Gulfstream Park.

That gives her the best stats in this 12-horse field.

Co-owner Patrick L. Biancone trains Diamond Wow for co-owners Diamond 100 Racing Club, LLC, Amy E. Dunne, and himself.

Friday Picks for Santa Anita Park

We’re on the turf course for race five, a one-mile starter optional claiming run for three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting my two dollars on the 3/1 morning-line favorite, Deise Delight, with Flavien Prat in the irons.

This four-year-old Irish import moneyed six of her seven career starts, winning one. In this eight-horse field, she’s got the edge.

Her only real competition here is the second-favored Viazar, who has a slight statistical lead but has not performed as well in 2021 as Deise Delight has.

A veteran of numerous Triple Crown races as well as the Breeders’ Cup series, top-ranked Doug F. O’Neill trains Deise Delight for Great Friends Stables, LLC, Westside Racing Stable, and Steve Rothblum.

We’re back on the main track for race six, a six-panel starter optional claiming race for two-year-olds. I’m betting my money on the fourth-favored (at 6/1) Barsabas, with Tyler Baze aboard.

This gelding finished three of his four career starts in the money, winning one, which puts him at the top of the list in this eight-horse field.

Co-owner Ryan Hanson trains Barsabas for Christopher Drakos and himself.

Let’s switch to the turf again for race seven, a six-furlong allowance optional claiming run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m touting the second-favored Bruja Escarlata, ridden by Tyler Baze.

As far as stats are concerned, this four-year-old filly has the best of it with three money finishes in four career starts—all three in the first place.

Yes, she was an also-ran in her most recent start, the Daisycutter Handicap (Black Type) at Del Mar in July—but then, this race isn’t a stakes match, is it?

Longtime Breeders’ Cup veteran John W. Sadler trains Bruja Escarlata for Hronis Racing LLC.

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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