Top Horse Racing Picks for Friday, March 18, 2022

| March 17, 2022 12:53 pm PDT

Aqueduct Racetrack, Fonner Park, and Santa Anita Park were my tracks I chose to assess for my Friday horse racing picks.

While I agreed with the morning-line more often than I’d like, I also found some underdog moneymakers as well as a 10/1 sleeper, which always makes my bankroll smile.

You can always review the full Friday race-cards of all three tracks at one of our top online horseracing wagering sites.

Good luck!

Friday Horse Racing Picks for Aqueduct Racetrack

We’re on the dirt track for race seven, a six-furlong allowance optional claiming race for New York-bred three-year-old fillies. This is an impressive seven-horse field, and I’m buying a win ticket on the second-favored (at 3/1) Ready A. P., ridden by Manny Franco.

This filly moneyed both of her career starts, winning her initial maiden attempt at Belmont Park last July and then finishing second in the Rick Violette Stakes (Black Type) at Saratoga later that same month.

Longtime horse racing veteran Christophe Clement, who took Tonalist to a first at the 2014 Belmont Stakes, trains Ready A. P. for owners West Point Thoroughbreds and Jimmy Kahig LLC.

Race eight is a six-furlong starter allowance race for three-year-olds and upward. My money’s on the 1/1 morning-line favorite, Prisoner, with Dylan Davis in the irons.

This four-year-old gelding won both of his career starts, graduating the maiden class in June of 2020, resting on his laurels through 2021, then returning to the track in January 2022 to ace an eight-horse claiming race by eight lengths.

Will Prisoner repeat his winning ways for new owner Charlton Baker, who ponied up the $25,000 claiming price for Prisoner after that January win? I believe that is exactly what will happen.

Charlton Baker, by the way, has been regularly ranked in the top 100 trainers in North American for wins, earnings, or both since 2000. Todd Pletcher trained Prisoner for Repole Stable through both of his previous wins.

Race nine is a six-furlong allowance race on the dirt track for New York-bred fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m backing the 10/1 underdog, Mazal Eighteen, piloted by Luis A. Rodriguez Castro.

One of the reasons I’m betting this sleeper is she is the only horse in this nine-horse field to win a race in 2022. More importantly, she has better stats than the favorite: In 15 career starts, Mazel Eighteen  moneyed eleven times, two of those wins.

Juan C. Vazquez trains Mazal Eighteen for Perez Stables LLC.

My Friday Picks for Fonner Park

Let’s start on the dirt track with race four, a six-furlong claiming race for fillies and mares three years old and upward that have never won four races or have not won a race since September 18, 2021. I’m betting my two dollars on the 2/1 morning-line favorite, Emolga, with Dakota Wood aboard.

This five-year-old mare finished in the money nine of her 13 career start, winning three. In this field of seven, that gives her the statistical edge.

Forty-year horse racing veteran David C. Anderson trains Emolga for JL Racing LLC.

Race five is a six-furlong allowance race for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m calling this one for the third-favored (at 5/2) Queens Gift, piloted by veteran jockey Jake L. Olesiak.

This four-year-old filly finished eleven of her 14 career starts in the money, three of them wins.

Longtime horse racing veteran Robert G. Hoffman trains Queens Gift for owner James Harder.

Race six is a six-furlong claiming race for fillies and mares three years old and upward that have never won three races or Nebraska-breds that have never won four races. This is one of those “least worst” quandaries. I’m going to go with the morning-line favorite, That’s All Right, with Kevin Roman in the irons.

In an unimpressive eight-horse field, this four-year-old filly has a marginal statistical advantage. For the record, That’s All Right moneyed three of her 13 career starts, winning two.

The fourth-favored entry here—Poseidon’s Magic—has a better record: Four money finishes in nine starts, two of them wins. Unfortunately, her discouraging finishes in her three most recent races take her out of the equation here.

Isai V. Gonzalez trains That’s All Right for GSH Stable LLC.

Friday’s Picks for Santa Anita Park

Let’s begin on the turf course with race one, a one-mile starter optional claiming run for three-year-olds. I like the second-favored (at 5/2) Stotland, ridden by top jockey Flavien Prat.

This three-year-old gelding moneyed one of his three career starts, breaking his maiden here at Santa Anita in January.

Last November, he notably finished eighth of ten in the Cecil B. DeMille Stakes (Grade III) at Del Mar.

Breeders’ Cup veteran Robert B. Hess, Jr. trains Stotland for owners Roger Featherston, Jeffrey Lambert, Peter Stotland, and Peter G. Underhill.

We switch to the dirt track for race four, a six-furlong claiming race for fillies and mares four years old and upward. I’m in agreement with the morning line: Bet the 8/5 favorite, Tiz a Master, piloted by ace jockey Juan J. Hernandez.

A real standout in this six-horse field, this six-year-old mare finished nine of her 20 career starts in the money, winning five. Not good enough to get her memorialized in the Hall of Fame, but it gives her the statistical edge in this race.

A forty-year horse racing veteran, Vladimir Cerin trains Tiz a Master for owners Bran Jam Stable and David W. Clark.

Race nine puts us back on the turf course for a six-furlong allowance optional claiming race for three-year-olds. I’m betting my two dollars on one of the third-favored underdogs: Olympic Legend, with Jose Valdivia, Jr. in the irons.

This three-year-old gelding finished three of his seven career starts in the money, winning one, his maiden. His other two money finishes were thirds in both the Capote Stakes (Black Type) at Los Alamitos in September and the Baffle Stakes (Black Type) here at Santa Anita in January.

While Smuggler’s Run, the favorite, makes a case with his record of two wins in three starts, Olympic Legend’s stakes performances are more persuasive.

Luis Mendez trains Olympic Legend for owners Lawrence Opas and Frank R. Sinatra.

More Betting Predictions

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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