Top Horse Racing Picks for Saturday, June 18, 2022

| June 17, 2022 12:04 pm PDT

We’ve got plenty of stakes action at all three tracks I chose for my Saturday horse racing picks.

Gulfstream Park leads off with the Game Face stakes and a couple of high-priced allowance runs. Monmouth Park immediately takes it to the next level with four solid stakes matches.

And then Santa Anita tops out our wagering day with three stakes runs that include a couple of prediction-defying two-year-old stakes races.

Overall, I found fistfuls of underdogs and even a sleeper or two, so wager on!

Oh, one last thing before you jump down to the good stuff: Remember to check out the full race cards at one of our best sites for horse racing betting.

Good luck!

Saturday’s Horse Racing Picks for Gulfstream Park

Race five

This is a one mile and 70 yards allowance optional claiming race on the all-weather track for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m agreeing with the morning line and betting my two dollars on the 3/1 favorite, Smart Spending, piloted by Leonel Reyes.

This four-year-old filly finished eight of her 13 career starts in the money, five of those wins.

Victor Barboza, Jr., who was ranked among the top 100 in wins for both 2018 and 1019, trains Smart Spending for Racing Bull Stables, Inc.

Race seven — Game Face Stakes

This is a $75,000 purse, 6-1/2 furlong run on the dirt track for three-year-old fillies. My money’s on the 5/2 underdog, Last Leaf, ridden by Miguel Angel Vasquez.

This dark bay filly moneyed seven of her 12 career starts, winning four. Those wins included the Hollywood Beach Stakes (Black Type) last September and the Melody of Colors Stakes (Black Type) in March–both here at Gulfstream.

Forty-year horse racing veteran Ronald B. Spatz trains Last Leaf for Monarch Stables, Inc.

Race eleven

This is a 1-1/16 miles handicap on the all-weather track for three-year-olds and upward. I like the second-favored (at 3/1) Calibrator, with veteran jockey Junior Alvarado in the irons.

This five-year-old has better stats than the morning-line favorite. For the record, Calibrator finished in the money seven of his eleven career starts, winning five.

He’ll face some serious competition in this eight-horse field, including some graded stakes winners like Ramsay Solution that haven’t raced in a year or more. Calibrator’s got this.

Saffie A. Joseph, Jr.—who also handles the third-favored Ramsay Solution—trains Calibrator for Sonata Stable. Incidentally, if Calibrator weren’t in this race, I’d be very much inclined to bet all two of my dollars on Ramsay Solution.

My Saturday Picks for Monmouth Park

Race eleven — Eatontown Stakes (Grade III)

This is a $150,000 purse, 1-1/16 miles run on the turf course for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I like the 3/1 morning-line favorite, Fluffy Socks, with top jockey Manny Franco aboard.

This bay four-year-old has finished eleven of her 13 career starts in the money, winning four. Her wins include the Jimmy Durante Stakes (Grade III) at Del Mar in 2020, and the Sands Point Stakes (Grade II) at Belmont Park last October.

Notably, Fluffy Socks finished a tight second in a field of nine in the Modesty Stakes (Grade III) at Churchill Downs in May.

Horse racing veteran Chad C. Brown trains Fluffy Socks for owner-breeder Head of Plains Partners LLC.

Race twelve — Pegasus Stakes

This is a $150,000 purse, 1-1/16 miles run on the dirt track for three-year-olds. The top two finishers in this race get entry and start fees waived in the Haskell Stakes on July 23.

I’m backing the third-favored (at 7/2) Dash Attack, ridden by newcomer Samuel Marin.

This chestnut colt has already firmly established himself among the top earners of 2022. He moneyed three of his six career starts, winning three. Those wins were his initial maiden attempt in December at Oaklawn Park, the Smarty Jones Stakes (Listed) at Oaklawn in January, and the Long Branch Stakes (Black Type) here at Monmouth just last month.

He was an also-ran in his other three races—all preps for the 2022 Kentucky Derby (Lexington Stakes, Rebel Stakes, and Southwest Stakes).

Kenneth G. McPeek trains Dash Attack for owners Catalyst Stable, Magdalena Racing, Kevin J. Pollard, and Patty Slevin.

Race thirteen — Monmouth Stakes (Grade III)

This is a $150,000 purse, 1-1/8 miles run on the grass course for three-year-olds and upward. My money’s on the third-favored 5/1 underdog Yes This Time, piloted by top jockey Paco Lopez.

This four-year-old chestnut colt moneyed nine of his 13 career starts, winning six—which gives him better stats than his competitors in this 12-horse field.

Yes This Time’s wins include the English Channel Stakes (Black Type) at Gulfstream Park in May of 2021, and the Kent Stakes (Grade III) at Delaware Park last July. He’s posted triple-digit speed figures for four of his last five races.

Thirty-year horse racing veteran Kelly J. Breen trains Yes This Time for Edge Racing.

Race fourteen — Salvator Mile Stakes (Grade III)

This is a $150,000 purse, one-mile run on the dirt track for three-year-olds and upward. The winning horse in this race gets entry and start fees waived for the Monmouth Cup on July 23. I’m betting on the 6/1 sleeper, Shirl’s Speight, with veteran jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson in the irons.

This five-year-old bay finished in the money six of his ten career starts, winning five. More importantly, his 2022 record refines those stats: three wins in four starts.

It almost seems like Shirl’s Speight got all of his losing out of the way early on, doesn’t it.

Those three wins include the Tampa Bay Stakes (Grade III) in February and the Maker’s Mark Mile Stakes (Grade I) at Keeneland in April.

Horse racing Hall of Fame inductee (2012) Roger L. Attfield trains Shirl’s Speight for owner-breeder Charles E. Fipke.

Saturday Horse Racing Picks for Santa Anita Park

Race three — Fasig-Tipton Debutante Stakes

This is a $100,000 purse, five-furlong dirt track run for two-year-old fillies. Yeah, I’m going to agree with the morning line here and bet the 6/5 favorite, Tom’s Regret, ridden by veteran jockey Tyler Baze.

This bay filly has the best record in this seven-horse field, with two money finishes in two career starts—both of them wins.

Besides her initial maiden attempt in April, Tom’s Regret also aced the Kentucky Juvenile Stakes (Black Type) in April.

Forty-year horse racing veteran Jorge Periban trains Tom’s Regret for owners Cinema Thoroughbreds, Michelle K. Beckerle, Saul Carrillo, Victor M. Flores, Burton Johnson, and Eugene Zondlo.

There’s also a good investment opportunity in a value show ticket on the 30/1 longshot Paddle On Polly, ridden by Emily A. Ellingwood.

Trained by co-owner Lisa Bernard for herself, Chris Fosselman, and Michael John Ryan, Paddle On Polly won her second maiden attempt just last month.

Race seven — Santa Maria Stakes (Grade II)

This is a $200,000 purse, 1-1/16 miles dirt track run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m betting the 5/2 underdog, Blue Stripe, with Tyler Baze in the irons.

This five-year-old Argentinian export has a better record than the rest of this six-horse field: Seven money finishes in eight career starts, five of them wins.

She made a name for herself in Argentina with wins in the Clásico Arturo R. y Arturo Bullrich (Grade II) in March 2021 and the Gran Premio Criadores (Grade I) in May 2021—both at the Hipodromo Argentino De Palermo.

Blue Stripe’s most recent win was the Santa Margarita Stakes (Grade II) at Santa Anita in April. She’s got this.

Thirty-year horse racing veteran Marcelo Polanco trains Blue Stripe for Pozo de Luna, Inc.

Race eleven — Fasig-Tipton Futurity

This is a $100,000 purse, five-furlong dirt track run for two-year-olds. I like the 5/1 third-favorite, Tahoma, ridden by top jockey Juan J. Hernandez.

This chestnut colt won his single career start last month here at Santa Anita, and his speed figure for the run is superior to those posted by his competitors in this nine-horse field.

Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup veteran Doug F. O’Neill trains Tahoma for West Coast Stables, LLC.

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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