Best Horse Racing Picks for Thursday, October 14

| October 13, 2021 2:19 pm PDT

Looks like Thursday is my lucky day—I found mostly underdogs to tout in the races I assessed from Belmont Park, Gulfstream Park, and Presque Isle Downs.

The only M/L favorite I touted is in race seven at Presque Isle. The rest of my picks for Thursday include three second-favored, three fifth-favored, and even one sixth-favored entries.  Incidentally, is “sixth-favored” even a thing?

Be that as it may, remember that you can find the complete race cards for all three tracks at our best online racebooks.

Good luck!

Thursday Picks for Belmont Park

We’re starting on the main track with race three, a 6-1/2 furlong starter allowance run for three-year-olds and upward. My bet is on the 8/1 underdog, Copa, piloted by Michael J. Luzzi.

This three-year-old gelding finished in the money five of his 11 career starts, winning three. Almost all of his success has been in 2021—of his five starts last year, he moneyed only one, but since he broke his maiden at Fair Grounds in February, he’s missed the winner’s circle only once (two for three).

Copa is trained by owner Daniel Laxmeter.

Let’s move to the turf for race five, a seven-furlong allowance optional claiming run for New York-bred three-year-olds and upward.

I’m betting my two dollars on the third-favored (at 6/1) Mo Faith, with veteran jockey John R. Velazquez in the irons.

This four-year-old colt moneyed three of his six career starts, winning two—which gives him the statistical edge in this 14-horse field.

Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup veteran Kelly J. Breen trains Mo Faith for owner-breeder ELR Corp.

Race eight is a one-mile allowance run on the turf for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I like the second-favored Messidor, ridden by Joel Rosario.

This Irish import moneyed seven of her ten career starts, winning two. Notably, she finished third in the Patton Stakes (Listed) at Dundalk in County Louth, Ireland, last March.

Christophe Clement trains Messidor for Blue Devil Racing Stable (Holliday).

Thursday’s Picks for Gulfstream Park

Let’s start on the main track with race two, a six-panel allowance optional claiming run for two-year-olds. I’m calling this one for the 7/2 second-favored Yes I’m a Beast, with veteran jockey Chantal Sutherland aboard.

In a short field of five like this one, this filly is a real stand-out: Three money finishes in four career starts, two of those wins.

Jorge Delgado trains Yes I’m a Beast for Heehaw Racing. Delgado put Sutherland in the irons for Yes I’m a Beast’s most recent victory, a claiming race at Gulfstream last month.

Race five is a 6-1/2 furlong allowance optional claiming run on the main track for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I like the second-favored (at 5/2) Corey, ridden by top jockey Edwin Gonzalez.

This three-year-old filly moneyed nine of her ten career starts, winning five. She’ll see some solid competition from the rest of this six-horse field, but I see her in the winner’s circle when the dust settles.

Breeders’ Cup veteran Peter R. Walder trains Corey for EKB Stables.

For race seven—a one-mile starter optional claiming run on the main track for three-year-olds and upward—I’m touting the 6/1 underdog, Big Thorn, with veteran jockey Jesus M. Rios in the irons.

This three-year-old gelding moneyed five of his eight career starts, winning two, including the Juvenile Turf Stakes (Black Type) at Gulfstream Park West last November. He also finished third in the Smarty Jones Stakes (Listed) at Oaklawn Park this past January. He’ll do.

Regularly ranked among the top 100 in his profession, David Fawkes trains Big Thorn for owners-breeders Alex and JoAnn Lieblong.

My Thursday Picks for Presque Isle Downs

We’re on the all-weather track for race three, a one-mile and 70 yards allowance race for Pennsylvania-bred three-year-olds and upward. My money’s on the 10/1 underdog, Pratt, piloted by veteran jockey Willie Martinez.

This four-year-old gelding’s record compares well to that of the morning-line favorite—Pratt moneyed six of his 12 career starts, winning one.

William P. Stites trains Pratt for owner-breeder JRita Young Thoroughbreds LLC.

For race six—a six-panel claiming run on the all-weather track for fillies and mares three years old and upward that have never won three races—I’m backing the 5/1 sleeper, Every Little Bit, with top jockey Pablo Morales aboard.

This three-year-old filly has a slight edge on Tactical Pajamas, the morning-line favorite, having moneyed five of her seven career starts, winning two.

The actual edge comes in 2021, where both fillies moneyed four of their six starts, winning two. Two of the favorite’s money finishes were in third place, while Every Little Bit moneyed twice with second-place finishes. Every little bit, indeed.

With more than two decades in the business, Lance Stokes trains Every Little Bit for owner Shana Lucarelli. Stokes has chosen Pablo Morales to saddle Every Little Bit for all seven of her career starts.

Race seven is a six-furlong allowance run on the all-weather track for three-year-olds and upward. I’m calling this one for the 5/2 morning-line favorite, Patrol, ridden by Scott Spieth.

This four-year-old gelding finished in the money seven of his 13 career starts, winning five. He’s currently on a three-win spree at Presque Isle. He’s my no-brainer pick for Thursday.

Patrol is trained by owner M. Anthony Ferraro, who has more than three decades of experience in the industry. Ferraro put Spieth in the irons for Patrol’s most recent victory.

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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