Top Horse Racing Bets for Friday, May 21, 2021

| May 21, 2021 4:02 am PDT

I decided to go with Charles Town Races, Golden Gate Fields, and Lone Star Park for my Friday racing picks—and I was glad that I did because I found plenty of underdogs at all three. Charles Town was the most bountiful in longer-odds bets, with one second and two third-favored entries filling my picks card there.

Don’t forget that I cover three races at three tracks for Friday’s picks, but you can find all the horses at all three tracks—along with the odds, the jockeys, and the wagering options—at any of the top online racebooks.

Good luck!

My Friday Picks for Charles Town Races

Let’s start with race two, a 6-1/2 furlong main track run for West Virginia-bred three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting on the second-favored entry (at 2/1)—William and Mary, with top jockey Gerald Almodovar in the irons.

Like most of us, the six-year-old gelding didn’t get much accomplished in 2020. His ramp-up this year has been slow, too.

But, his full record speaks for itself: 14 career money finishes in 23 career starts, eight of them wins, all of which puts him statistically ahead of the favorite.

Nearly a third of his starts have been stakes races, and he performed well in those: Five money finishes—three of them wins—in seven stakes runs. He’s also performed well in recent workouts.

William and Mary are training with local legend James W. Casey for his own Taylor Mountain Farm, LLC.

In race five—a 1-1/16 mile main track run for three-year-olds and upward—I’m inclined to buy a win ticket on the third-favored (at 6/1) entry, Gio Dude.

This six-year-old gelding has a statistical advantage over the 8/5 favorite—for the record, Gio Dude moneyed 20 of his 32 career starts, winning seven of them.

Gio Dude is trained by Michael E. Jones, Jr. and owned by Sara Sloan. Jones has tapped Denis Araujo to ride for this race; Araujo most recently rode Gio Dude to a third-place finish at Charles Town on April 28th.

Race seven is a 4-1/2 furlong main track run for West Virginia-bred three-year-olds and upward. My money is going to be on the third-favored (at 7/2), Nico.

This four-year-old colt has moneyed every one of his five career starts, winning two of them—and two of those money finishes were seconds in Black Type stakes races. Nico is in training to Javier Contreras for owner-breeder O’Sullivan Farms LLC.

Contreras has chosen top jockey Antonio Lopez to saddle Nico for this run.

Friday Picks for Golden Gate Fields

Starting with race two—a 1-1/16 mile all-weather track run for fillies and mares—I’m betting on the second-favored entry (at 2/1): Northwest Factor.

All five of the horses in this run have campaigned at the stakes level to one degree or another, but while the favorite has placed in a couple of Grade III matches, Northwest Factor has won two Black Type stakes races.

I’m not saying this won’t be a tight race, but I believe Northwest Factor has what it takes to prevail.

Manuel Badilla, who trains Northwest Factor for owner Debra Medlock, has tapped veteran jockey Irving Orozco for this run. Orozco has been aboard for Northwest Factor’s most recent four races.

Switching to the turf for race six, we have ourselves a 1-1/8 mile grass run for three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting on the 9/5 morning line favorite, King of Speed.

While I’d prefer this five-year-old gelding having a better record—ten money finishes in 25 career starts, three of those wins—I have to note that many of his unproductive starts were in stakes races.

He pulled fourth in the San Simeon Stakes (Grade III) in 2020, which is a bit more impressive than a few claiming-race wins back in 2019.

I have no complaints about the jockey that trainer/co-owner Jeff Bonde has tapped for this ride: Assael Espinoza is having a very good 2021.

In race eight—a 1-1/16 turf run for three-year-olds and upward—I’m betting my money on the fourth-favored (at 6/1) Anitanewmercedes.

This five-year-old gelding finished in the money six of his thirteen career starts, and he won four of those, which gives him the best record in this seven-horse field. His jockey for this run is Assael Espinoza, who (as you may recall me mentioning) is having an excellent year.

Anitanewmercedes is in training to Andy Mathis—who was among the top 100 trainers in 2020 for wins—for owner-breeder Curt Rollins.

Friday’s Picks for Lone Star Park

I’m starting with race six at Lone Star—a 6-1/2 furlong main track run for Texas-registered three-year-olds and upward. My bet is on the 2/1 morning line favorite, Gold Pilot.

This four-year-old gelding moneyed seven of his ten career starts, winning two of them. Of this eight-horse field, Gold Pilot has the most success in stakes-level competition. W. Bret Calhoun, who trains Gold Pilot for owners Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch, picked jockey Reylu Gutierrez for this run.

For race eight—a six-furlong main track run for three-year-olds and upward—I’m going with the fourth-favored (at 9/2) entry, General Trev.

This four-year-old gelding finished in the money all five of his career starts, winning his initial maiden run in February 2020 and a claiming race in February 2021 (he only raced twice in 2020). His record puts him in the lead among his fellow competitors in this six-horse field.

Karl Broberg, who trains General Trev for owner Stanford D. Cole, has tapped Reylu Gutierrez for this run.

Race nine moves us to the turf course for a one-mile grass run for Texas-registered three-year-olds and upward. I’m going to agree with the morning line a bet on the 4/5 favorite, John Dough.

This isn’t a “pick the best horse and bet ‘em” situation. This is a “pick the least-worst horse and hold your nose while you bet ‘em” situation.

Here’s the four-year-old gelding John Dough‘s record: Two money finishes in eight career starts, one of those a win—his very first maiden run back in March of 2020.

Steve Asmussen, who trains John Dough for owner-breeder Rose Mary Chandler, has chosen veteran jockey Stewart Elliott for this ride. Elliott has been aboard for John Dough’s most recent three starts.

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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