Top Horse Racing Bets for Thursday, May 27, 2021
I found plenty of underdogs to tout in the races I chose from three of my favorite tracks; Charles Town Races, Churchill Downs, and Evangeline Downs.
While it was all underdogs at Charles Town, I was forced to back the favorites in one race at each of the other two.
Still, odds are long enough on most of my recommendations for Thursday’s wagering that I believe our wallets won’t mind the pay window’s occasional parsimony (yeah, I finally got that thesaurus I was saving up for.)
My Thursday Picks for Charles Town Races
It’s all about native sons and daughters at Charles Town for Thursday.
In race one, a 4-1/2 furlong main track allowance run for West Virginia-bred fillies and mares; I’m betting on Talent Expected, the second-favored entry at 5/2.
This three-year-old filly finished in the money for three of her five career starts, winning two.
One of the top trainers at Charles Town, Tim Grams, trains Talent Expected for owner Dennis P. Finger. Grams has Fredy Peltroche aboard for this run.
For race six—a 6-1/2 furlong main track claiming race for West Virginia-bred fillies and mares—I’m buying a win ticket on the fourth-favored Hollywood Brown (at 6/1).
This three-year-old filly moneyed two of her three career starts, with one win—her maiden graduation here at Charles Town just this month.
Jeffrey S. Allen trains Hollywood Brown for owner/breeder Mark Becraft. Allen has tapped Reshawn Latchman to pilot for this run.
Race seven is a 6-1/2 furlong main track allowance run for West Virginia-bred three-year-olds and upward. My money is on the third-favored (at 5/1) Missionsninetynine. This three-year-old gelding finished in the money two of his four career starts, winning one—his initial maiden race.
Veteran West Virginia trainer Jim Casey is training Missionsninetynine for Taylor Mountain Farms—the stable, thoroughbred Casey and his wife founded decades ago, and he’s selected top jockey Gerald Almodovar to fill the irons for this run.
Almodovar has ridden Missionsninetynine for all four of his races, most recently to a sixth-place finish in the ungraded Coin Collector Stakes at Charles Town in early May.
Thursday’s Picks for Churchill Downs
Starting with race two—a 6-1/2 furlong claiming race for three-year-old fillies—I’m betting on the 5/2 morning line favorite, Melting Snow.
In training to the top-ranked Tom Amoss for owner Vested Interest Racing, Melting Snow has a solid record of four money finishes in six career starts, three of those wins.
Amoss has tapped James Graham to saddle Melting Snow for this ride.
Moving to the turf for race six—a 1-1/16 mile claiming run for fillies and mares—I’m putting my money on the second-favored (at 5/2) Hat Tip.
This five-year-old mare had money finishes in nine of her 17 career starts, including four wins. She also has a slight edge in her speed figures over the morning-line favorite.
Brian Williamson trains Hat Tip for his wife, Lyda Williamson, and his mother-in-law, Nancy A. Varier. He’s tapped veteran jockey Adam Beschizza to fill the irons for this run. Beschizza most recently rode Hat Tip to a second-place finish in a starter allowance race at Keeneland in April.
And in race seven, a seven-furlong allowance optional claiming run for three-year-olds and upward, I’m going with the third-favored (at 5/1) Whiskey Double.
This three-year-old colt is trained by Steve Asmussen for Winchell Thoroughbreds and has an excellent record: Five money finishes in six career starts, including two wins.
Two of his money finishes include a second-place in April Bay Shore Stakes (Grade III) at Aqueduct in April and a third-place in the Pat Day Mile Stakes (Grade II) at Churchill Downs earlier this month.
Asmussen has had Ricardo Santana, Jr. in the irons for both of Whiskey Double’s wins as well as for the Pat Day Mile Stakes, and Santana will be aboard for this race, as well.
Thursday Picks for Evangeline Downs
I’m starting with race two at Evangeline—a seven-furlong claiming race for Louisiana-bred three-year-olds and upward.
Still, I’m going to back the second-favored Social Misfit, owing to the 12-year-old gelding’s very slight advantage in win percentage, his performance in stakes races, and his jockey for this run, Diego Saenz.
For the record, Social Misfit—trained by Isai V. Gonzalez for his younger brother, Adriel Gonzalez—finished in the money 57 of his 97 career starts, winning 26. Seven of those money finishes were in stakes races, and he crossed the wire first in the 2018 Louisiana Legends Classic Stakes (Black Type) at Evangeline.
For race three, a five-furlong turf run for three-year-olds and upward, I’m going with the second-favored (at 5/2) Drakkar.
This six-year-old gelding—trained by Samuel Breaux for owner/breeder Marcia Jo LaMarche—finished in the money for seven of his 13 career starts, winning three, which gives him a slight statistical lead over the morning-line favorite.
Breaux, regularly ranked among the top trainers in both wins and earnings, has tapped jockey Carlos L. Marquez for this ride.
In race seven—a 7-1/2 furlong turf-course claiming race for three-year-olds and upward—I’m sticking with the 8/5 morning line favorite, Astounding.
Trained by top-ranked trainer Karl Broberg for owner End Zone Athletics, Inc., the nine-year-old Astounding had money finishes in 17 of his 27 career starts, with six wins.
Broberg has veteran jockey Tim Thornton in the irons for this run.