Horse Racing Picks for Friday Afternoon: Best Bets for Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita (May 22)


Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images.

If players thought last week was busy in the world of horse racing, they are going to love what’s in store starting today around the country.

Close to a dozen tracks are in action, highlighted by top-notch racing cards at Churchill Downs, Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park. Players will also get some exciting night racing as well, with strong fields in several events at Charles Town, Lone Star Park, Los Alamitos and Remington Park.

I am keying on the Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park cards, with these featured plays at those tracks:

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Gulfstream Park Picks

Race 2

Time: 1:15 p.m. ET

This might be the best race of the day at Gulfstream Park.

A wide-open field of 12 contenders go to the post seeking their first win in this $65,000 Maiden Special Weight event.

I am looking for a bit of a price and have settled on No. 7 Kodiak Mamba (4-1) as my top pick. Trainer Mark Casse gets top jockey Luis Saez aboard for Kodiak Mamba’s debut and should come out firing after some strong morning workouts leading up to this five-furlong sprint. Saez is one of the best on the Gulfstream turf and I expect a big showing from the son of Kodiac.

I am using up Kodiak Mamba and morning-line favorite No. 12 Golden Pal (8-5) on top in my exacta and trifecta wagers, with No. 4 Amanzi Yimpilo (6-1), No. 6 Congrats Again (5-1) and No. 9 Espia (9-2) on the bottom of the exotics.

The Bets:

  • $5 Win/Place/Show: No. 7 Kodiak Mamba (4-1) — $15 Ticket
  • $4 exacta wager: 7/12 over 6/7/9/12 — $24 Ticket
  • $1 trifecta wager: 7/12 over 4/7/9/12 over 4/6/7/9/12 — $24 Ticket

[Bet now at TVG and get your first bet 100% risk-free up to $300.]
Race 10

Time: 5:24 p.m. ET

I am making No. 2 Dillon Rocks (5-2) my top selection of the day in the Gulfstream Park finale. Trainer Jane Cibelli drops her charge into the $12,500 claiming event and gives leading jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., the mount. Cibellli cuts him back in distance from 1 1/16th to this one-mile affair after finishing third in his most recent start. Dillon Rocks won on this turf course two back and I think he returns to form with a rebound performance.

I am playing him across the board in Win-Place-Show wagering and on top of my exacta with No. 10 Star of Stars (7-2). Use No. 1 Youshouldbesolucky (5-1), No. 4 Bacano (3-1) and No. 7 Magical Mike (8-1) underneath in the wager.

The Bets:

  • $7 Win/Place/Show: No. 2 Dillon Rocks (5-2) — $21 Ticket
  • $2 exacta wager: 2/10 over 1/2/4/7/10 — $16 Ticket

Favorite Multi-Race Wager at Gulfstream Park

  • Pick 3 (Races 2-3-4): 6,7,9,12 / 1,2,5 / 4,7,8,11,12 ($0.50 Pick 3 = $30 Ticket)
  • Daily Double (Races 9 and 10): 1,2,3,6 / 2,4,7,10 ($1.50 Daily Double = $24 Ticket)

[Bet now at TVG and get your first bet 100% risk-free up to $300.]

Santa Anita Picks

Race 4

Time: 5:05 p.m. ET

I am backing No. 1 Manresa (8-5) as my top selection in this 1 1/16th-mile event for fillies and mares that are 3 years old and up. Manresa had a solid effort in her last outing at this same level and adds blinkers for jockey Brice Blanc. She is going to have to get into a good position with the rail draw, but I think this horse is the most talented in the eight-horse field and will break her maiden in style.

I am using Manresa and No. 8 Diva In Charge (5-2), with jockey Flavien Prat in the irons, on top in my exacta and trifecta wagers, with No. 3 New Year New Me (6-1), No. 5 Vannavanna Bo Bana (12-1) and No. 6 Suezaaana (5-1) underneath at some prices.

The Bets:

  • $4 Win/Place/Show: No. 1 Manresa (8-5) — $12 Ticket
  • $2 exacta wager: 1/8 over 1/3/6/8 — $12 Ticket
  • $2 trifecta wager: 1/8 over 1/6/8 over 1/3/5/6/8 — $24 Ticket

[Bet now at TVG and get your first bet 100% risk-free up to $300.]

Race 7

Time: 6:41 p.m. ET

I really like No. 10 Mayan Warrior (2-1) in this very interesting field of 10 claiming horses going six furlongs on the dirt.

Jockey Ruben Fuentes gets aboard the son of Warrior’s Reward and is going away the class of the group. His last three Beyer Speed Figures of 77-69-79 are far superior to any of his foes, with only two other contenders — No. 4 All I Can Say (15-1) and No. 7 Captain Buzzkill (5-1) — hitting in the 70s, both happening on just one occasion in their last three races.

Mayan Warrior is my top play of the day at Santa Anita and I am going to play him across the board in Win-Place-Show wagering.

I will use him on top with No. 8 Music To My Ears (5-2), with No. 5 King Parker (8-1), No. 6 Red Valor (6-1) and No. 7 Captain Buzzkill (5-1) in my exacta and trifecta wagers.

The bets:

  • $5 Win/Place/Show: No. 10 Mayan Warrior (2-1) — $15 Ticket
  • $4 exacta wager: 8/10 over 6/7/8/10 — $24 Ticket
  • $2 trifecta wager: 8/10 over 6/7/8/10 over 5/6/7/8/10 — $36 Ticket

Favorite Multi-Race Wager at Santa Anita

Daily Double (Races 4 and 5): 1 / 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 ($3 Daily Double = $24 Ticket)

[Bet now at TVG and get your first bet 100% risk-free up to $300.]

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