Horse Racing Picks for Friday, May 15: Best Bets and Exotics for Gulfstream Park, Charles Town
Ross Holburt/Racing Photos via Getty Images
Horse racing gets a whole lot more exciting around the country this week, with several tracks returning to action after states began easing their respective guidelines tied to social distancing and the global pandemic.
Santa Anita Park in California is the biggest venue back in the fold, kicking off its weekend slate today with a nine-race lineup. Charles Town Races in West Virginia and Golden Gate Fields in northern California came back on the scene Thursday, showcasing full cards with deep fields and plenty of sizable payouts at the wagering windows.
That said, these are my featured plays in today’s races.
This file has been updated after Race 4 has been moved to the dirt.
Time: 2:41 p.m. ET
This shape of this race totally changed after turf racing was moved to the dirt due to tropical-weather conditions in South Florida.
Only seven horses will enter the starting gate, all looking for their first career win in this $45,000 race for maiden claimers.
My top selection in this five-furlong sprint is coming at a bit of a price in No. 4 Fluent In Sarcasm (10-1), who comes into the race for trainer Bob Hess, Jr., and jockey Nik Juarez. The Kantheros-sired filly should be able to work out a nice inside trip and I think she’s more than capable of springing the upset on this move to the off track.
I am using Fluent In Sarcasm and morning-line favorite No. 10 Sagamore Mischief (2-1) paired on top in my exacta wager, with No. 5 Charliecando (6-1), No. 8 Allegedly Perfect (8-1) and No. 11 Handsome Guy (15-1) underneath to fill out the play.
$4 Win/Place/Show: No. 4 Fluent In Sarcasm (10-1) — $12Ticket
$1.50 exacta wager: 4/10 over 4/5/8/10/11 — $12 Ticket
$1 trifecta wager: 4/10 over 4/5/8/10 over 4/5/8/10/11 — $18 Ticket
Race 10: The $75,000 Hollywood Wildcat
Time: 5:49 p.m. ET
My top pick in the day’s featured race comes via No. 6 Vigilantes Way, who currently sits at a juicy 8-1 odds on the morning line. Jockey Edgard Zayas gets the call for veteran trainer Shug McGaughey on Vigilantes Way, who is taking a step up in class after breaking her maiden in style at Tampa Bay Downs. She won that race over seven furlongs and shouldn’t mind the extra distance in the 1 1/16-mile affair.
I am playing Vigilantes Way across the board and with No. 3 Tonalist’s Shape (8-5), No. 5 Up In Smoke (4-1) and No. 8 Cheermeister (7-2) in my exacta wagering.
- Pick 3 (Races 7-8-9): 2,4,10 / 1,6,7 / 3,5,7,10 ($1 Pick 3 = $36 Ticket)
- $4 Win/Place/Show: No. 6 Vigilantes Way (8-1) — $12 Ticket
- $2 exacta wager: 3/6 over 3/5/6/8 — $12 Ticket
- Pick 3 (Races 7-8-9): 2,5,6 / 1,6,7 / 3,5,7,10 ($1 Pick 3 = $36 Ticket)
Time: 7:54 p.m. ET
My best bet for the night at Charles Town comes right here with No. 3 Grandpa Louie (9-5) in this $27,000 maiden sprint, going 4 1/2 furlongs.
Trainer Jeff Runco, arguably one of the most underrated trainers on the East Coast, sends out No. 3 Grandpa Louie after he finished second in race here back on February 26. It was the Rockingham Ranch-owned colt’s first try at Charles Town after starting his career with six races on the West Coast.
Runco, whose horses have finished in the money 58% of the time in 110 starts this campaign, puts jockey Arnaldo Bocachica aboard for a second time. Bocachica has finished in the money an impressive 53% of the time, highlighted by 43 victories.
I am using Grandpa Louie on top in my exacta and trifecta wagers, along with No. 1 Richie’s B L (4-1), and putting favorite No. 5 Cyclobomb (2-1), No. 6 Gunter (8-1) and No. 7 A Is for Artist (8-1) underneath.
- $4 Win/Place/Show: No. 3 Grandpa Louie (9-5) — $12 Ticket
- $2 exacta wager: 1/3 over 1/3/5/6/7 — $16 Ticket
- $2 trifecta wager: 1/3 over 1/3/7 over 1/3/5/6/7 — $24 Ticket
Time: 10:04 p.m. ET
My top selection is No. 1 Parisian Diva (9-5) in this allowance event for fillies and mares (female horses), ages 3 years old and upward.
Trainer Stacey R. Viands has had the favorite on the shelf for more than seven months, with her last race coming back on October 12 at Charles Town. Parisian Diva was victorious that night in the $75,000 stakes event and should find the winner’s circle with regular rider J.D. Acosta aboard.
Viands has enjoyed nothing but success at Charles Town with Parisian Diva, sending her out 12 times and finding the winner’s circle in eight of those races. She has only finished out of the money once in 12 tries at the track.
I am singling Parisian Diva on top in my exotic wagering and will use No. 2 Amelia Bedelia (7-2), No. 6 Lucille of Troy (8-1), No. 8 Such Great Heights (8-1) and No. 10 Super Donna G (12-1) on the tickets.
- $5 Win/Place/Show: No. 1 Parisian Diva (9-5) — $15 Ticket
- $4 exacta wager: 1 over 2/6/8/10 — $16 Ticket
- $1.50 trifecta wager: 1 over 2/6/8/10 over 2/6/8/10 — $18 Ticket
- Daily Double (Races 8 and 9): 1,2,8 / 1,3,4,6 ($3 Daily Double = $36 Ticket)