Horse Racing Picks for Thursday, April 23: Best Value Bets for Gulfstream Park and Oaklawn Park
Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Thursday’s racing will begin at Gulfstream Park at 1:00 p.m. ET, and at Oaklawn Park will begin at 2:05 p.m. ET
I have relatively few selections for Thursday, as compared to a normal day of racing – so let’s jump right into it.
Time: 2:39 p.m. ET
My top selection in this one-mile dirt route is the No. 4 Time to Two Step (4-1), who broke her maiden at this distance over the same surface in her last start.
Her last–out Beyer figure (52) is the highest in the field, and although she faces winners for the first time in this race, she has never missed the board in four starts (1-0-3) on fast dirt.
Furthermore, her trainer Peter Walder has had a lot of success in the second race after a layoff (45-180 days), winning at a 23% clip with a $2.38 ROI; and he is 19 for 72 (26%. $2.46 ROI) at the current Gulfstream meet with jockey Miguel Vasquez in the irons.
Time to Two Step is my favorite win bet of the day, and I’ll also single her to begin a Pick 3.
Time: 3:11 p.m. ET
To continue the Pick 3, I’ll utilize five horses in this middle leg, including the No. 1 Majestic Luna (20-1), No. 3 Tricky Magician (3-1), No. 5 Carbon Data (6-1), No. 6 Willing to Speed (5-2), and No. 8 Dermot (9-2), and will hope to get a bigger price to the winner’s circle.
Time: 3:43 p.m. ET
The No. 2 Untitled (6-5) drops down in class here after placing in the Gotham Stakes (G-2) on March 20 at Aqueduct.
Trainer Mark Casse wins 19% of the time in allowance races, and 16% of the time when waiting 31-60 days between races.
Untitled should be on or near the lead in a race with relatively little early speed, and the one-mile distance should continue to suit him perfectly.
He will likely go off as a 3/5 or shorter favorite by post time. But we’ll sandwich our Pick 3 with a couple of singles and hope for a larger return on investment.
Bets for Gulfstream Park, April 23
Favorite Win Bets
- Race 4: No. 4 Time to Two Step (4-1)
- Pick 3 (Race 4): 4 / 1,3,5,6,8 / 2 ($5 Pick 3 = $25 Ticket)
Time: 5:38 p.m. ET
The penultimate race of the day at Oaklawn will go 1 1/16 miles on the main track, and I like the favorite No. 3 Out of Trouble (7-2) for trainer Brad Cox.
His barn wins at a 25% clip in allowance races, and 23% of the time after layoffs between 61-180 days.
Out of Trouble has yet to hit the board in four starts on fast dirt, but her dam was was a stakes winner on dirt and she has also produced other main track stakes winners; she might prove too classy for this field.
Time: 6:09 p.m. ET
I’ll use the two inside horses in the final race of the day, another 1 1/16 mile route for female horses.
This is the first time against winners for the No. 1 Lucky Betty (3-1), who comes in with the second-best last-out Beyer (75) figure after winning by three lengths at the same distance at Oaklawn on April 4.
She’s only bested by the No. 2 Seattle Slang (9-2) who runs second off the layoff for Steve Asmussen – winning at a 21% rate over a 433 race sample in this spot.
Asmussen also wins 21% of the time with last-out winners and has a 21% win rate (76 for 366) with Ricardo Santana Jr. in the irons at Oaklawn. That number stands at 20% across all tracks (175 for 872), and you can never ignore that connection.
I’ll play the pair in a $5 exacta box and also use them to finish off a Daily Double.
Bets for Oaklawn Park, April 23
Favorite Win Bets
- Race 8: No. 3 Out of Trouble (7-2)
- Daily Double (Race 8): 3 / 1,2 ($5 Daily Double = $10 Ticket)