There is a lot of horse racing to get to Friday with 12 racecourses available for wagering at BetOnline. There are three stakes races worth at least $100,000 on the schedule in the US on Friday. There are two $150,000 stakes races at Oaklawn Park, with the running of the Rainbow Stakes and Rainbow Miss Stakes. Oaklawn Park gets the spotlight on Saturday again this week.
Oaklawn has two $1,000,000 races with the running of the Apple Blossom Handicap (Gr. 1) and Oaklawn Handicap (Gr. 2). These are the biggest events left before Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs on May 1. If it feels like the Kentucky Derby was just run, then you are right because for the first time ever, the Derby was postponed to October instead of the first weekend in May.
We’re back to a May Kentucky Derby this year. In our first stop on Friday, we’re at Aqueduct Racetrack. It was a profitable day in Queens yesterday, with two winners and a scratched horse for a 2-0-1 outing. Aqueduct has eight events on the docket worth $378,000 in prize money. Head below for our free Aqueduct Racetrack picks for April 16, 2021.
Post Time: 1:53 p.m. EST
In Race 2 at Aqueduct Racetrack, seven horses are expected to run a mile for a $28,000 purse. Trappeze Artist and Icy Dude should be watched closely in the stretch in this race. Trappeze Artist is 2 for 16 in his career and has been in fine form recently. He has finished 3rd, 5th, 3rd, 1st in his previous four attempts. Trappeze Artist is coming off a win March 28 over Macho Boy by a neck in a $28,000 event.
He won as a longshot in that race after showing 3rd on March 6 in a similar $28,000 race. It was the first win for Trappeze Artist since November 4, 2018 as a first-time runner. With a similar performance, Trappeze Artist should be close at the wire. Icy Dude has been a consistent force for over a year. He’s finished top-2 in seven out of eight performances.
Icy Dude has gone 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd in his last four outings. He beat General J C by 6 ½ lengths for a $12,500 purse, and then placed 2nd in three straight. Icy Dude placed 2nd behind King of American by a neck for a $28,000 purse at Aqueduct on March 26. That was a slightly tougher race, with Icy Dude only coming a neck away from a win. This looks like a good spot for a win for Icy Dude.
Post Time: 3:26 p.m. EST
Race 5 is a $55,000 event covering a mile on the dirt. Seven horses are slated to run a mile on the dirt in this event. Supreme Aura and Malibu Pro should have a strong say in the stretch in this event. Supreme Aura is 4 for 20 in his career, and has finished top-3 in four of his previous six performances.
In his most recent win, Supreme Aura beat California Night by 1 ½ lengths for a $55,000 purse. Since the win, he has gone 8th, 2nd, 2nd, 4th. Most recently, Supreme Aura finished 4th in the $60,000 More To Tell Stakes on March 27. Malibu Pro is 9 for 50 in his career, and is winless since a win on March 15.
He beat Control Group by 2 ½ lengths in that race. Control Group is a strong horse and was the favorite in that event. Malibu Pro participated in the More To Tell Stakes with Supreme Aura. He had the upper hand to place 2nd ahead of Supreme Aura by 7 ½ lengths, and a neck behind Control Group in a rematch. This looks more than a winnable assignment for Malibu Pro on Friday afternoon.
Post Time: 5:07 p.m. EST
Race 8 is a $28,000 event covering 6 furlongs at Aqueduct. Tuff Bird and Madera have to be shortlisted in this event. Tuff Bird is 2 for 12 in her career, finishing 3rd, 1st, 6th in her career in the last three outings. She beat Empress Luciana by 5 ¾ lengths in a $28,000 assignment. Tuff Bird was unable to follow up and faltered in her next race, though.
She wasn’t anywhere close in this race, going 6th for dead last in a $37,000 event up in class. That was disappointing, as Tuff Bird weakened in the stretch from 2nd to 6th. Madera participated in that race and fared much better. She placed 2nd in that race, well ahead of Tuff Bird by almost 25 lengths.
Madera was the favorite in that race, so finishing 3 ½ lengths behind Ok Honey wasn’t the intention for her. In any case, it was still a solid run and she was involved in the race. Tuff Bird was completely absent. However, if Tuff Bird wants to run today, expect her to bounce back to winnable form.
I think she’ll show improvement, but Madera should have her at the wire. Madera has finished 3rd, 1st, 3rd, 1st, 2nd in her career and has shown up for all of her assignments so far. Based in recent form, it’s hard to argue that she won’t have a good run at the top prize today.