We have a full card of horse racing action on Thursday with nine tracks hosting cards today. Aqueduct Racetrack, Fair Grounds, and Gulfstream Park headline the racing for the day. Laurel Park and Turfway Park are in the next tier. In any case, this means absolutely nothing to me because I go whenever I think there’s winners.
The only tracks I stay away from are the really small local racecourses that you can’t find on the online racebooks at sportsbooks. If I’m attending one of those tracks in person, sure, for the entertainment value. The track I’m eyeballing to get the day going on Thursday is in New York at Aqueduct.
Aqueduct Racetrack has eight races on the card worth a total of $440,000 in play on Thursday. There are no stakes events on the racecard, but still a fairly big payday for a Thursday. Head below for our free Aqueduct Racetrack picks for December 17, 2020. Keep an eye on our horse racing picks for three more selections today.
Post Time: 1:20 p.m. EST
Race 2 gets us going at Aqueduct on Thursday for $55,000 covering 7 furlongs on the dirt. The most likely suspects to win here include Fire Sword and Sam and Sy. These are two young horses that have experienced some nice success early on. Fire Sword made a perfect debut on October 15 at Keeneland. He arrived in the winner’s circle as a rookie in a $25,000 event. Fire Sword beat Go West by 4 ½ lengths to score an easy win. He had the lead at the ¼ pole by a head, and then cruised from there and was ridden out in the stretch. That performance promoted a hike in class for today.
The $75,000 Sam and Sy won as a rookie as well. He beat Bowing Snowman in a blowout by 13 ¾ lengths. Sam and Sy had a short lead at the ½ pole, and then extended and ran up the score going into the stretch, taking a 7 ½ lead and making it a 13 ¾ length win. The $38,000 event was much too easy, and up in class Sam and Sy went in his next outing. He ran well there too, but was denied at the wire in a class race for a $40,500 purse. Nevertheless, it was a good run for Sam and Sy and deserves a spot in this event. It might be up in class, but the competition isn’t too tough. If he wants to run, a win shouldn’t be out of reach.
Post Time: 2:15 p.m. EST
Race 4 is for a $28,000 purse on the dirt covering a mile on Thursday afternoon. Blood Moon is getting a nice morning-line price at 8/1 in this event. He is 2 for 15 in his career and had some success recently. Blood Moon beat Super Wicked by Charm 12 ½ lengths in an impressive performance for a $26,000 purse on October 2. If Blood Moon runs like that, then a win should be easy on Thursday afternoon.
However, Blood Moon regressed going from 2nd in a $55,000 event behind Striking Speed by 2 ½ lengths. Then Blood Moon finished 8th in another $55,000 event. While that wasn’t as successful as the race on October 2 at Belmont Park, Blood Moon is back down in class and should run a better race on Thursday. That’s to be expected in this class against this company.
Vitesse is 2 for 5 with a nice win rate to open his career. Both of his wins have been at Aqueduct Racetrack, with a victory on February 14 over Little Mazzy for a $33,000 purse. Vitesse won with ease, as he cleared his foe by 8 ¼ lengths. Prior to that entry, Vitesse finished 4th, so it was a nice uptick in form for Vitesse. A performance like in his most recent showing on November 15 would be more than enough for a win. I will give Vitesse the nod to win.