Saturday is the raceday of the week in horse racing. Every sport has its day of the week, and horse racing’s biggest races happen to fall on Saturday, generally. The NFL is for Sunday, while horse racing is a Saturday sport. At least for the big horses and trainers. December is a bit of a slow month when it comes to horse racing, but the Pegasus events and the Saudi Cup await on the other side of this year. Let’s just hope that 2021 is a much better year than 2020 and we can get over the Covid-19 pandemic at some point. The $30,000,000 Saudi Cup Weekend is scheduled for February 19-20. The feature race is worth a whopping prize of $20,000,000. And you thought that the Breeders’ Cup Classic carried a big purse.
BetOnline has plenty of racing to get to on Saturday, with ten racecourses offering betting. The big event of the day is at Los Alamitos Race Course with the running of the $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity. There are also three $100,000 races, two at Gulfstream Park and another at Aqueduct Racetrack. We will open the day at Aqueduct Racetrack where they have $709,000 in prize money available in New York. Head below for our free Aqueduct Racetrack picks for December 19, 2020.
Post Time: 12:50 p.m. EST
Race 3 is a 6-furlong event on the dirt for a $55,000 purse. The No. 1 and No. 4 horse are ones to watch in the race. Sirenic stands a decent chance of scoring the win as a 7/2 horse. She is 2 for 8 in her career and could strike on Saturday. Sirenic has finished in the top-2 in three of eight races. Inconsistent is one way to describe Sirenic, who is still trying to find her “zone”. She’s been winless in three races after winning on July 5 at Ellis Park.
Sirenic beat Just Fly by 5 ½ lengths in a $13,500 event. Note that only three horses ran in that race, so there wasn’t much competition to be had. Sirenic ran well in her most recent performance, having placed 2nd behind Suz by a neck for a $44,000 purse. That was an encouraging effort after finishing 6th and 4th after the win she won on July 5. Sirenic will have to contend with Invaluable from the inside.
Invaluable is the most consistent horse, and has finished in the top-2 in five straight events. That included two wins on September 12 and October 12. In her last win, Invaluable defeated Dare to Try by 3 ½ lengths in a $39,000 event. She has since gone 2nd in back-to-back outings, with a ¾ length loss for a $55,000 purse in her last race. Invaluable likely has the best chance of scoring the top prize.
Post Time: 2:15 p.m. EST
Distance:6 ½ Furlongs
Race 6 is a 6 ½ furlong event for a $84,000 purse on the main track. Cost Basis and Happy Farm are on my watchlist in this 12-horse field. Cost Basis has finished 7th, 2nd, 1st, 4th, 1st in his career, so two wins in his previous three performances. She beat Kingmeister by ¾ lengths for a $70,000 purse in an impressive showing.
Cost Basis came back to finish 4th in a $51,000 assignment on February 22, and then a 2 ½ length winner over Foolish Ghost for a $82,000 purse on October 30. That marked a nice improvement in form for Cost Basis. If she runs like that again, a win should be within her reach on Saturday. If her last workout is any indication, then Cost Basis should have a good path.
Cost Basis was clocked at 47.20 seconds on December 11. This is a $350,000 horse that was bred to win a race in this class. Happy Farm is 8 for 21 in his career, and has finished in the top-2 in seven straight races, which dates back to last spring in April of 2019.
That includes four wins from July 5 to December 8, 2019, and a Grade 3 win in the $200,000 Fall Highweight Handicap by ¾ lengths. Since then, Happy Farm has finished 2nd in back-to-back races. In his most recent outing, in the $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap (Gr. 3) on March 7. Happy Farm was 1 ¼ lengths behind for the win in that race. Well down in class for Saturday, expect a winning run for Happy Farm.
Post Time: 2:45 p.m. EST
Race 7 is for a $44,000 purse covering 6 furlongs on the dirt. Shamrocked and Vineyard Sound are expected to run well for a win in Race 7. Shamrocked is 4 for 23 in his career, and has been showing nice form recently. He has been in the top-3 in three straight performances, with his best race on October 17 at Belmont Park. He placed 2nd behind Vineyard Sound by a half length in that race, as he fought but didn’t hold up.
Shamrocked came back on November 13 to show 3rd in a $39,000 assignment. This should be tough, but he did come close to Vineyard Sound not too long ago. A similar effort will put him close again. Vineyard Sound is 6 for 19 in his career and on a heater at the moment. He can’t miss at the moment, with Vineyard Sound going into Saturday looking for four straight wins. Vineyard Sound has been a winner since a victory at Saratoga on September 5. In his most recent appearance, Vineyard Sound beat McErin by a neck for a $55,000 purse. A similar effort should be sufficient.