We finally have a full card of racing on Thursday after a few very slow days on the racetrack. BetOnline has a total of seven racecourses to handicap today, as we inch closer to the weekend which will open up the stakes doors. On New Year’s Eve there are a couple at Fair Grounds worth a total of $100,000 each. New Year’s Day has four stakes races between Aqueduct Racetrack, Gulfstream Park, and Santa Anita Park.
The biggest race is at Santa Anita Park with the running of the $200,000 Joe Hernandez Stakes (Gr. 2). Santa Anita Park has three straight days of $200,000 stakes races. The San Gabriel Stakes (Gr. 2) might be the most notable of the three. There isn’t a single stakes event on New Year’s Eve, but that doesn’t mean we can’t cash in.
Aqueduct Racetrack returns on Thursday with eight races. There is $434,000 available in prize money. Let’s try to make some money of our own at Aqueduct in New York. Head below for our free Aqueduct Racetrack picks for December 31, 2020.
Post Time: 1:20 p.m. EST
The second race of the day at Aqueduct on Thursday is a $72,000 mile event on the dirt. This is the second biggest event on Thursday in New York. Honey Money and Wasp should have strong runs with a chance to win in the stretch. Honey Money is 1 for 5 in her career with four races at Aqueduct and one at Belmont. In her win, Honey Money beat Calidad by 6 lengths in an impressive run in a $60,000 event.
However, since then, Honey Money has finished 6th, 3rd, 4th in three outings. In her most recent showing, she finished 4th for a $72,000 purse on December 19 at Aqueduct. Prior to that race, it was more of the same, with Honey Money showing 3rd in similar form. Wasp should be the toughest runner for Honey Money to contain.
Wasp has been in terrific form to open his career, having finished 2nd, 1st, 2nd through three events. In her first trip to the winner’s circle, Wasp beat Lucky Girl by 10 ¼ lengths in a blowout for a $70,000 purse. She followed up to place 2nd behind Timeless Journey by a half length in a $72,000 race. Just got caught at the wire, but it was a nice run. Expect the $385,000 Wasp led by trainer Todd Pletcher and rider Kendrick Carmouche to bounce back with a win on Thursday.
Post Time: 2:18 p.m. EST
Distance:6 ½ Furlongs
Race 4 presents a $44,000 purse for 6 ½ furlongs of racing on the dirt. Flat Awesome Jenny and Daria’s Angel could get into a battle in the stretch for the top prize in Race 4. Flat Awesome Jenny is 7 for 22 in her career and is coming off a bold performance on December 5 in a win. She beat Rude Awaking by 3 ½ lengths in a $35,000 event after struggling to get into a groove since a win in June.
After winning on June 20 in a $45,000 race, Flat Awesome Jenny finished 9th, 5th, 4th, 7th until winning just under a month ago. In the 7th place finish, the mare didn’t do well in the $55,000 event. In any case, the class drop helped out nicely. Daria’s Angel is coming off a win as well. She was a comfortable 3 ¼ length winner over Color Chart in a $35,000 event.
That was her second win in four outings. Daria’s Angel won on February 28 over No Deal by 1 ½ lengths in a $50,000 assignment. Following that win, Daria’s Angel transferred to Saratoga for a $49,000 event and showed 3rd on August 7. She might have to deal with Flat Awesome Jenny in the stretch, but should be able to hold on. Daria’s Angel has a little more experience in bigger races and gets a more favorable post position.
Post Time: 3:50 p.m. EST
Our final selection at Aqueduct is the feature event of the afternoon. Race 7 is for a $82,000 purse on the dirt. Letmetakethiscall and Palomita arrive on Thursday in good form. Palomita, who will look to battle from the outside, is 1 for 8 in her career, with five straight outings in the top-3. Note that in seven of her eight outings, Palomita has been in the top-3.
In her most recent outing, she placed 2nd behind Sequin by 1 length in a $87,000 event in November. Since that entry, her work in the morning has been positive. In her most recent, she completed 5 furlongs in 1:00.60 on December 23. That’s good form and she should catch some money by post time.
Letmetakethiscall has been in top form, too. Letmetakethiscall is 10 for 29 in her career and in the top-3 in nine of her previous ten outings. In her most recent showing, Letmetakethiscall shook off Miss Jimmy for a 6 ¼ length win. She took over going into the stretch and cleared. It was the second win in her previous three races. She also won on August 29 in a $67,000 event over My Roxy Girl by 2 lengths. I like what Letmetakethiscall brings to the trace on Thursday at Aqueduct.