We have a lot of racing to get to Thursday on the racecourse. BetOnline has 12 active tracks available for betting on Thursday. If you are looking for stakes racing, you are going to have to wait because there isn’t an event listed. Saturday is a big day for stakes events, though, as there are 22 scheduled.
You can find everything from a small $15,000 stakes event at Fonner Park to a $750,000 event at Oaklawn Park with the running of the Southwest Stakes (Gr. 3). The most important race is at Gulfstream Park, though. The $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (Gr. 2) comes with points towards the Kentucky Derby, with 50 going to the winner. It is one of four Grade 2 races at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
TheSportsGeek will open the day at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens on Thursday. Aqueduct Racetrack has a total of $373,000 in prize money available across eight races. Head below for our free Aqueduct Racetrack picks for February 25, 2021.
Post Time: 1:51 p.m. EST
A $45,000 event on the dirt will get us started on Thursday at Aqueduct Racetrack. Seven horses are scheduled to run in this race, with Princess Pinky and Miss Peppina likely front runners to score the top prize. Princess Pinky has one win in her career, but that was in the spring of 2019. She has gone winless in five straight outings, and finally got close again in her most recent showing.
It’s the best we’ve seen of Princess Pinky since 2019. Princess Pinky placed 2nd behind Halo City by 5 ¾ lengths in a $45,000 event. Prior to that effort, Princess Pinky showed 3rd in another $45,000 race. She has been accustomed to at least being competitive in this class. Expect her to run a solid race in this one.
It might require a stumble or bobble from Miss Peppina to get into the winner’s circle, though.Miss Peppina has graded experience, appearing in a Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3 race in the past. Overall, she has a win in eight attempts, and has been running in consistent form recently. Miss Peppina has shown 3rd in three straight outings.
In her most recent race, Miss Peppina finished 3rd at Gulfstream Park in a $44,000 assignment. She was only 3 ¼ lengths back of a win there, though, and likely would have beaten Princess Pinky if they were on the same track. Her speed rating of 84 was much more impressive than Princess Pinky’s 54. Similar form should be sufficient for Miss Peppina.
Post Time: 2:55 p.m. EST
In Race 4 at Aqueduct Racetrack, we have a mile race on the dirt for a $43,000 purse. Wicked Easy and Doublepour are likely going to cut this race close at the wire. Wicked Easy is winless in four starts, finishing 6th, 5th, 2nd, 5th. In the best performance of his career, he placed 2nd behind Jacks American Pie by 9 ½ lengths in a $26,500 assignment.
Since that performance, Wicked Easy struggled to get into the mix on December 4. He finished 5th up in class in a $43,000 event. Despite the disappointing finish, Wicked Easy will stay in the $43,000 class after a brief layoff. This shouldn’t be tougher than that race, though, and there have been some promising reports from his workouts. He is going to have to look out for Doublepour staging a bold bid from the outside, though.
Doublepour is winless in five races. Like Wicked Easy, Doublepour placed 2nd behind Make It in Ny by a nose for a $43,000 purse. A trip up in class to a $70,000 event did him no favors, but Doublepour is back down in class after finishing 7th in that spot on January 16. This looks like a weaker field than the last $43,000 race that Doublepour participated in. I’m backing Doublepour to score in Race 4.
Post Time: 4:25 p.m. EST
Our final selection at Aqueduct is the feature event of the afternoon. Seven horses are expected to compete for a $74,000 purse on the main track. Dark Money and South Africa must be held in high regard going into this contest. Dark Money is 7 for 19 in his career, and is fresh off a win on February 13. He placed 2nd behind Steam Engine by ¾ lengths in a $50,000 event.
Dark Money followed up to win on February 13 in a $50,000 event easily by 6 ¼ lengths. He was clear by the ½ pole and drew off. After that performance, Dark Money will try something a little more difficult on Thursday. Dark Money enters a $74,000 event to see how far he’s come along in his career.
South Africa has been on a consistent run, finishing 2nd, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd. In his most recent win, South Africa won in this class with a half length over Jemography for a $72,000 purse. South Africa took over the lead at the top of the stretch by a half length and dug in to hold and maintain that lead.
After that winning run, South Africa placed 2nd behind Runningwscissors by 2 ¼ lengths in a $74,000 event, and then came close again on January 30 in another $74,000 entry. South Africa was 4 lengths behind in that one, and was steady at least, maintaining 2nd throughout the race. If the morning-line is any indicator, South Africa should get nice value at post time.