It was a solid weekend of racing, but next weekend is when things are really going to beat up. The $3,000,000 Pegasus World Cup Invitational is scheduled for next Saturday at Gulfstream Park. We were expecting to see Charlatan, but he is skipping the Pegasus and immediately being pointed to the $20,000,000 Saudi Cup. He could have ran in both races, though Bob Baffert feels more comfortable giving Charlatan the time off to rest and prepare for the richest event in racing.
There are two big Pegasus next weekend, one worth $1,000,000 on the turf, and the feature race for $3,000,000. We have plenty of racing to get to during the week before Pegasus Weekend at Gulfstream Park, though. BetOnline has eight thoroughbred racetracks operating on Monday for Martin Luther King Day. It’s a rare Monday where we see some of the big names, like Aqueduct and Santa Anita Park with cards.
Aqueduct Racetrack has eight races worth a total of $444,000 on the day, including a $100,000 stakes race. Check out our horse racing page for more picks on the ponies for Monday. Head below for our free Aqueduct Racetrack picks for January 18, 2021.
Post Time: 12:50 p.m. EST
Let’s get started at Aqueduct with a mile race for a $43,000 purse on Monday afternoon. Malibu Anthem and Barista Vixen should be involved in the stretch run for the top prize. Malibu Anthem is winless in six-career races, but should find this one easier on these terms. She has finished 7th, 9th, 4th, 5th in her previous four outings after placing 2nd in back-to-back outings to open her career at Churchill Downs and Keeneland.
In her most recent performance, Malibu Anthem finished 5th in her most recent effort on November 22 in a $43,000 assignment. While Malibu Anthem remains in the same class, but this should be easier against weaker competition. Prior to that event, Malibu Anthem finished 4th in a $80,000 event. If Malibu Anthem runs like that, then we have to expect her to be close at the wire. She will be pressured by Barista Vixen to get the win.
Barista Vixen has finished 2nd, 6th, 10th, 5th in her career. She is coming off a strong performance on December 11 in his debut at Aqueduct Racetrack after transferring from Belmont Park. Barista Vixen placed 2nd behind Mama Kin by a neck in a $43,000 event. That was impressive, and Barista Vixen has looked good in morning workouts. I’m going to side with the No. 1 horse to horse to get the win in the first race at Aqueduct Racetrack on MLK Day.
Post Time: 1:50 p.m. EST
Race 3 at Aqueduct Racetrack is a 6-furlong event for a $33,000 purse. I am looking at Magnificent Mags and Doctor K as potential winners in Race 3. Magnificent Mags has finished in the top-3 in four straight events. He had the best race of his career most recently on New Year’s Day at Aqueduct.
Magnificent Mags placed 2nd behind Take It Off by 6 lengths in a $35,000 event. Prior to that showing, Magnificent Mags showed 3rd on November 25 in a $27,100 assignment. Expect Magnificent Mags to give a good account in this one and come close to securing a win in Race 3. Doctor K is winless in three-career races, but has already placed twice.
He placed 2nd behind Drain the Clock by 6 lengths on September 12, and then followed up to place 2nd behind Ensign Parker by 2 ½ lengths in a $32,000 assignment. It was when Doctor K moved up to a $48,000 event that he was out of his element. Doctor K finished 6th in that race on December 18. Back down in class, expect a much better performance from Doctor K on Monday.
Race 7 – Interborough Stakes
Post Time: 3:50 p.m. EST
Our final selection at Aqueduct Racetrack is a 7-furlong event for a $100,000 purse. Six runners are expected to participate, with Alisio and Portal Creek likely going to come close to getting the win in the $100,000 Interborough Stakes. Alisio is 3 for 9 in her career, having won two of her previous three outings on November 15 and December 30. She beat Kept True by 3 lengths in a $75,000 race, and then returned to win again over a month later to wrap up 2020.
In that performance, Alisio beat Possee Needed by 13 ¼ lengths in a blowout for another $75,000 win. Following that effort, it was time for Alisio to try a stakes race out. That didn’t go according to plan, though, as Alisio finished 9th in the $100,000 Primonette Stakes on November 28. She can’t run much worse than that, and should be considered a threat in what is likely a better effort.
Portal Creek is 8 for 26 in her career with great success recently. She has finished in the top-3 in five straight, including three wins, and an impressive performance most recently in the $100,000 Go for Wand Handicap (Gr. 3) on December 5. Portal Creek placed 2nd behind Sharp Starr by a neck. This was after Portal Creek beat Flasndynamite by ¾ lengths. I like what Portal Creek has been showing, and should do a spot better after coming up just short in her last stakes outing.