There are 11 race tracks available for wagering on Thursday at BetOnline. That’s a decent pool of horses to handicap for today. There is no stakes racing this afternoon or evening, but it isn’t a long wait until a big day on Saturday. The $750,000 Florida Derby (Gr. 1) is scheduled for Saturday at Gulfstream Park. That’s a big one and comes with 170 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
We have an early look at the Kentucky Derby on the blog at TheSportsGeek. The field is far from set, but it’s never too early to look at the board and formulate an early opinion. This is when there can be some value out there that might not be there by post time on May 1. A lot of people wait for the Kentucky Derby to bet on the ponies, but there’s plenty of big action before then. We will get going on Thursday at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens. Aqueduct has eight races on the dirt for a total of $397,000 in prize money available. Head below for our free Aqueduct Racetrack picks for March 25, 2021.
Post Time: 1:50 p.m. EST
Race 2 gets us starting at Aqueduct with a mile of racing for a $28,000 purse. We note Mongolian Humor and Wicked Title has strong contenders to get the win in this spot. Mongolian Humor is 5 for 29 in his career, with a win four races ago on August 27. She beat Bloody Mary Mornin by 10 ½ lengths in a comfortable win for a $32,500 purse.
Since that win, Mongolian Humor has gone 7th, 3rd, 5th. In her most recent performance, she finished 5th in a $39,000 event. Down back in class, expect Mongolian Humor to run a solid race and close at the wire. Wicked Title is a winner in 3 of 14 races in her career, finishing 1st, 2nd, 4th, 2nd, 1st in her previous five attempts. She placed 2nd behind Jackie Milton by 1 length in a $28,000 event.
Wicked Title came through for a nose win over Micromillion at the wire. This is going to be a competitive runner in this race, she’s going to be thereabout in the stretch. However, Mongolian Humor has proven to be a winner in higher classes, and is sliding in class for Thursday. Wicked Title came up short, and then barely won by a nose in her next outing. The better value is with Mongolian Humor.
Post Time: 2:20 p.m. EST
Distance: 7 Furlongs
Race 3 goes for 7 furlongs with a $37,000 purse waiting on the other side. Tuff Bird and Madera look like good horses to consider in Race 3. Turf Bird is a two-time winner and fresh off a win on February 15. She showed 3rd on January 2, and then came back on February 15 with a win. Tuff Bird was 3rd in a $28,000 event, and then responded for a 5 ¾ length win in the same class.
This race is going to be more difficult, but if she can stay the course and improve some more, then a win isn’t going to be out of the question on Thursday afternoon in Queens. Medera rates a threat to Tuff Bird and the rest in this field. Madera only has four races of experience, but is already having success.
She has finished top-3 in every outing and a two-time winner through four attempts. Madera has a win at Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack, most recently on March 12 in a $36,000 event. That was an easy 5 length win for Madera. In her other win, she was a 1 length win over Wishes and Dreams for a $38,000 purse. A proven winner in this class, expect Madera to be run like the one to beat on Thursday.
Post Time: 4:24 p.m. EST
Race 7 is a $82,000 event covering 6 furlongs. Risk Model and Glass Ceiling should be held in high regard for the top prize in this event. Risk Model has been a consistent runner throughout her seven-race career. In her last four outings, she has gone 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 2nd.
Risk Model was a 11 ½ length winner over Rapido Gatta in a $80,000 event on December 29. Back Channel was a heavy favorite in that race, but couldn’t keep up with Risk Model in that performance. Risk Model couldn’t follow up with a back-to-back, but was in good form on February 12.
She placed 2nd behind Awesome Debate by 4 lengths in a $82,000 race there. It wasn’t a bad run by any means, but the dominance and kick wasn’t present like we saw a race earlier. Brad Cox will have to get a just bit more out of Risk Model to get to the winner’s circle in Race 7.
Glass Ceiling lost against Risk Model two races ago, with Glass Ceiling finishing 4th and Risk Model 2nd in a $82,000 event. That was the race noted above, Risk Model’s most recent showing. Glass Ceiling came back to place 2nd behind Invaluable by 1 ½ lengths in her next outing. Nice horse, but I think you can find more value on Risk Model.