Saturday is typically a big stakes day for horse racing, and while there are plenty of stakes races, there isn’t one big event that sticks out on the docket. The feature race is at Golden Gate Fields with the running of the $250,000 San Francisco Mile (Gr. 3). That’s the biggest race on the schedule today, as it gives the often ignored, compared to its bigger brothers Santa Anita and Del Mar, Golden Gate Fields a moment in the spotlight.
There are six stakes races at Golden Gate on Saturday afternoon in Berkeley. Pimlico has the most stakes events with at least $100,000 in play. The Maryland based track which just opened their spring meet has six races for $100,000 or more. It’s a bit quieter today because of the Kentucky Derby next weekend at Churchill Downs. The Run for the Roses is scheduled for May 1 in Louisville. Can’t wait to lock in your Kentucky Derby pick?
TheSportsGeek has an early prediction for the 147th Kentucky Derby. I liked this horse over a month ago in March, and still appreciate where he’s heading going into the Kentucky Derby in May. The Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes will follow the Kentucky Derby during Triple Crown season. We will open the day on Saturday at Churchill Downs, as they open their spring meet and prep for next weekend. Churchill Downs has ten races worth $770,700 on Saturday afternoon. Head below for our free Churchill Downs picks for April 24, 2021.
Post Time: 7:26 p.m. EST
In our first pick at Churchill Downs in 2021, we have a 6-furlong event on the main track for a $33,900 prize. Miss Pinkerton and Sacred Storm should be on your shortlist for this event. Miss Pinkerton is 3 for 36 in her career and has showcased some decent form recently.
Decent enough that it will likely be good enough to put her close at the wire. That said, Miss Pinkerton hasn’t been in winning form since the summer of 2019. All three of her wins came in back-to-back-back fashion, with the last victory on August 10, 2019.
Miss Pinkerton has shown 3rd in each of her last two outings for improved form. She showed 3rd on February 26 for a $12,000 purse, and then 3rd again on April 8 in a $20,000 event. Miss Pinkerton continues to move up the class scale to a $33,900 race on Saturday. Drayden Van Dyke should put her close against this field.
Sacred Storm is 9 for 31 in her career, with a few wins over the last year. Since September, Sacred Storm has gone 1st, 1st, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 5th. In her most recent win, she cleared Itsallaboutmememe by ¾ lengths for a $15,000 win. Sacred Storm finished 5th most recently in a $34,000 performance. This assignment should be much easier for Sacred Storm.
Post Time: 8:30 p.m. EST
Distance:6 ½ Furlongs
In Race 6, there are 6 ½ furlongs of racing for a $54,200 purse on the dirt. Extreme Force and Convection should have a strong presence in the stretch. Extreme Force is a one-time winner in nine attempts. The colt is coming off that win on January 30. He beat American Code by a neck in a $36,000 event.
Prior to the win, Extreme Force showed 3rd in back-to-back assignments on October 15 and November 15. In the November performance, he finished 3rd for a $75,000 purse. That wasn’t bad at that level, and Extreme Force is going to find something in the middle between $36,000 and $75,000 for Saturday.
Convection is likely going to be American Code’s biggest challenger. Convection made his debut on April 11 and struck as a first-time runner. He defeated Screenplay easily for a 5 length win. Convection drew off by the stretch with a 2 ½ lead and drove to build on the lead in the final furlong. That was far too impressive to keep Convection down in class. Expect the $80,000 Convection to impress again on Saturday.
Post Time: 9:39 p.m. EST
Distance:1 ¼ Miles
Race 8 covers a mile and ¼ on the dirt for a $115,000 purse. This isn’t a stakes race, it’s a maiden special weight, but it’s one of the bigger events on the docket. The presence of Honor Hop and Queen Bourbon will likely be felt. Honor Hop is winless in seven attempts, but might have what it takes against this competition on Saturday.
She has finished 6th, 2nd, 4th in her previous three outings. Honor Hop placed 2nd behind Ocean Air by a head for a $37,000 purse. In her next and most recent performance, Honor Hop was 4th in a $79,000 event. Queen Bourbon will be a formidable opponent. Note that this isn’t a race for horses that have been winners in their careers, so you’re not going to find a red-hot horse in this one.
She has finished 2nd and 3rd in two career races, better than the others can say, and open to improvement. In her debut, she placed 2nd behind Easter Chocolate by 1 ¾ length for a $31,000 purse. She was serviceable in her next assignment to show 3rd for a $79,000 purse. That wasn’t a bad run as an underdog. Queen Bourbon was purchased for $285,000 and expected to win richer races. Her work in the morning has been promising, with times of 48.20 and 48.40 seconds at 4 furlongs. She should be ready for a winning run.