There are a wide array of race tracks to handicap on Thursday from the east to the west. We are expected to have a big day of racing on Saturday, with multiple stakes races and prep events for the Kentucky Derby. Speaking of the Kentucky Derby, organizers are going to have fans at the race, more than possibly expected because of mandates by Governor Andy Beshear. The 146th Kentucky Derby last May ran with no fans, costing Churchill Downs $120-million.
There is going to be at least 60% reserved seating at Churchill Downs. If conditions continue to improve with Covid-19 before the race, I’m sure that will edge up and more than 60% will be permitted. The Kentucky Derby was originally going with limited capacity last year, and because of bad optics, more than anything, they ran behind closed doors. We have Gulfstream Park at the ready on Thursday with three selections. Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana is running today with a nine-race card worth $174,000. Head below for our free Delta Downs picks for March 4, 2021.
Post Time: 2:43 p.m. CST
The first selection for us on Thursday is Race 5 for a $14,000 purse. This event covers a mile on the dirt. Madison’s Wild One and Ebony Bay should do battle in the stretch for the top prize. Madison’s Wild One has finished top-2 in eight straight races. One of those was a win on September 2 at Louisiana Downs. Madison’s Wild One defeated Breezin Bye You by 7 ¼ lengths in a $8,500 event.
Following that performance, she placed 2nd in three straight events, most recently on January 21. Madison’s Wild One placed 2nd behind by a head in a $12,000 assignment in that race. This should be just a bit tougher, but nothing Madison’s Wild One shouldn’t be able to handle. Ebony Bay is the one runner that should do well and compete with her for the top prize. Ebony Bay has been a consistent force through seven races, including a recent win two races ago on December 30.
He topped Miss Sooner Girl by 5 ¼ lengths in impressive fashion in the $12,000 race. Ebony Bay returned on January 21 to show 3rd behind Madison’s Wild One by 2 lengths. That’s the race that Madison’s Wild One was only a head away from winning. Ebony Bay was the favorite in that one, but didn’t have enough kick and missed out on the duel. Despite the loss, I think Ebony Bay is the stronger horse, and should have the edge in Race 5 in a little payback.
Post Time: 3:11 p.m. CST
Ten horses will compete in Race 6 for the top prize out of a $16,000 purse. Oneholylion and Seeley are going to be runners that should be tough to keep up with in this one. Oneholylion from the outside has a shot at winning here. He is 4 for 40 in his career, and had a couple of productive runs recently. Onlyholylion placed 2nd behind Allthewaytaye by 5 ½ lengths on February 11.
That was a nice performance from Onlyholylion, though he was able to improve on that effort and do one better in his next outing. Oneholylion showed 3rd on February 22 in his next showing, finishing 1 ½ lengths and a nose behind the winner. So, you can’t say he did worse, he was pretty consistent in his form. There were just two horses a bit better than Onlyholylion in that race.
Seeley should provide tough competition for Onlyholylion on Thursday afternoon. Seeley is 3 for 13 in his career and dropping in class for this event. She has finished 1st, 1st, 8th, 6th, 2nd, 5th in her last six performances. After two wins in the summer, Seeley went up in class and didn’t find much success. In his most recent success, Seeley placed 2nd behind Reach the Circle by a neck in a $14,000 assignment.
Seeley thought that gave him the greenlight to go back up in class in a tougher race right after, but that didn’t go well for a $36,000 prize on February 9. He finished 5th in the difficult race, and was never a factor to win at that level. Look for Seeley to return to form in a $16,000 race on Thursday. This should be overly difficult. A bad run would be a major disappointment.