There is a big slate of racing on Friday at the BetOnline racebook. A whopping 15 race tracks are available right now for wagering at BetOnline. With the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, along with the NBA and NHL, there are plenty of options to be had for sports bettors. Horse handicappers have more than enough ponies to research on Friday. The stakes racing is quiet today, though, as it’s the calm before the storm on Saturday.
The $1,000,000 Louisiana Derby (Gr. 1) is scheduled for tomorrow at Fair Grounds Race Course. Along with the Louisiana Derby, there are two $400,000 graded races at Fair Grounds tomorrow, with the running of the Fair Grounds Oaks (Gr. 2) and New Orleans Classic (Gr. 2). Elsewhere around the country, there are several $100,000 stakes races at multiple tracks.
In our first stop on Friday, we’re at Fair Grounds for a warm up before the big day on Saturday. Fair Grounds has nine racecourses on the slate with a total of $315,000 in prize money. Tomorrow the purse money gets jacked up to $3,000,000. Head below for our free Fair Grounds Race Course picks for March 19, 2021.
Post Time: 2:27 p.m. CST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Our first look at Fair Grounds is the running of a $24,000 event covering 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Race 4 has nine horses participating in this race, with Smiling Silas and Summer Palace good options to win here. Smiling Silas is winless in four races. He’s finished 7th, 5th, 2nd, 5th in his career, so there is room for improvement.
In the best showing of his career, Smiling Silas placed 2nd behind News Break for a $20,000 purse. He came back to finish 5th on February 21 in a $22,000 assignment. Based on his competition in Race 4, he should be able to run a solid race and come close at the wire, though.
Summer Palace on the inside rail will likely provide the most resistance. He has been in a consistent mode, with six straight races in the top-3. Summer Palace finished 5th overseas as a rookie, and then transferred back home to the US and has been in good form since then. In his most recent attempt, Summer Palace showed 3rd in a $50,000 event. Expect Summer Palace to strike on the class drop Friday.
Post Time: 2:56 p.m. CST
Race 5 is a $61,000 event covering 6 furlongs on the dirt. Malloy and Europhic should give a good go of it for the top prize in this one. Malloy is coming off a win as a sophomore on October 25. She 5th as a first-time runner on September 17 in a $75,000 event. In her second appearance, Malloy ran much better to win by a half length for a $85,000 purse. She drove past in the stretch to edge out Grace’s Secret at the wire. That was impressive form for the $175,000 Malloy, and likely going to get better for her in the future.
She has definite place claims with a decent chance of getting to the winner’s circle. Euphoric is in nice form recently and has looked great in workouts. She placed 2nd two races ago on January 16 in a $50,000 race. Li’l Tootsie was 4 lengths behind Euphoric in that showing. Euphoric did one better and arrived in the winner’s circle on February 13 in a $60,000 event. That was an incredibly strong performance, as Euphoric blew the field out by 10 lengths. She was hand ridden through the entire stretch run with no urging. Malley is a formidable challenger, but expect Euphoric to have the edge based on her form.
Post Time: 3:54 p.m. CST
Race 7 goes for 6 furlongs on the dirt for a $25,000 purse. Nine horses are ready to fire out of the gate for this one. You have to look at the two horses on the inside if you’re searching for a winning runner. Rock Me and Club Soda should give a positive account in the stretch. Rock Me is 5 for 30 in his career, and has shown something recently, but fell off when looking for a hat-trick.
He’s gone 1st, 1st, 3rd, 4th in his previous four attempts. In his wins, Rock Me defeated Club Soda by 2 ¼ lengths in an upset on December 3. Rock Me wasn’t expected to place let alone win that race. He followed up to beat Rock Me again, this time in a $20,000 event by 2 ¾ lengths in another upset. Note that Club Soda was bumped at the 3/16 pole in that race and never recovered smoothly.
Rock Me was bumped off his form in his next two appearances, showing 3rd on February 12 in a $20,000 race. In his most recent outing, Rock Me finished 4th on February 27 in a $21,000 race. After finally getting respect as a favorite, he’s been going in the wrong direction. Rock Me and Club Soda will meet again in a rematch, with Club Soda seeking a win this time. Club Soda has gone 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 2nd in his last five outings.
In his latest win, Club Soda beat Flash Attack by 6 ½ lengths for an easy win at the $16,000 level on December 26. Since that win, he placed 2nd in his most recent showing on January 7. That was a 2 ¾ length loss against Rock Me. However, Rock Me has not been in the same form since winning, while Club Soda has looked great in workouts. Expect another duel between Club Soda and Rock Me, with Club Soda breaking through at the wire.