Fair Grounds Race Course is the big racetrack to keep tabs on Saturday. The Louisiana based track has five stakes races expected to be run, including the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes (Gr. 3), a race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby for 2021. It’s right back into Derby season soon right after the 2020 edition was raced in October. Before then, though, we have the Pegasus World Cup and Saudi Cup to get to soon.
The Pegasus is right around the corner at Gulfstream Park. That should be a good one in Hallandale Beach, and then shortly after, the richest race in horse racing, the Saudi Cup is scheduled for February. Along with the Lecomte Stakes, Fair Grounds will have five more stakes races. Santa Anita Park will be home to two $200,000 stakes races on Saturday.
As far as Friday is concerned, Fair Grounds is expected to have nine races on the schedule for a total of $278,000 in prize money. We also have picks at Laurel Park on Friday if you are interested in more ponies. Head below for our free Fair Grounds Race Course selections for January 15, 2021.
Post Time: 1:00 p.m. CST
In the first race at Fair Grounds, we have a 6-furlong event on the dirt for a $16,000 purse. Two More Barbo and Mariposa d’Oro should be involved in the stretch. Two More Barbo looked better in her most recent showing after finishing 6th, 6th, 4th, 2nd in three straight performances. She finished 4th in a $19,000 event, and then got the best outing of her career most recently on New Year’s Day.
Two More Barbo placed 2nd behind Wishing Belle by 1 ¾ lengths in a $16,000 race. If Two More Barbo runs a similar race, she should be able to get close in the stretch. I wouldn’t write this horse off despite her $1,500 price tag. Mariposa d’Oro is likely the one to block Two More Barbo from getting into the winner’s circle.
Mariposa d’Oro is winless in seven-career races, but has largely been competing in really tough races at Churchill Downs, Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Fair Grounds. Despite no win, Mariposa d’Oro has finished in the top-3 in four of seven outings. She showed 3rd on September 22 in a $19,500 event, and then 10th on December 17 in a $42,000 event. The $50,000 Mariposa d’Oro moves way down in class to the easiest assignment of her career. I’m riding Mariposa d’Oro to get the win.
Post Time: 2:56 p.m. CST
We will head to Race 5 looking for a winner in this $51,000 event. Seven horses are scheduled to run 6 furlongs on the dirt at Fair Grounds in this one. Binding Agreement and Nunc Pro Tunc should run well in this one to get into the winner’s circle. Binding Agreement is looking to get back on track after winning on November 28, 2019 in his debut, and then going winless in four races since then. Since the win, Binding Agreement has gone 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 10th.
He was out of form in his most recent showing on January 2. Binding Agreement finished 10th in a $46,000 event in his first win of 2021. That was disappointing, but Binding Agreement has the talent for a bounce-back spot on Friday afternoon. Nunc Pro Tunc is going to be a tough opponent, though. We know that much. Binding Agreement and the others will likely need Nunc Pro Tunc to be off his game. Nunc Pro Tunc has finished in the top-2 in seven of his previous nine entries.
Overall, Nunc Pro Tunc is 3 for 13, which doesn’t sound great, but he’s come close in the majority of his races. In his last outing, Nunc Pro Tunc placed 2nd behind Bibleman by a head for a $48,000 prize. He dueled with Bibleman down the stretch. That race could have gone either way. If he comes plugging away like that, expect Nunc Pro Tunc to get into the winner’s circle very soon.
Post Time: 3:25 p.m. CST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
Race 6 is a 5 ½ furlong race for a $48,000 purse. Seven runners are signed up to participate in the event. Royal Priority and Mr. Al’s Gal should have a good chance of getting a win on Friday afternoon. Royal Priority is 4 for 8 and has been finding success recently. She has finished 1st, 1st, 5th in her previous three outings.
Royal Priority beat Aloha Betty by a half length in a $30,000 event, and then followed for another win in the summer over Suckerforagrey by 1 ¼ lengths in another $30,000 race. Royal Priority most recently finished 5th after back-to-back wins. That was in a $30,500 race, and Royal Priority is moving up in class today. If Royal Priority runs like she can, though, a win should be in the cards.
Mr. Al’s Gal is 14 for 34 and has found a lot of success since March. She has finished in the top-2 in five of six races. In her last outing, Mr. Al’s Gal put together a bold bid to place 2nd behind Our Lost Love by a nose in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint Stakes. This was after placing 2nd behind A Great Time by 1 length in the $100,000 The Very One Stakes on October 1. Down in class on Friday, expect Mr. Al’s Gal to beat up on a weak field.