There are two racetracks that are returning to business on Thursday in the US. Returning to business in a sense, as races will start again tonight, but it will be behind closed doors. That’s a given right now. Golden Gate Fields and Charles Town will be holding events on Thursday night, while Santa Anita Park and Churchill Downs await for their moment in the spotlight this weekend.
Golden Gate Fields hasn’t raced since April 2. The Health Department put an end to racing at Golden Gate Fields, as was the same in Santa Anita. Other tracks have powered through the pandemic and never received a notice to halt racing. Gulfstream Park was the biggest track in the industry to race on.
Gulfstream Park will be joined by the bigger players very soon. Golden Gate Fields gets the green light on Thursday night. We’ll cover the Pick 4 card to get started in Berkeley. To find the Golden Gate Fields’ Pick 4 card, you must select Race 2 and the option will be available for betting. You can also play the Pick 3 from Race 2-4. Head below for our free Golden Gate Fields Pick 4 selections for May 14, 2020.
Post Time: 1:13 p.m. PST
Distance: 5 Furlongs
Race 2 is a short race worth $10,000 at 5 furlongs. This should be a competitive event between three participants. Please Zip It, Charming Lass, and Bank of Many should all be involved at the top of the stretch in this one. Tahoe Blue has the longest odds in this race after failing to make much noise in five career races. She has finished 4th, 7th, 9th, 4th, 7th in her career. Showing on Thursday afternoon would be a step in the right direction for Tahoe Blue.
Please Zip It has shown just 1 of 7 career races. She finished 3rd on February 16 and that’s all to talk about with Please Zip It since placing on November 1, 2018. In her latest outing, Please Zip It was 5th on March 13. That was a race against six other horses, so it was nothing to be happy about. However, this should be an easier field for Please Zip It to contend in. Pretty well everyone in this race is looking for an easier opportunity. Bank of Many did come close in her last two races. She finished 2nd on February 14 to finish 8 lengths behind Blushing Bay. Bank of Many followed that up to finish 3rd. That could have been a win, as Bank of Many was 1st at the ¼ , ½ , ¾ pole, and at the top of the stretch before regressing for a loss by around 2 lengths and some change.
Charming Lass will return to the track against an easier field. She’s raced in six career races and was unable to keep up against that competition. However, this event is going to be more her speed. Charming Lass has finished 6th, 5th, 5th, 5th, 5th, 6th in her career. Having said that, Charming Lass looked to be in good form during a recent workout on May 9, having completed 4 furlongs at 49.40 seconds while urged. She has raced against faster opponents in the past than the rest of her competition today. Unlikely to be far away in this one.
Post Time: 1:42 p.m. PST
Race 3 will feature a nine-horse field vying for a $11,000 purse. Sassy and Hot and Takes a Village could get into a duel in this event, as they are by far the strongest horses here. Streusel is the most likely participant to bother those two horses. She made a nice debut as a first-time starter on March 21. It was a strong enough performance to show behind Sassy and Hot and Shake It Call. Sassy and Hot beat Streusel by 3 ½ lengths, so that was a fairly comfortable lead. Unless she catches a break in this one, it’s probably going to be tough to make a trip to the winner’s circle.
That was the second start of Sassy and Hot’s career. She finished 4th as a first-time starter on February 14, and then showed improvements to place on March 21. That would most likely be good enough to get her first win. The same form for Sassy and Hot would pay off in this event. She will have to deal with Takes a Village, who is looking for her first win as well. However, Takes a Village has made far more starts in her career.
Takes a Village enters on Thursday winless in 11 races. Her best performance was in her first race on June 7, 2019. Since then, Takes a Village has been unable to place in ten straight outings. She has finished 6th, 4th, 5th in her previous three events. This is an easier challenge for Takes a Village, but her effort will be tested by Sassy and Hot who is going to present a sizable test in this one. I’m siding with Sassy and Hot to get the job done.
Post Time: 2:12 p.m. PST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
Nine horses are signed up to run 5 ½ furlongs in Race 4. Sarah’s Smirk, Lydia O Lydia, and Real Keeper all boast serious consideration in this one. Lydia O Lydia and Real keeper will both be going down a class, while Sarah’s Smirk has been in good form recently. Sarah’s Smirk has finished 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, and is coming off a win on March 30.
She won as the favorite by 1 ¼ lengths over Breaking the Code in dominant fashion, wire-to-wire. Sarah’s Smirk will put her recent success to the test against a better field on Thursday. On the opposite side, we have Lydia O Lydia and Real Keeper both dropping back.Real Keeper has been in the stable since finishing 4th on June 23, 2019. That was following a win on June 8, 2019 by 3 lengths over Sarah’s Smirk. Dominant win, as Real Keeper took over at the 3/16 pole and drove hard to pull away from the competition.
Real Keeper jumped up a class in her next outing and finished 4th. She will meet Sarah’s Smirk once again in a race more on her level. Though, the layoff might be a concern and Real Keeper didn’t have overly impressive in recent workouts. She completed 4 furlongs at 53.60 seconds with urging on April 29 and another 4-furlong workout at 50 seconds on May 6.
Lydia O Lydia has looked better in workouts, completing 4 furlongs with a time of 48.40 seconds and 49.20 seconds in May. She placed on February 9 to finish behind Chirp by 4 lengths. Lydia O Lydia led the race from the start to the top of the stretch, but ran out of gas. That was at 6 furlongs, so it’s possible she looks better at 5 ½ furlongs.
Lydia O Lydia followed that performance up with a win on February 28 by 1 ½ lengths over Breaking the Code. She failed to compete at a higher class, finishing 6th on March 26, though is back where she feels most comfortable. It should be a competitive race between her, Sarah’s Smirk, and Real Keeper. I think she can get the win, though.
Post Time: 2:42 p.m. PST
Distance:6 ½ Furlongs
The final race of our Pick 3 and Pick 4 card is 6 ½ furlongs with a $13,000 purse. Three participants are likely going to be contenders, with Strugar, Cape Point, Constitutionaffair going to be players in Race 5. Constitutionaffair is coming off the best start of his career, as he finished 2nd to place on March 7 for a close loss by 1 ¼ lengths behind Speakerofthehouse. He’s raced in three races in his career and in search of his first career victory. Constitutionaffair has finished 3rd, 5th, 2nd and is looking to do one better on Thursday.
Strugar drops a class after finding races on February 21 and March 15 too tough. He finished 6th in his debut and then 7th. That immediately gets him dropping a class, as he searches for greener pastures in Race 5 on Thursday. Looked to be in good form in workouts and should be in contention against much less talented competition. Cape Point is the only pony that he’s really going to have to worry about. That’s likely the one roadblock preventing a win here. Cape Point gets the biggest drop in class in this one. From Triple-A to Single-A ball is the best way to describe it.
Cape Point’s team had him racing against much better competition and the results weren’t there. He has finished 4th, 4th, 6th, 6th, 7th in the first five races in his career. They’re searching for an easy win to build up some confidence in Cape Point. This is one of the easiest assignments that Cape Point is going to find on Thursday at Golden Gate Fields. If he shows up to race at his full potential, a win should be in his future.