We wrap up the final weekend of the horse racing schedule before the Kentucky Derby takes centerstage at Churchill Downs next Saturday. Just something to note quickly regarding the Kentucky Derby. Shirl’s Speight came up with a cough recently and will be bowing out of the event. He will not be going to the Derby.
Shirl’s Speight did enough to get into the big race, but will sit out due to health concerns. He was not projected to win the race and would have been a big underdog at post time. Nevertheless, all that’s required is a seat at the table to have a chance.
Betting is already underway in Nevada for the Kentucky Derby. Of course, future odds have been up for months at BetOnline. Most of my effort this week is going to go towards the Derby and the other big races on Derby Day at Churchill Downs. Sunday is a day for Gulfstream Park in Florida and Golden Gate Fields in California. Head below for our free Golden Gate Fields picks for August 30, 2020.
Post Time: 2:53 p.m. PST
Distance: 5 Furlongs
5 furlongs for a $12,500 purse on the turf will get us started at Golden Gate Fields on Sunday. Race 3 will feature a six-horse field looking for the top prize out of a $12,500 purse. Jupiter S. and Amber Louise should have a good look at a win in this contest.
Jupiter S. has finished in the top-3 in 8 of her previous 10 entries. She hasn’t had a win since last July, though. Since winning a $8,800 race on July 3, 2019, Jupiter S. has gone winless in eight straight events.
That doesn’t mean that Jupiter S. hasn’t been competitive, though. Three of those losses were in small stakes races. In his previous three outings, though, Jupiter S. has finished 5th, 6th, 3rd in three claiming events. She was 3rd in her most recent performance on August 14 in a $12,000 race as a mid-tier horse in that event. Jupiter S. finished pretty well where she was expected there
Amber Louise has a lot of experience, with 57 races on her resume and more to come. She has been a 15-time winner, including 2 wins in her previous 3 performances. Amber Louise won on May 29 by 4 ½ lengths in a $12,500 event, and then won again on July 18 by a half length in a tougher $15,000 race.
Amber Louise went up to a $17,000 event on August 9 in her most recent outing. It was a solid enough effort, but just a bit too tough for her. She is back down in class and should be able to run a stronger race against these opponents.
Post Time: 3:55 p.m. PST
Race 5 is another race on the grass at Golden Gate Fields on Sunday. This is for a little higher stakes, with a $25,000 purse up for grabs in this one. This is the second biggest race next to the feature race. Gabo’s Macondo and Arch Prince are both going to be willing participants in this one. Passionate Reward has been a consistent runner and should be in the mix as well. He has finished in the top-3 in 8 of his previous 9 events.
In the race Passionate Reward didn’t finish in the top-3, it was a Black Type stakes race on June 6 for $50,000. Passionate Reward was 4th as a heavy underdog in that performance. However, he was able to place 2nd in back-to-back races on June 27 and August 9. Passionate Reward lost by a head in the first race in June for a $25,000 purse, and then lost by a half length for a $25,000 purse a few weeks ago.
Arch Prince has a recent Grade 3 race on his resume. He participated in the $250,000 San Francisco Mile takes (Gr. 3) and had a decent run at it as the biggest underdog in the race. Arch Prince managed to beat three other horses who were heavily favored over him, so that is something to take from it. He ultimately finished 5th to snap four straight races of finishing in the top-2.
Arch Prince has finished in the top-2 in 5 of his previous 6 outings. He met that mark in 7 of his previous 9 entries. His most recent win was on May 16 in a $26,000 race over More Power to Him by 2 lengths. Following up the Grade 3 event, Arch Prince came a head away from responding with a win on July 17 in a $28,000 event. Expect an exciting race in the stretch, with Arch Prince edging out Passionate Reward and Gabo’ Macondo.
Post Time: 4:55 p.m. PST
Race 7 features a mile of racing on the turf for a $12,000 purse. If you like racing on the grass, then you’re certainly going to like this card at Golden Gate Fields. This is third and final selection, with all three turf races. Sapori Girl and Odessa should be in the mix in this event. Odessa has been terrifically consistent in five straight events.
Odessa has placed 2nd in five straight performances. In two races this summer, Odessa lost by a head in a $11,500 purse in a July race, and then a few weeks later she was close in a $11,000 race, but fell by 2 lengths against Senorita Cometa after losing in the stretch. Odessa had a slim lead at the ¾ pole and the top of the stretch, but couldn’t keep it together.
Odessa is 1 for 13 in her career, though has had several instances where she was close and could have won. Closing out the race is part of the deal, though. Eventually she is going to pop and pull away. Sunday could finally be that day for Odessa.
Sapori Girl takes a drop in class after finishing 3rd, 3rd, 1st, 3rd in her previous four outings. All four races were for more than $20,000, including a $25,000 win on July 11 two races ago. Sapori Girl was unable to follow up, but was able to get into the money again for 3rd. Sapori Girl lost by 2 lengths in the $23,000 claiming event. With this steep of a drop in class, Sapori Girl should have a good opportunity for a win on Sunday.