Following a small racecard on Tuesday, there is a lot of racing to get to today. Ten tracks are being offered at BetOnline, including the opening of the winter meet at Turfway Park in Kentucky. Turfway Park has a four-month meet scheduled in Florence. No fans or owners will be permitted to enter Turfway Park. Race fans are spoiled in Kentucky.
Churchill Downs, Kentucky Downs, Ellis Park, Keeneland, and Turfway Park all attract some nice horses to their meets. Along with Turfway Park racing on Wednesday, there are nine other racecourses participating today. We’ll get to Turfway Park on another day later into their meet. I’m not not too enthused about what they have there on Wednesday. Gulfstream Park, which begins its winter meet today as well, looks a little more attractive to me.
Gulfstream Park is back on Wednesday with a ten-race card for a total of $301,000. I will get back to handicapping the Pick 5 and Rainbow Pick 6 at Gulfstream Park when I see a slate that I like. For Wednesday, we have three single bets at Gulfstream Park that hopefully come through. Head below for our free Gulfstream Park picks for December 2, 2020.
Post Time: 1:03 p.m. EST
Race 2 is our first stop at Gulfstream Park on Wednesday afternoon. This mile long race is for a $17,000 purse on the dirt. Mighty Fast and Excalibur are on my shortlist for the event. Mighty Fast is coming off a poor showing on November 12, but is much better than that. He finished 10th in a $17,000 event after a win on October 30.
Mighty Fast was a 11 ¾ length winner in a blowout for a $15,000 purse in that entry. That was an incredibly impressive performance by Mighty Fast, and showed that he is capable of a lot more than we saw in his outing a few weeks ago. He also placed 2nd behind Plenum by 2 lengths in a $19,000 race on September 20. If Mighty Fast can find the same form, then he should be in contention for a win.
Excalibur will be looking to block the win from Mighty Fast. He has finished 2nd, 6th, 1st, 5th in his previous four performances. Excalibur won by 2 ¼ lengths in a $15,000 event on October 9, and then jumped in class to a $21,000 event on November 6. He saved ground in that race, but it was to no avail in that difficult event. Sliding back down to a $17,000 race on Wednesday, this should be a reachable goal for Excalibur on Wednesday afternoon.
Post Time: 4:00 p.m. EST
There are three feature races at Gulfstream Park worth $47,000 on Wednesday. Race 8 is one of them, which has 6 furlongs of racing on the main track. Ashaar and Ournationonparade are expected to run bold events in this one. We could have a duel in the stretch possibly. Ashaar has finished 1st, 5th, 7th through races in her career so far. He was a winner on October 12 over Starting Over by 2 ½ lengths in a $75,000 event. That was an impressive debut.
Ashaar followed up to finish 5th in the $150,000 Nashua Stakes (Gr. 3) on November 3, 2019, and then 7th in the $100,000 Mucho Macho Stakes most recently on January 4. The layoff is concerning for Ashaar. However, this $650,000 horse is down in class and can win if he reverts back to form. If that’s the case, then Ashaar can find a path into the winner’s circle.
Ournationonparade is coming off a stakes race in the $100,000 Smile Sprint Stakes (Gr. 3). Ournationonparade was 5th in that race, but looked better prior to that to show 3rd in a $75,000 and $54,500 event. He really had an impressive 4-furlong workout on November 14. Ournationonparade was clocked at 46.60 seconds to put him in really nice form at the moment. This race should be close against Ashaar, but I’m going to side with Ournationonparade.
Post Time: 4:30 p.m. EST
Race 9 runs for 5 furlongs on the turf for a $47,000 purse. This grass race is expected to include ten horses. Sunset Empire and Catch a Thrill appear to be the most attractive horses from this group. Sunset Empire has been in good form and finished 1st, 1st, 2nd in his previous three outings. She won back-to-back races on October 12 and October 28 for prizes of $17,000 and $22,000.
In her most recent win, Sunset Empire beat Prospective Diva by 2 ¼ lengths in the $22,000 event on October 28. In her most recent race, she placed 2nd behind Forever Marta by a head for a $38,000 purse. She went up in class in that race and came close. Sunset Empire will go even higher in class for today’s outing on Wednesday at Gulfstream Park. She should run close at the wire in the stretch. Running from the outside in a 5-furlong race with ten horses could be a problem, though.
Catch a Thrill gets closer to the inside from the No. 3 post position. She has placed 2nd in three straight races, and in four of her previous five events. Catch a Thrill was 2nd behind Katieleigh by 1 ¼ lengths in a $47,000 event on September 17. Prior to that try, Catch a Thrill was 2nd behind Lost Ticket by a neck in a $66,000 race. She keeps knocking on the door and should come through eventually. I’m going to bet that it happens today at Gulfstream Park.