There are some racecourses that are usually scheduled for Wednesday taking the day off because of Christmas break. However, we will have six racetracks offering cards at BetOnline. Gulfstream Park wants to race, and they’ll be active in Hallandale Beach on Wednesday afternoon. Also joining the fun on Wednesday is Parx, Tampa Bay Downs, Mountaineer Park, Penn National, and Delta Downs. That should be enough to satisfy your horse racing appetite. There isn’t any stakes racing to speak of, though December 26 has a nice card, especially at Santa Anita Park. Santa Anita has three $300,000 Grade 1 races, the biggest races in the US. Laurel Park, Gulfstream Park, and Fair Grounds are also stakes racing the day after Christmas.
There are three horses that I like at Gulfstream Park on Wednesday afternoon. Gulfstream Park has a total of ten races expected to run today for a total of $314,000 in prize money. This is the biggest card on Wednesday in North America. Head below for our free Gulfstream Park picks for December 23, 2020.
Post Time: 1:33 p.m. EST
Race 3 is for a $33,000 purse covering a mile on the dirt. Bella Ciao and Elusive Molly should be horses to watch in the race in this event. Elusive Molly has gone 3 for 11 in her career and is coming off a successful run on November 13. In her last four outings has gone 5th, 3rd, 5th, 1st. She cracked through with a win over Coldwater by a head for a $39,500 purse. Elusive Molly had the lead at the ¼ pole and held throughout the race. It was the first trip to the winner’s circle for Elusive Molly since February 1. She was winless in four straight outings before getting back to the top spot.
Bella Ciao has stakes experience, and plenty of experience racing in more difficult events than this. She even has some Grade 1 experience dating back to 2018. In her last four stakes races, all Black Type events, Bella Ciao was in the top-3 in all four this past spring and summer. Her last race was some bad luck, as she was bumped out of the gate and was never able to recover. She ran really wide and was never in-sync after getting bumped coming out of the gate. Bella Ciao ultimately finished 5th in a $62,500 assignment. In a big drop in class, expect Bella Ciao to clear this field in the stretch.
Post Time: 4:08 p.m. EST
Race 8 is for a $47,000 purse on Wednesday afternoon at Gulfstream. This is the feature race, which covers a mile on the main track. Abilene Trail and Recoded are good horses to look at for a winner. Abilene Trail has a win in four races in her career. She has finished 3rd, 5th, 1st, 6th, with a win over Cozy Cafe by a neck for a $42,000 purse.
Unfortunately, Abilene was unable to build on that win and fell to 6th in her most recent appearance on November 25. She looked bothered in the gate and didn’t appear to be in the mood to race. After overcoming that and having a good start, she weakened after the ¾ pole. If she has the same attitude as her win on October 30, then she should be in the mix in the stretch.
Recoded has five wins in fifteen outings in her career. She is aiming for a hat-trick on Wednesday at Gulfstream Park. Along with back-to-back wins, Recoded is a winner in three of her previous four performances. She beat Ginny B by 3 lengths in a $34,000 event, and then followed up on November 20 for another win in a $33,000 event. This race represents a hike in class, though for the $150,000 Recoded, she has the ability in her to win at this level.
Post Time: 5:10 p.m. EST
Race 10 is the finale at Gulfstream Park on Wednesday afternoon. It covers 5 furlongs on the grass for a $24,000 purse. The idea of Monte Ne and French Reef battling in the stretch looks good. Monte Ne is catching a nice price on the morning-line at 6/1 and might be able to make the most of it from the No. 1 post position. Monte Ne has finished in the top-2 in three of his previous four outings. He is coming off a win on December 11 over Grand Union by 1 length for a $25,000 purse. That was impressive and he’s in another winnable race on Wednesday.
French Reef has competed in much tougher races than this event. He won on July 23 at Saratoga for a $72,000 purse over Modesto by 4 ¾ lengths. French Reef has finished 4th, 7th, 2nd since. He placed 2nd behind King of Rock in a $24,000 event on December 2 as the betting favorite. French Reef exchanged bumps in the race and that may have been what put him off enough to lose by less than a stride. French Reef was a $494,004 purchase in 2017, so racing in $24,000 races isn’t what his connections had in mind. In any case, this looks like a winning spot for French Reef, and he should be up in class again soon.