There is ample horse racing on Thursday in the US with eight race tracks at BetOnline. There aren’t any stakes racing today, but enough racing to break down. Aqueduct Racetrack is back on Thursday and throughout the weekend. Fair Grounds Race Course is also back on the grind on Thursday. We are inching closer to the $20,000,000 Saudi Cup on Saturday. The racing gets started on Friday in Saudi Arabia, with the running of the $500,000 Saudi International Handicap. The feature race in the US on Saturday is the $250,000 General George Stakes (Gr. 3) and $250,000 Runhappy Barbara Fritchie Stakes (Gr. 3) at Laurel Park. It’s a fairly big day at Laurel Park on Saturday, as they have six stakes races scheduled.
Oaklawn Park has the feature race of the weekend on Sunday. The running of the $750,000 Southwest Stakes (Gr. 3) is the biggest race this weekend in North America. There is also the running of the $600,000 Razorback Handicap (Gr. 3) at Oaklawn on Sunday. For Thursday, we’re going to get started at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach. Gulfstream Park has ten races scheduled for a total of $357,000 in prize money today. Head below for our free Gulfstream Park picks for February 18, 2021.
Post Time: 3:11 p.m. EST
Our first stop at Gulfstream Park on Thursday is a $29,000 event over 6 furlongs. Eight horses are expected to participate in this event, with Lunar Blast and Miss Mikaela likely front runners. Lunar Blast has finished 3rd and 6th in two races in her career. She showed 3rd in a $50,000 event out of the gate as a rookie on January 3.
Lunar Blast was disappointing in her next outing, though, as she finished 6th in a $50,000 race. That gets her a big class drop for Thursday’s outing. She was a big underdog in that race. Showing in her debut might have been a fluke given that performance. In any case, expect Lunar Blast to put together a better effort in this class.
Miss Mikaela has been a consistent runner in her young career. She has finished 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 2nd to place in three out of four performances. Miss Mikaela is knocking hard on the door and should bust through soon. In her most recent assignment, Miss Mikaela placed 2nd behind Bourma by 5 lengths in a $29,000 outing.
She was bumped early, but was still able to recover for an adequate display in the stretch. If she doesn’t get bumped there, maybe Miss Mikaela is better than 5 lengths behind Bourma. I have to assume yes. A bad break out of the gate in a 6-furlong race hurts a lot. I’m siding with Miss Mikaela.
Post Time: 3:41 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Race 6 is on the turf covering 1 1/16 miles for a $38,000 purse. Exult and Gimme Some Mo should be up for consideration in this race. Exult is 1 for 8 in his career and coming off a win on December 16. He has finished in the top-3 in 5 of 8 outings. In his most recent appearance, Exult beat Pool Shark by 1 ¼ lengths in a $39,000 event.
It was a nice run from Exult, who is likely going to be involved in this race as well. Prior to that run, Exult was inconsistent going 4th, 3rd, 6th, 4th, so we’ll see if that performance was for real or more of a fluke. Exult will likely have to deal with Gimme Some Mo on the grass in this one. Both horses are in good form at the moment, and should stage strong bids.
Gimme Some Mo is a one-time winner in six races. He is fresh off a win as well, beating Small Talk by 3 ¼ lengths in a $39,000 event. That was a class drop for Gimme Some Mo after finishing 4th on September 25 in a $48,000 assignment. After that encouraging win for a $39,000 purse, Gimme Some Mo stays put and will hit the turf in a similar race. I’m on board with the No. 8.
Post Time: 4:44 p.m. EST
Race 8 covers a mile on the dirt for a $44,000 purse on the main track. Gangly and Green Mansions should converge in the stretch run and duel. Green Mansions should be able to come up nicely from the outside and put a good charge into this effort.
He has finished 3rd, 6th, 4th, 3rd in his previous four outings, and hasn’t won since September 22, 2019. Since then, Green Mansions has gone winless in ten straight performances. In his most recent attempt, he showed 3rd in a $40,000 event.
It wasn’t a bad effort, and Green Mansions shouldn’t find this assignment any tougher. This race might be for $4,000 more, but the competition isn’t that much more difficult. Gangly should be able to provide Green Mansions with a good race, though. Gangly is 3 for 17 in his career and running at peak form recently.
He has finished 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 2nd, 2nd in his last four outings, and in quality form since the summer. Gangly defeated Smileforme by ¾ lengths in a $23,000 event at Del Mar. Gangly moved up to $32,000 events in two appearances at Gulfstream and handled it well, placing 2nd in both. I would back Gangly to get the win from the inside rail in this contest.