There isn’t any horse racing on Christmas, but the day after, known as Boxing Day in Canada, UK, and Australia, has a full slate of horses to handicap. There are seven race tracks offered at BetOnline in the US for wagering. The last time we were on the track on Christmas Eve, it was a very nice day in Florida. Tampa Bay Downs was a sweep with three winners on three selections. The Rainbow 6 and Pick 5 didn’t work out at Gulfstream Park, but if you played them all as singles, that would have been a winning day. There is stakes racing on December 26. The biggest races are at Santa Anita Park, with three $300,000 Grade 1 events which includes the Runhappy Malibu Stakes.
Laurel Park has the most stakes races on December 26. The Maryland based racetrack has eight stakes races. The biggest event at Laurel Park on Saturday is the running of the $150,000 Allaire duPont Stakes (Gr. 3). Each of the other seven races are worth $100,000 for a pretty big day at Laurel Park for this card. There are a total of nine events for $865,000 in prize money. Head below for our free Laurel Park picks for December 26, 2020.
Race 1 – Heft Stakes
Post Time: 12:25 p.m. EST
Race 1 gets us going at Laurel Park on Saturday. This is the running of the $100,000 Heft Stakes, which covers 7 furlongs on the dirt. No Cents and Singlino are being shortlisted on my watch list for the Heft takes. Singlino is 2 for 6 in his career, with a win on July 22 and September 26. Since those back-to-back wins, Singlino has finished 3rd, 7th, 2nd.
In his previous two outings, Singlino went stakes racing in the James $100,000 James F. Lewis III (Black Type) where she finished 7th, and then 2nd most recently in the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Futurity (Black Type) behind Jaxon Traveler by ¾ lengths. That was a really nice response from Singlino after struggling in the same class. Singlino was a big underdog in that race, while Jaxon Traveler was a heavy favorite. Given where the money flowed in that race, Singlino ran better than expected.
No Cents is red-hot to open his career. He has finished 2nd, 1st, 1st, 1st, and recently won his stakes debut on November 14. No Cents beat Dalton by 1 ¼ lengths for the top prize out of a $100,000 prize. Singlino finished 7th in that race, but showed great improvement since. No Cents is coming off a solid workout on December 20, with a recorded time of 48.20 seconds at 4 furlongs. This looks like another win for No Cents, which would be his fourth straight.
Race 2 – Gin Talking Stakes
Post Time: 12:54 p.m. EST
The Gin Talking Stakes is next up on the schedule at Laurel Park on Saturday. This event will cover 7 furlongs on the dirt as well, so nothing changes from Race 1. Aug Lutes and Street Lute, no relation, are horses to watch in this event. Aug Lutes has started out with two wins in two outings at Presque Isle Downs and Woodbine.
As a first-time runner on October 15, Aug Lutes beat Saliza by 2 ½ lengths in a $36,000 event. That was an impressive debut, and then Aug Lutes followed up at a tougher track in Toronto at Woodbine. Aug Lutes was a 1 ¾ length winner over Rocket Reload for a $101,200 purse.
She is making her stakes debut on Saturday at Laurel Park. This figures to be slightly tougher than her outing at Woodbine. Street Lute is the reason why and likely the difference between Aug Lutes and a hat-trick to begin her career. She is 4 for 5 in her career, and she hasn’t finished worse than placing 2nd.
Street Lute has appeared in four straight stakes races, and two straight wins in the $100,000 Smart Halo Stakes on November 14, and then most recently the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship Stakes. She beat Juror Number Four by 1 ¾ lengths, and then another 1 ¾ length win. Both races were timed perfectly by rider Xavier Perez. The results made sense following an electric 58.80-second workout at 5 furlongs in November. I’m confident about Street Lute getting another win.
Race 6 – Dave’s Friend Stakes
Post Time: 2:53 p.m. EST
The Dave’s Friend Stakes is another stakes race at Laurel Park on Saturday. This $100,000 event covers 6 furlongs on the main track. Laki and Share the Ride are going to be runners to watch in Race 6. Laki is 10 for 29 in his career and in good form recently. He has finished in the top-2 in six straight events, including two wins, and a win in a Grade 3 race on October 3. Laki beat Eastern Bay by a nose for a $200,000 prize by a nose in a tight race.
That was his first win since July 3 at Monmouth Park in the $76,500 Oceanport Centennial Stakes. Laki followed up the win in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (Gr. 3) placing 2nd on November 28. It was a solid performance to put Laki in contention. He missed out on the top prize by a nose for a $100,000 purse in the Frank Y. Whiteley Stakes (Black Type). Don’t discredit Laki from the outside. He can strike on these terms on Saturday.
Share the Ride is 8 for 20 in his career and in search of a hat-trick on Saturday. He has primarily raced in graded events over the last few months. Since September 12, Share the Ride has finished 1st, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 1st. Share the Ride overcame Stan the Man by ¾ lengths for a $100,000 purse in the Fall Highweight Handicap (Gr. 3) on November 29. Share the Ride is a $175,000 horse bred to run in stakes events. He will have to work for this win, but it should come to fruition if he’s interested in running on Saturday.