We have a big slate of racing across the US on Friday. You can go just about everywhere and find some racing today. BetOnline has you covered with 11 racecourses, led by Aqueduct Racetrack early in the day and then Santa Anita Park to follow out west. Fair Grounds is going to have most of the attention on Saturday, as the Road to the 2021 Kentucky Derby goes through Louisiana this weekend.
There are five stakes racing at Fair Grounds, including the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes (Gr. 3), which awards 10 points to the winner towards the Kentucky Derby. The first 100-point race is on March 20 in the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds. Fair Grounds is also home to the first 50-point race on February 13 in the running of the Risen Star Division.
We will open the day at Laurel Park in Maryland on Friday. Laurel Park has nine races scheduled for a total of $255,000 in prize money. Head below for our free Laurel Park picks for January 15, 2021.
Post Time: 12:54 p.m. EST
Distance:6 ½ Furlongs
Race 2 at Laurel Park will get us started on Friday with a 6 ½ furlong race for a $29,000 purse. Union Song and Uno Tigress are interesting contenders in this event. Union Song is 2 for 11 in her career and coming off a really nice showing on December 20. She beat A Girl Named Jac by 2 ¼ lengths for a $32,200 purse.
A Girl Named Jac was a convincing favorite in that race, but Union Song rode hard for the win. It was the third race in her previous four that she notched a top-2 finish. In her last four performances, Union Song has finished 2nd, 2nd, 4th, 1st. Union Song is in good form right now and can’t be ignored in this event.
Uno Tigress has appeared in four events in her career and been in the top-2 in all four, including two wins on October 5 and December 11. In the first win, Uno Tigress defeated Bound for Broadway by 5 ½ lengths in a $25,000 assignment.
She came back to win in her most recent showing on December 11, as she beat Excess Capacity nicely by 1 ¾ lengths to edge away in the stretch to score the top prize in a $44,940 assignment. This certainly looks like a winnable outing for Uno Tigress on Friday.
Post Time: 1:53 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Race 4 is one of the biggest events at Laurel Park on Friday afternoon. This 1 1/16 mile race on the main track comes with a $45,000 purse. Stay Smart and Daphne Moon are the horses to watch in this race. Both should fire out of the gate on the inside rail and set the pace throughout. Stay Smart is 5 for 16 in her career and is a winner in two of her previous three entries.
Her hat-trick bid was denied on December 1 at Parx in a 6th place finish. Prior to that loss, Stay Smart beat Groovy Surprise by 1 length in a $65,625 event on September 20 at Monmouth, and then followed up to win the $79,500 Smart N Classy Handicap by 2 ¼ lengths over Crazy Daisy.
Her most recent outing was a disappointment, though, as Stay Smart finished 6th in a $40,000 event. Something had to happen to her following her win in the Smart N Classy Handicap, because she didn’t look like the same horse and the money didn’t follow at post time. Expect her to be in the mix, but she hasn’t looked as good as we’ve seen in the past.
Daphne Moon enters Friday after finishing 2nd and 3rd in her previous two outings. She placed 2nd on October 18 at Laurel Park behind Landing Zone by 4 ¾ lengths in a $46,350 race, and then came back to show 3rd at Aqueduct in a $84,000 outing on December 13.
Daphne Moon was purchased for $525,000 in 2019 and was expected to be a big stakes runner. That hasn’t been the case, but she should succeed at the $45,000 level. If Stay Smart continues her decline from her last race, this should be easier for Daphne Moon.
Post Time: 2:23 p.m. EST
In our final selection at Laurel Park, we’ll handicap the fifth race of the afternoon in Maryland. Nine horses are expected to run for the top prize in Race 5. Classy Solution and Point Driven have to be liked on these terms. Classy Solution is looking for the second win of his career on Friday. He is 1 for 21, with his most recent win dating back to September 25, 2019, which was the first race of his career.
Since then, Classy Solution has gone winless in 24 races. In his last three performances, Classy Solution has finished 6th, 2nd, 4th. He placed 2nd behind Ghost On a Mission by a half length for a $19,260 purse on December 5, and then 4th on January 2 in a $25,300 race. Classy Solution is down in class today and should compete against this field. It’s not the most talented.
Point Driven was a winner recently on November 20. That was an easy win for Point Driven to beat Strolled On By by 8 lengths in a $29,970 race. Point Driven went 5th in back-to-back races on December 10 and New Year’s Eve, and is looking for a bounce-back spot today. In his most recent effort, Point Driven finished 5th in a $34,888 event. He is well down in class on Friday, and should be able to get back into the winner’s circle at this level.