We head to Friday for our latest horse racing picks at TheSportsGeek. This is the warmup before a big day on Saturday throughout the country. Tomorrow the racing action heats up with several stakes races from all around the US, including events with 85 points up for grabs on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. There are two Grade 1 races, both at Santa Anita Park, with the running of the $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (Gr. 1) and $400,000 Santa Anita Handicap (Gr. 1). Tampa Bay Downs also has a $400,000 race with the running of the Tampa Bay Derby (Gr. 2). There isn’t one stakes race to get to Friday, but plenty of options regardless. A whopping 14 tracks are available for wagering at BetOnline today.
We will get started at Laurel Park in Maryland on Friday. Laurel Park has eight races on the schedule with a total of $232,000 on the docket. Head below for our free Laurel Park picks for March 5, 2021.
Post Time: 1:26 p.m. EST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
Race 3 is our first stop at Laurel Park on Friday for a $18,000 event on the dirt. No More Talk and Higher Purpose should be options to watch in the stretch in this event. No More Talk is 7 for 51 in his career, and has finished 2nd, 9th, 6th, 2nd in his previous four entries. He placed 2nd behind The Walk by 7 ¼ lengths in his most recent outing in a $20,988 assignment.
The Walk was the second favorite in that race, so that was an impressive show put on from him despite the odds not in his favor. Down in class on Friday, expect a closer run for No More Talk. It’s hard to see any runner pulling away for a 7 ¼ length win in this race, with No More talk and Higher Purpose likely getting into a competitive battle in the stretch run.
Higher Purpose is 8 for 30 in his career, with some up and down results recently. He’s finished 1st, 6th, 3rd, 1st in his last five outings, and coming off a win on February 25. Higher Purpose beat Five Card Draw by 3 lengths in a $18,015 event. That was an impressive performance, clear at the ¼ pole by a length and carried on. Higher Purpose showed 3rd in a $18,345 race as the favorite prior to that win. I can see back-to-back wins for Higher Purpose on Friday.
Post Time: 1:56 p.m. EST
Race 4 is a $16,000 event covering 5 furlongs on the dirt. A small field of six runners is expected to participate in this event. Gold Fellow and Sir Lenny should do well in this outing. Gold Fellow has finished 2nd, 5th, 5th, 6th in his career. He’s down in class following three tough races. In his first race, Gold Fellow placed 2nd behind Market Cap by 7 lengths in a $47,600 event.
He didn’t come close in his next three performances, finishing 5th, 5th, 6th in three straight assignments. In his most recent, Gold Fellow was 6th in a $27,180 outing. Gold Fellow appropriately drops down in class to a $16,000 race on Friday. That’s going to put Gold Fellow in good standing for this race. He will have to deal with Sir Lenny from the No. 3 spot in this outing.
Sir Lenny will enter the third race of his career on Thursday, with decent results to show for his first two efforts. He’s gone 2nd and 3rd, placing 2nd in his debut run on Bananas On Fire by 7 ¾ lengths in a $30,861 event, and then 3rd in a $29,890 assignment on January 10. That was acceptable efforts from Sir Lenny, and a class drop to $16,000 necessarily wasn’t needed given that form. Sir Lenny should be able to handle a $16,000 event after running well up in class.
Post Time: 2:27 p.m. EST
Race 5 is a $18,000 event covering 6 furlongs on the dirt. Lifespan and Distant Thunder should run well in this race. Lifespan is winless in 11 races, but has been a consistent runner recently and is likely going to strike soon. He has finished top-3 in five of his previous seven performances, and top-3 in only but one of those races.
In two outings in 2021, Lifespan has finished 3rd and 2nd, showing 3rd in a $20,574 event, and then placed 2nd most recently on February 25 in a $24,714 assignment. Lifespan had a gamely performance in the stretch, and just missed out on a win by 2 ¾ lengths after moving up nicely.
Distant Thunder gets the inside rail out of the gate, and has already proven to be better than Lifespan in the past. Distant Thunder was a half length behind Boss Life for the win, and a length ahead of Lifespan on January 24. In three outings, Distant Thunder has gone 2nd, 4th, 2nd in his three-race career. Along the inside rail, look for Distant Thunder to run well with a chance to win his first event on Friday afternoon.