BetOnline has 11 race courses available for betting on Thursday. There are five stakes races on the agenda, with the running of the $750,000 Gun Runner Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs the biggest race of the day. The $1,000,000 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup (Gr. 1) on Saturday at Kentucky Downs will be a big event.
The Queen’s Plate Stakes, which is the Kentucky Derby of Canada, will take place on Saturday at Woodbine for a $1,000,000 purse. A female, Curlin’s Voyage, will look to cut down the boys in that prestigious race. I will likely have a Woodbine card for Saturday.
For Thursday, we’re going to take a look at what Laurel Park has to offer in Maryland. There are eight races at Laurel with a total of $258,000 available. Let’s see what we can do with three races. If you are looking for Gulfstream Park, we have the Pick 5 and Pick 4 covered in Hallandale Beach. Head below for our free Laurel Park picks for September 10, 2020.
Post Time: 12:40 p.m. EST
Distance: 1 Mile
Race 1 is our starting point at Laurel Park on Thursday afternoon. This will be a mile on the dirt for a $19,000 purse. Brutus and Fast Master should be in the mix in the stretch. Brutus is coming off a sharp performance on August 19 at Delaware Park.
He won by 3 lengths in a $20,000 race over Bayou Jam. The public got that one right, as Brutus ended up closing as the betting favorite. That was a much better effort for Brutus after struggling in a $26,000 and $51,000 race.
In the $51,000 event, Brutus finished 12th on March 28. After moving down a notch to a $20,000 event, Brutus ran like a different horse against weaker competition. Overall, Brutus is 2 for 15 in his career, and I think he has a decent chance of getting the top prize in Race 1.
Fast Master should be able to scare Brutus on Thursday afternoon. He was on point in a strong race on August 14. This was after Fast Master recorded a great workout on August 7 with a time of 59.60 seconds at 5 furlongs.
The success in that morning workout carried over to race day a week later, with Fast Master winning by 2 ¼ lengths over Thunder Day. Fast Master struggled running in the $25,000-$30,000 range, but immediately found success in a $19,854 event. I’d suggest going with the No. 1 horse in Race 1.
Post Time: 1:40 p.m. EST
Our next selection at Laurel Park brings us to Race 3 in Maryland. Golden Gulley and Kwist should be involved in this $40,000 6-furlong event. Both horses are rookies making their debut at Laurel Park in this one. Golden Gulley was purchased at auction for $40,000 this past May.
That’s $5,000 cheaper than the original auction price last year of $45,000. He has looked fine in the morning, with recorded times of 36.80 seconds at 3 furlongs, 49.60 seconds at 4 furlongs, and 1:00.60 and 1:01.60 at 5 furlongs. Expect to find Golden Gulley close, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him going to the winner’s circle. Kwist is a rookie making his debut on Thursday as well.
He was purchased for $55,000, $60,000, and $45,000 in his last three auctions. His pedigree is a good one, as Kwist is related to 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist (Kwist short for Nyquist). Nyquist was a rocket early in his career, including that Kentucky Derby victory. He’s been in good form with recorded times of 48.80 and 49 seconds twice, 50.60, and 50.20 seconds. Kwist should be able to get it done as a first-time runner today.
Post Time: 3:06 p.m. EST
We will conclude our Laurel Park card with Race 5 on Thursday afternoon. This event will cover 6 furlongs on the dirt. Blue Sky Venezuela and Swirrlie Shirlie are on my shortlist for Race 5. I think Blue Sky Venezuela has a better chance to win here than 5/1 indicates.
Blue Sky Venezuela is feeling hot after winning two straight races. She won on July 31 by a neck over Susiken for a $17,850 purse and then followed up to win by 2 lengths as a slight underdog in a $17,490 race.Overall, Blue Sky Venezuela is 4 for 21 in her career. This has been the best form of her career recently.
Blue Sky Venezuela finished 7th and 5th prior to a nice effort recently. Those events were for $29,578 and $27,738, so she needed the drop in class to get back on the right path. The $15,000-$20,000 range is where Blue Sky Venezuela is most comfortable.
Swirrlie Shirle has been on fire and has won three straight races. Following a hat-trick, Swirrlie Shirlie is looking for more wins. She won on July 17, August 1, and August 21. In her most recent victory, Swirrline Shirlie won by a nose over Dat Dares Gold for a $22,470 purse. Prior to that win, Swirrlie Shirlie won an $18,000 and $15,540 event. She is more than capable of winning in this class and making it four straight wins. I’m riding with Swirrlie Shirlie to stay hot.