In our second horse racing breakdown on Sunday, we’re at Mountaineer Park for some racing under the lights in West Virginia. If you are looking for afternoon horse racing picks, then you can find our selections for Fair Grounds at TheSportsGeek as well. I do my best to handicap an afternoon and a night card if it’s available. There aren’t any big stakes racing today, so don’t go searching out any of the elite horses in the US. There is a $100,000 stakes event at Los Alamitos Race Course, but not much else for big money. Go over to Japan for the $1,410,000 Ashai Hai Futurity Stakes (Gr. 1) if you want a notable event.
Mountaineer Park has nine races on the card with a total of $80,400 in play. Not a lot of prize money to be bad on Sunday night, but hopefully we can do something with it. Head below for our free Mountaineer Park picks for December 20, 2020.
Post Time: 7:44 p.m. EST
Distance:1 Mile 70 Yards
Race 3 features a mile and 70 yards for a modest purse of $6,700. Nine horses are scheduled to run in the event. City Bird Flying and Dixieland Traffic should have something to say in the stretch. City Bird Flying has finished in the top-3 in four straight performances, having shown 3rd in back-to-back races going into today. City Bird Flying is winless in his eight-race career, but getting close and picking up some small paydays along the way.
She showed 3rd in her most recent outing on December 2 in a $11,500 assignment. Down in class for Sunday, expect City Bird Flying to find this one easier with the potential for a win. Dixieland Traffic is winless as well, but has placed 2nd in three straight performances going into Sunday. In her most recent effort, Dixieland Traffic was 2nd behind Island Betty for a $6,700 purse.
Prior to that race, Dixieland Traffic placed 2nd behind Runaway Dream by 2 lengths for a $12,000 prize, so she is capable of running well in higher classes as well. The loss in her most recent assignment was disappointing, though this should be a race where she bounces back well. I will back Dixieland Traffic to score the first win of her career against this beatable field on Sunday.
Post Time: 8:50 p.m. EST
5 furlongs for a $6,300 purse on the dirt if what we’re going to see in Race 6 at Mountaineer Park on Sunday night. White Drill and Firebird could get into a fun duel in the stretch if things play out as expected. White Drill is a strong horse, but hasn’t been back to the winner’s circle since September 13. However, White Drill has been getting close, with finishes of 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd.
He has just been unable to get over the hump. In White Drill’s most recent performance, he showed 3rd in a $6,900 event. He moved down slightly in class and should have a suitable opportunity for a win on Sunday night. Firebird is likely going to be the only horse between White Drill and a win.
Firebird is searching for a hat-trick on Sunday after wins on October 30 and December 3. He beat Primal Destiny by a neck for a $11,000 purse, and then followed up for a win in December over Dashiell by 1 ½ lengths in another $11,000 race. Note that Firebird has been in the top-2 in five of his previous six entries, all in events much tougher than he will experience on Sunday. Look at Firebird in this race.
Post Time: 9:34 p.m. EST
Race 8 is for a $8,000 purse on the main track Sunday night. This is one of the bigger races of the evening in West Virginia. We should have a good race between Captain Machen and Bold Proposition. Bold Proposition is 1 for 12 in his career, with some promising races to build on recently. He showed 3rd in back-to-back races on December 1 and December 4 in a $6,800 and $10,300 event.
His latest try in the $10,300 race on December 4 was the most encouraging, and that form should do him well in a $8,000 event tonight. In his latest win, Bold Proposition beat Twirlincottoncandy by 8 ¼ lengths in a $10,500 event on August 13. However, that same form hasn’t been present since then. A return to that form would yield terrific results for Bold Proposition on Sunday night. Expect Captain Machen to provide a tricky challenge for him and the rest of the field.
Captain Machen is 3 for 7 in his career, with two wins in his last three outings. He’s been in the top-3 in six of seven races. Captain Machen looked great in his most recent effort, as he defeated Jovial John by 3 ½ lengths for a $6,900 purse. It was not a difficult win for Captain Machen. He was leading at the ¼ pole and fended off any challengers nicely. Expect a similar performance for Captain Machen on Sunday night.