A huge card on Friday at BetOnline, as 12 race tracks are available for wagering in the US today. There will likely be two or three harness tracks up for betting on Friday night. I don’t dabble in harness racing often, but when I have, I’ve usually been on the winning side. If I see a card that I like at Yonkers or Pompano, but with 12 thoroughbred tracks on the docket, there are more than enough horses to handicap. The Road to the Kentucky Derby is going to heat up this weekend, as we have our first prep race for 50 points.
The $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (Gr. 2) is scheduled for Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course. It’s one of two Grade 2 races at Fair Grounds, which also includes the $300,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (Gr. 2). There are a couple of small $35,000 stakes races at Turf Paradise on Friday, but not much else in terms of big racing. That said, there’s still 12 cards, with a few of the big boys racing like Santa Anita Park and Aqueduct Racetrack.
We will get started on Friday evening at Penn National Race Course in Pennsylvania. Penn National has 11 races on the agenda for a total of $172,800 in prize money. Head below for our free Penn National Race Course picks for February 12, 2021.
Post Time: 7:18 p.m. EST
We will get going on Friday evening at Penn National with 6 furlongs for a $31,600 purse. This is the feature event at Penn National tonight. Seven horses are expected to participate, with Kew Palace and Likeuonlyprettier a team as a coupled pair.
Kew Palace should carry the weight for that team, with Jesse the Great likely threatening from the outside. Jesse the Great has been a model of consistency, with seven straight performances in the top-3. However, that stretch has yielded no wins.
Her most recent victory was on August 23, 2019. Since then, Jesse the Great has consistently been a show horse finishing 3rd in 8 of his next 11 assignments. Expect to find Jesse the Great somewhere around the front in this event.
In her most recent outing, Jesse the Great showed 3rd in a $28,000 event. Kew Palace has a win in ten events, but has been unable to get back to the winner’s circle since a 8 ½ length win for a $27,100 purse on January 12, 2019.
Since that effort, Kew Palace has gone 3rd, 2nd, 4th, 3rd, 2nd with a solid race recently on January 13. Kew Palace placed 2nd behind Fairy Dust by ¾ lengths in a $31,600 event. That was an excellent attempt by Kew Palace, and likely enough for a win on Friday night.
Post Time: 7:44 p.m. EST
Distance:1 Mile 70 Yards
A mile and 70 yards for a $10,800 purse will be the basis of Race 5 on Friday night. Voodoo Cat and Torres Del Paine should provide bold bids in this race. They might engage in the stretch and get into a duel in the final stretch run. Voodoo Cat showed nice improvement after finishing 6th on January 8 as a first-time runner in a $11,800 assignment.
He was able to respond on January 22 with a win after finishing a head behind Cin Cin Cowboy. Cin Cin Cowboy was disqualified for interference, so the win went to Voodoo Cat. It wasn’t a first win that Voodoo Cat’s connections envisioned, but it was a win regardless. Remaining in the same class on Friday, and open to improvement, Voodoo Cat must be considered to win at the $10,800 level.
Torres Del Paine is stepping down in class for what should be an easier assignment on Friday. He has some stakes experience, including an appearance in a Grade 3 race on October 27, 2019 at Woodbine. Torres Del Paine was solid enough to finish 4th.
In his last four outings, Torres Del Paine has gone 2nd, 2nd, 8th, 5th in her previous four performances. He finished 5th most recently on January 29 in a $14,400 event. This is a $100,000 horse that should be able to clear this field. In one of the easiest outings of his career, Torres Del Paine should be able to handle this competition.
Post Time: 9:28 p.m. EST
Race 9 is the final selection for us at Penn National on Friday evening. Six horses are expected to participate in this $16,400 event covering 6 furlongs. My Little Melody and Normans Girl Gayle should be close at the wire in this contest. My Little Melody is winless in her career, but has a good chance of striking on these terms on Friday. She showed nice improvement in her latest outing on January 27 for a $11,800 prize.
My Little Melody placed 3 ½ lengths behind Mouse Cat for the lead at the wire. It was a good effort after My Little Melody went 4th, 5th, 7th, 5th prior to placing 2nd for the first time in her career since, well, ever. Through 12 assignments that’s the first time that My Little Melody has finished in the top-2. Normans Girl Gayle enters winless on Friday as well.
She has finished 2nd, 4th, 4th, 3rd in her previous four appearances. Normans Girl Gayle showed 3rd on January 13 in a $11,800 event. Despite this being for a higher class, that race looked tougher than what Normans Girl Gayle is going to experience today. She has looked good in morning workouts, and reports indicate that she is ready to go in this race. The competition is weak in this one, which should help get Normans Girl Gayle to the winner’s circle.