Thursday brings a decent slate of nine racecourses at BetOnline. The biggest track to rejoin the schedule today is Aqueduct Racetrack, who returns for their weekend card through Sunday. There are three very big stakes races to note coming up on Saturday. The $1,000,000 Blue Grass Stakes (Gr. 1) is a monster race with Essential Quality looking to put on a show and impress in his prep race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
Along with the Blue Grass, we have the Santa Anita Derby and Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack. Note that all of these events come with 170 points. The winner will get 100 points and an automatic trip to the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. After Saturday, there is only one more 170-prep race left to go, which will take place on April 10 at Oaklawn Park with the Arkansas Derby.
We will make a stop in Texas on Thursday evening at Sam Houston Race Park. Sam Houston is open to racing fans and handicappers for live wagering in-person. There are ten races expected to be run at Sam Houston Race Park, with a total of $351,000 in prize money this early evening. Head below for our free Sam Houston Race Park picks for April 1, 2021.
Post Time: 4:00 p.m. CST
Race 1 is a $28,000 event on the dirt with post time scheduled for 4:00 p.m. CST. Diem Now and Fox Appeal are horses in winnable form at the moment. Expect to see them somewhere near the front or at the front in this 7-furlong event. Diem Now is a one-time winner through three events. She’s finished 2nd, 1st, 5th in her career.
In his win on February 12, Diem Now knocked off Tiz for Real by 1 length in a $16,000 event. Her effort next time out on February 25 didn’t go according to plan for a $44,000 purse. Diem Now will meet in the middle and enter a $28,000 event after winning at $16,000 and losing at $44,000. With the drop in class, expect a better performance for Diem Now on Thursday.
Fox Appeal is coming off a win on March 10. She has participated in two races, and has an opportunity to improve even more from those two starts. Fox Appeal showed 3rd as a rookie runner on February 5 in a $13,500 event, and then came on strong in her next performance to beat Mine Redemption by a neck for a $20,500 purse. If Fox Appeal continues to get better from there, a win should be in the plans for her Thursday.
Post Time: 5:53 p.m. CST
In the fifth race at Sam Houston Race Park, we have a $50,000 card for 6 furlongs for nine runners. The No. 1 horse hasn’t registered for this race, so there will be nobody on the inside rail out of the gate. Sweet Linda and Gone Baby Gone should compete for the top prize in Race 5. Sweet Linda is coming off the first race of her career on March 19. She has finished in the top-2 in four of her previous five performances.
Sweet Linda defeated Miss Carmen by 3 ¼ lengths in a $39,000 event on March 19. That was a nice effort from Sweet Linda, and it was a nice improvement after finishing 5th in a $29,000 race. Sweet Linda was able to bounce back in nice form on March 19, though. You have to like the direction she was going in for her last assignment. If she can keep that form up, look for Sweet Linda to come close.
Gone Baby Gone is likely going to give Sweet Linda a big challenge. Gone Baby Gone has finished 3rd, 1st, 3rd in her three-race career. She was a 2 length winner over Bubble Line in a $16,000 event on January 22, and then followed up in 3rd for a $44,000 purse on March 4. That was a loss, but really promising start for Gone Baby Gone. If she runs like that again, this should be a winning day for her. She is coming off a solid workout on March 26 with a time of 49.60 seconds at 4 furlongs. I’d back the No. 10 horse.
Post Time: 7:19 p.m. CST
We will finish up the day at Sam Houston Race Park with a $19,000 event covering 5 furlongs on the turf. Shanny Go Nanny and Thinkitasadonation should be worth a look on the grass. Shanny Go Nanny has finished 5th, 5th, 6th in her career for a start that hasn’t been the best. In her most recent showing, Shanny Go Nanny finished 6th for a $23,500 purse on February 24.
It could have been better. Shanny Go Nanny finished 5th in back-to-back outings to open her career on June 19 and then followed up on October 2. As a rookie, she finished 5th for a $39,000 purse, and then 5th in a $27,000 purse. From what we’ve seen, a class drop below $20,000 was a wise decision. Expect her to be more of a player in this outing. Thinkitasadonation is 3rd, 2nd, 2nd in her career.
She’s been running well, but still looking to break through for the first win of her career. In any case, Thinkitasadonation has been able to pick up some piece of the prize money in every race. In her most recent assignment, she placed 2nd behind Gray Zone by 1 ¾ lengths in a $23,500 event. That was after placing 2nd in a $21,500 event on January 31. In an attempt to get into the winner’s circle, she will slide down to a $19,000 race on Thursday. This should be a winnable spot.