As soon as I went over yesterday how horse racing has fought through the coronavirus pandemic and continued on, we had a racetrack have to suspend racing after just one race. I believe as a result of a positive case or two at the facility, Lone Star Park stopped after Race 1. It’s a bit weird for them to get one race in and then halt the rest of the card, but something must have happened between the start of the card and after Race 1. The only explanation I have is that those individuals received a positive result from their tests and officials at the track weren’t taking any chances. According to Lone Star Park’s Twitter account, they are suspending all operations until an undisclosed date in the future.
Due to an abundance of caution, all racing operations at Lone Star Park have been suspended due to #COVID19.
Racing will resume at a date to be determined.
— Lone Star Park (@lonestarpark) July 5, 2020
There is a card up for Monday, but that doesn’t seem to be happening now. It’s worth mentioning that Lone Star Park was racing with fans in attendance. So, whether they get back to racing shortly and just block fans off against remains to be seen. The other racetracks across the US went off without a hitch on Sunday, though. Thistledown in Cleveland has eight races on the schedule Monday. We’ll dive into the Thistledown card looking for winners. Head below for our free Thistledown picks for July 6, 2020.
Post Time: 12:50 p.m. EST
Distance: 5 ½ Furlongs
The day will begin at Thistledown with 5 ½ furlongs of racing on the dirt for a tidy $20,000 purse. There are only two more races on the day with bigger purses. Lunar Buck, Yesus Star, and Guccissimo find their way on my shortlist for the event. After 25 races, Yesus Star is still in search of his first win.
That doesn’t sound spectacular, but Yesus Star has been hanging in there since last fall. He’s finished in the top-3 in 4 of 8 races and is receiving a drop in class today. Yesus Star finished 6th for a $27,000 purse most recently on June 27 at Charles Town. There will likely be an opportunity there for Yesus Star to finally reach the winner’s circle.
Guccissimo was on a nice run with four straight performances in the top-3. The best performance of his career was on June 13 where he placed 2nd behind Muy Caro by 5 ½ lengths. He broke slow, but closed fast in the stretch. A better start for Guccissimo and that likely translates into a win.
Since that event, Guccissimo has been busy with two more races. He finished 3rd on June 17 and then followed it up to finish 5th on June 27. That wasn’t by any means his best performance, so there will have to be improved form to put a dent into this race. It’s likely that Guccissimo is still going to show material against this field, though.
Lunar Buck had a recent entry as well on June 27. He was in the same race as Guccissimo, with Lunar Buck finishing a couple of places ahead for 3rd. Lunar Buck was 2nd prior to that event. He placed 2nd for the third time in four races on June 17. Gussissimo and Lunar Buck met at the gate in that race as well, with Lunar Buck finishing 2 ¼ lengths ahead. Lunar Buck has been in the top-3 in 5 of his previous 7 events, so he’s been running near the front consistently. I’m willing to pull the trigger on Lunar Buck to start the day at Thistledown on Monday.
Post Time: 2:20 p.m. EST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
Our next selection at Thistledown will take us to Race 4 in Cleveland. Wild Cowgirl and A Perfect Sky, along with upset potential Goodfriday Morning are on my shortlist. This isn’t the strongest field and might result in an upset for Goodfriday Morning. She has 1 win in 19 career races and is in search of her first win since November 13, 2018.
Goodfriday Morning has finished 2nd, 5th, 7th in her previous three outings. In her most recent outing, Goodfriday Morning was 7th on June 17 in a rather slow effort. She was coming off a layoff, so that may have had something to do with it. This is a race she should be able to keep up in.
Wild Cowgirl is 1 for 7 in her career. It wasn’t too long ago that Wild Cowgirl was walking to the winner’s circle. Two races ago on March 7, Wild Cowgirl hit paydirt for a win over True Light by 3 lengths at Mahoning Valley. That was for a $29,600 purse, so that was a class higher than what she will be dealing with today.
However, Wild Cowgirl has been all over the place and awfully inconsistent. Prior to that event, Wild Cowgirl was 5th on January 29, and 7th, 5th, 4th before that. After winning in March, Wild Cowgirl returned to the track on June 13 to finish 5th. She is coming off a promising workout on June 30 with a time of 48.60 seconds over 4 furlongs in the morning.
A Perfect Sky is 1 for 13 since debuting on March 20 at Mahoning Valley. She has finished in the top-3 in 7 of 13 races to get into the money consistently. Her previous two outings weren’t too spectacular, though, having finished 7th and 5th. She is getting a considerably big class drop for Monday, so that should help matters out.
A Perfect Sky has typically competed for purses around $30,000 or more, so easier company will await at the gate on Monday afternoon. In her most recent races where she’s finished in the top-3, both of those were harder races than this with purses of beyond $30,000. Both of those performances would be good enough for a win in this class. A Perfect Sky looks like the play in Race 4.
Post Time: 3:20 p.m. EST
Race 6 will feature the second biggest purse of the day at Thistledown. The gate will open for seven horses on the dirt for a mile of racing. A tidy payout awaits the winner, which will come out of a $27,500 purse. Nan’s Rose, Ma Kettle, and Diamonds N Dew are expected to present bold bids on Monday. Ma Kettle gets the outside out of the gate and should be one of three main threats to win here. She was close on June 17, but had the run of her career thus far to place 2nd for the first time in her six-race career. It’s the second time that Ma Kettle has finished in the top-3.
Ma Kettle lost by 4 lengths against Succotash on June 17. She cleared the rest of the field to finish 2 ¼ lengths ahead of Island Chic for a very respectable 2nd place position. In her six-race career, Ma Kettle has finished 4th, 3rd, 5th, 4th, 2nd, and seeking to make greater improvements on Monday in this event. Her latest outing was for a $27,500 purse, so she will remain in the same class this afternoon.
Nan’s Rose enters in good form after finishing 2nd, 3rd, 2nd in her previous three outings. She has been in the top-3 in 4 of her previous 5 performances. Nan’s Rose was 9 ¾ lengths behind in her latest outing on June 17, though she cleared the field for 2nd to place by 4 ¼ lengths. True Light was clearly the best horse on that day, but that kind of performance could be good enough for a win Monday. Like Ma Kettle, Nan’s Rose isn’t getting a class drop or uptick on Monday, as she remains in the same class.
Diamonds N Dew is coming off her debut in what was arguably a really impressive debut. It didn’t end up in a win, but she did pick up $5,000 out of a $27,500 purse on June 24. Her and Penny Shots were well ahead of the field. No one else provided any competition, with Diamonds N Dew finishing 14 ¼ lengths ahead of Wild Tillie for 2nd. She dueled with Penny Shots to lose by 3 ½ lengths. Diamonds N Dew got stronger as she got deeper into the 5 ½ furlong event, so a mile should be fine for her. This filly is capable of getting the job done on Monday afternoon.