There is ample action available for horse handicappers on Thursday. You can find a few of the bigger tracks like Aqueduct, Oaklawn, and Keeneland racing, while some of the other small tracks including Charles Town, Delta Downs, and Turf Paradise are operating. We have one of each represented, with three picks at Aqueduct Racetrack, and then we’re going to the desert in Phoenix to play Turf Paradise. There aren’t any stakes racing on Thursday, but a couple of big $1,000,000 races at Oaklawn Park.
If you’re looking for prep races for the Kentucky Derby, you are going to be disappointed because those are done and in the books. There aren’t any more points available on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Essential Quality continues to rate as one of the favorites to win the Kentucky Derby. He is down to +275 from when I bet him on a future bet at +650. I’m still not counting out Bob Baffert’s Concert Tour despite the loss in the Arkansas Derby, too.
Turf Paradise has nine races with a modest purse of $76,500. That’s between all nine events. There is some quarter horse racing in this card with two races. If you are looking for more expensive racing, you can head to our Aqueduct Racetrack page. Head below for our free Turf Paradise picks for April 15, 2021.
Post Time: 1:59 p.m. PST
We’re covering a quarter horse race for our first selection at Turf Paradise on Thursday. Race 2 covers 350 yards for a small purse of $5,500. Mrs Angel Jess and Pauls Special Knights are on my shortlist going into this event. Mrs Angel Jess is 2 for 11 in her career, and coming off a win March 19.
In her previous five attempts, Mrs Angel Jess has gone 6th, 8th, 4th, 4th, 1st, so she’s back in the winner’s circle for the first time since August 7. In her win, Mrs Angel Jess was timed at 13.373 seconds to beat Corazon Rastado 727 by ¾ lengths for an impressive finish at 250 yards. This is going to be a bit longer, though, and Mrs Angel Jess doesn’t have as much success at 350 yards in her career.
Pauls Special Knight is in search of a hat-trick after winning on February 4 and March 25. He beat Cash Icon by 1 ¼ lengths in an easy win at 350 yards. Pauls Special Knight returned to the track on March 25 to beat Ramblin Fox by 2 ¼ lengths in another impressive performance at 350 yards for a $6,000 purse. He cruised in both races, and should be tough to beat on Thursday afternoon.
Post Time: 2:29 p.m. PST
In Race 3 at Turf Paradise, there is a mile of racing for a $8,500 purse. Pay attention to the No. 5 and No. 6 horse in this race. We could have a duel between these two contenders. Mandrew is 1 for 7 in his career, with the win coming in his most recent appearance on March 22. He beat Club Champ by 1 ¼ lengths in a $9,500 event.
This was after going 3rd, 5th, 8th. Prior to the victory, Mandrew finished 8th in the $50,000 Turf Paradise Derby on March 12. That represented a big drop in class, and Mandrew remains in a much lower class than that Thursday. In fact, Mandrew goes down to a $8,500 event for this event.
Nonno’s Polaris should threaten Mandrew for the top prize. He is looking for a new home after racing at Santa Anita Park for most of his career. Nonno’s Polaris has finished 8th, 7th, 6th, 4th in his previous four entries. He finished 6th on February 6 in his last race at Santa Anita in a $24,000 event.
In his first outing at Turf Paradise, Nonno’s Polaris was 4th in a $10,000 event. He had some mild kick to go from 7th to 4th in the stretch, but that was disappointing. I like where Mandrew has been going, and I think he warrants a look over the favorite.
Post Time: 5:24 p.m. PST
The final event at Turf Paradise is a $10,000 event covering a mile on the turf. Point of Impact and Irish Charlie should run well here. Point of Impact is 1 for 14 in his career, and is looking for his first win since September 25. It’s been a while, as Point of Impact has gone winless in eight straight races. Point of Impact has finished 4th, 2nd, 5th, 3rd in his previous four races.
He showed 3rd on April 1 in a $10,000 assignment. Point of Impact was 3 ¾ lengths and a neck behind the winner in that race. He’s staying in the same class on Thursday, and should be able to find more success at this level. Expect Point of Impact to be close enough at the wire with a chance to strike home.
Irish Charlie has been a consistent runner since February. He has finished 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd in four performances. Irish Charlie placed 2nd in three straight performances in three $10,000 events. He showed 3rd in his most recent event on April 6 to end that streak.
However, Irish Charlie has already proven to be better than Point of Impact, beating him easily in previous races. I like Irish Charlie to get over the hump and into the winner’s circle after knocking hard at the wire for the last two months.