We are off and running on the racetrack on Friday afternoon and into the evening. BetOnline has a full card with 11 racecourses open for wagering. There is no stakes racing to speak of, unless you count a small $28,000 stakes race at Turf Paradise. You can look forward to a nice day for stakes racing on Saturday, with 12 throughout the US worth at least $75,000. The biggest of which are located at Oaklawn Park, Gulfstream Park, and San Anita Park. Each facility has one $200,000 stakes race scheduled on Saturday.
The $200,000 San Pasqual Stakes (Gr. 2) is the highest ranked race of the day. Our first look on Friday is at Turf Paradise in Arizona. Turf Paradise got a late start because of contract negotiations that extended from October to January between the track and horsemen. Now that’s taken care of and racing has been full speed ahead in the desert. Turf Paradise has nine races in the hopper, two of which are quarter horses, on Friday, with a total of $121,100 in prize money available. Head below for our free Turf Paradise picks for January 29, 2021.
Post Time: 12:30 p.m. MST
We will get started at Turf Paradise with a 350-yard dash to the wire out of the gate. Six horses are expected to participate in this quarter horse event to get the day started in Arizona. Brockmire and Thats Whats Up should be in contention at the wire. Thats Whats Up has finished 5th, 3rd, 1st, 8th in his career, with a win on October 27 in a $4,000 assignment.
He edged out Brockmire with a time of 15.720 seconds. In Brockmire’s defense, he was coming on strong and just missed out. That race was at 300 yards, and if he had a bit more room, probably would have caught Thats Whats Up. In Thats Whats Up’s next assignment, he came up well short for 8th, though that was a disqualification.
Thats What’s Up hit the wire to place 2nd, but bumped to last after interference leaving the gate. He was noted as interfering and causing crowding. Brockmire was in that race as well, and would have finished last if it wasn’t for Thats Whats Up receiving a DQ. Thats Whats Up is coming off a long layoff, his last race on December 15, 2019. Brockmire is 2 for 8 in his career and has gotten much better since 2019.
Brockmire has finished 1st, 1st, 6th in his previous three entries. In his first win, Brockmire beat I Roll Like That by a neck for a $10,000 purse at 300 yards. He followed up to win again on February 15 $5,000 outing to win by a half length. Brockmire had his hat-trick bid denied after finishing 6th in the $20,000 James S Smith Memorial Handicap. He was bumped early and never recovered. I’m on Brockmire to bounce back. He’s a much better horse since the last time he and Thats Whats Up met.
Post Time: 2:49 p.m. MST
Race 6 runs for a mile on the turf for a $17,000 purse. You can’t just have dirt racing at a place called Turf Paradise, right? There will be seven horses arriving at the gate for this event. Tequila Mary and Gold Included should be in hot contention to win in this event. Tequila Mary is 10 for 45 in her career, with a couple of wins since September.
In a win on September 14, Tequila Mary beat Dynamic War by 1 ½ lengths in a $12,000 event. She drew off late as an underdog to clear the field. Since that trip to the winner’s circle, Tequila Mary has finished 5th, 7th, 9th, 1st. A trip down in class helped her out nicely, with a 2 ¼ length win over Just Classy.
She showed excellent kick to go from 7th at the ½ pole to win the race. If this race is timed right, expect Tequila Mary to have another good run. However, she is up in class again, and I’m not so sure it’s best for her yet after one win down at the $11,000 level. In any event, there should be decent value on her at post time. Gold Included is a hat-trick seeker coming off two straight wins on November 10 and January 12 and should be noted.
In the first win, she beat Special Beach easily by 4 ¾ lengths, and then spun another win just a few weeks ago. Gold Included stopped Midnight Garden by a nose for a $10,600 purse after dueling in the stretch. The money available is higher in this one, but the competition level remains the same. Gold Included looks like a good value horse on Friday afternoon.