With the Kentucky Derby now in the books, the racing world sets its sights next on the Preakness at Pimlico, and then finally the Belmont Stakes at Belmont, where a new week gets started with a nine-race card. Our in-house handicapper is on hand with picks for the whole program, as well as select analysis of his strongest opinions during the day.
If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country on Thursday, be sure to check out our Free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.
Most Likely Winner: Silky Blue (Race 8) - This filly made a highly promising 4-year-old debut for underrated trainer Jorge Duarte last month at Aqueduct, stalking a sensible pace and pouncing in the stretch to nearly get up to win. There are a couple other intriguing runners in this field, including Dancingwthdaffodls, who had a bit of trouble in that spot, but all Silky Blue needs to do is run back to her latest effort to win, which doesn’t even account for the possibility that she takes a step forward in her second start of the year.
Best Value: Madera (Race 7) - Baby Boss would be tough if she were to get back to her better form here, however her last race is legitimately concerning, and if I’m going to bank on a horse rebounding I’d rather do it with Madera at a far bigger price. Madera was awful last time on turf, but prior to that this filly had been rock solid on dirt for a variety of different trainers. Her present trainer Jesse Weinlein, who is winless on this circuit, is likely to be a sticking point for many bettors, but as I said Madera has already proven she can be effective regardless of conditioner. If she does get back to her effort two starts ago, her first start equipped with blinkers on the main track, she’s going to be a major player in this spot.
Other Races of Interest: Race 3 - Tiergan (#6) has been in excellent form since being claimed by trainer Rudy Rodriguez four starts ago, however he’s had his chances at this level and seemed to stagnate lately. I’d rather take a shot with the up-and-coming Our Man Mike (#2). He did get a great setup last out when he broke his maiden, however he really seemed to appreciate the added ground of that race and I suspect he’ll relish the extra furlong of this one. His trainer Horacio DePaz does a fantastic job with a small string, and I think this one should offer value as the third choice in the wagering.
Race 5 - Advance Notice (#3) is the horse to beat in this race, but you have to be a little wary of him as he drops in class following a non-effort on a sloppy track at Aqueduct. He’s run fast enough to win on a number of occasions, however he’s also racked up a good amount of second-place finishes and may not return in the same kind of form we saw over the winter. I prefer the 3-year-old Millean (#6), who has been good in both of his main-track outings with Lasix. He doesn’t look quite as fast as a couple others in here, but that could change as he dons blinkers for the first time and I think this sophomore is certainly on the upswing right now.
*If you're interested in seeing payouts for these races, you can find them on our Results page linked to below*