Saturday Racing Picks: Best Plays From Around The Country

TVG's Emily Shields previews racing action across the country this Saturday
Emily Shields
Sat, December 19, 11:28 AM

An even dozen stakes races are slated for December 19, ranging from Aqueduct and the Fair Grounds to Los Alamitos and Gulfstream Park. There are only two graded events in the country, but as the season winds down and heads into the New Year, there are still plenty of wagering opportunities to be found.

Los Alamitos - $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) - Click here to bet with TVG

Trainer Bob Baffert has won this race 12 times, including the last six years in a row. Baffert at 5-2 in this race is interesting, with the outside horse #6 Spielberg. That said, this $1 million purchase has had plenty of time to impress and has been frustrating to say the least, with one win in five starts. #1 Red Flag (even) was an impressive stakes winner at Del Mar in November for trainer John Shireffs. The play may be #3 Weston (10-1), who was so good over the summer and needed his last start.

Gulfstream Park - $100,000 Mr. Prospector (G3) - Click here to bet with TVG

#7 Diamond Oops (3-1) is coming out of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), as three of the 12 runners in here are. He is five for eight on the track, and a dual Grade 2 winner in his last three starts. He is the race’s defending champion. #4 Haikal (6-1) was a standout sophomore in 2019, then was off more than half a year, ran twice, and has been off another 10 months. Todd Pletcher takes over, and he’s had plenty of time to recoup.

Fair Grounds - $75,000 Tenacious Stakes - Click here to bet with TVG

Best Bet of the Day: #6 Maxfield (8-5) is an unbeaten star, who was a Grade 1 winner at two and a leading Kentucky Derby candidate at three. If he is ready for this, he should air, but it could be worth taking a stand against him off the layoff. #3 Sonneman (3-1) is an Asmussen-trained, royally-bred colt who has been first or second in seven of nine starts. #4 Mocito Rojo (8-1) is nearing $1 million in earnings, with 18 wins in 33 tries.

Fair Grounds - $75,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes - Click here to bet with TVG

Juvenile colts and geldings will be on display in this six-furlong race. #5 Gagetown (3-1) was a big maiden winner over the same distance over at Churchill Downs in November. Brad Cox trains, and Florent Geroux will ride; this combo is particularly good at this track. Joe Sharp trains #6 Twilight Blue (3-1), who was a sprint winner in Kentucky two back, and second in allowance company last out.

Aqueduct - $100,000 Queens County Stakes - Click here to bet with TVG

Little separates the top two choices, #4 Backsideofthemoon (8-5) and #5 Musical Heart (9-5). Backsideofthemoon was a two-turn allowance winner in an off the turf event here November 13 for trainer Rudy Rodriguez, and has been top three on this track 13 of 18 times. Musical Heart has been second in his last two, and has never been worse than second at the distance. Longshot Play: #1 Danny California (15-1) has had a fantastic 2020, with seven top three efforts – four wins – in 11 starts. He was a stakes winner going 12 furlongs at Belmont Park, and shortens up to a distance where he is four for seven.

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