On Saturday, Dec. 26, Santa Anita Park opened with a flourish. The Great Race Place is back at it on Friday and Saturday with a few graded stakes races. There are also top stakes races at both Aqueduct in Ozone Park, NY and Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, FL. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds for the Top Stakes Races of the Week from Friday, Jan. 1st to Saturday, Jan. 2nd. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Horse Racing Odds & Picks from January 1st to 2nd
Gulfstream Park – Friday, Jan. 1st
- Cash Run Stakes – 1 mile dirt – $100,000
This is the first running of the Cash Run Stakes. There’s no telling which terrific 3-year-old filly will show up to go for the winner’s share of the $100,000. Because this is the first race for 2-year-old fillies who have turned 3, expect some of the best in the nation to hit Gulfstream’s dirt track.
Aqueduct Racetrack – Friday, Jan. 1st
- Jerome Stakes – 1 mile dirt – $100,000
Hold the Salsa, Pickin’ Time, Swill, Capo Kane, and Eagle Orb are likely to enter the starting gate for the Jerome Stakes. Swill, trained by Brian Cox, turns 3, like all 2-year-olds, on January 1. The son of Munnings finished fourth behind Keemeinmind, Smiling Sobotka, and Arabian Prince in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club in his last.
Santa Anita Park – Friday, Jan. 1st
- Grade 2 Joe Hernandez Stakes – 6 ½ furlongs turf – $200,000
Santa Anita kicks in the New Year with the lone graded race of the day, the Joe Hernandez, a sprint over the turf. The eleventh running of the race could showcase last year’s winner, Texas Wedge, and third place finisher Bay Muzik. 2019 winner, 6-year-old Caribou Club, remains active. Don’t be surprised if trainer Thomas Proctor enters Club into the race on Friday.
Aqueduct Racetrack – Saturday, January 2nd
- Gravesend Stakes – 6 ½ furlongs – $100,000
Canceled in 2020, the Gravesend Stakes resumes in 2021. Firenze Fire won the 2019 version. On December 19, Fire finished second in the Mr. Prospector behind Sleepy Eyes Todd. Fire could show up in the Gravesend in a bid for an easy paycheck.
Gulfstream Park – Saturday, January 2nd
- Mucho Macho Man Stakes – 1 mile dirt – $100,000
Although not graded, the Mucho Macho Man Stakes always attracts talented horses. The 2021 Mucho Macho Man Stakes should attract at least 10 runners, including the Todd Pletcher trained Mutasaabeq. Smiley Sobotka and last out maiden winner Ocean Ride also figure to get some looks.
Santa Anita Park – Saturday, January 2nd
- Grade 3 Sham Stakes – 1 1/8 miles dirt – $100,000
The top race for 3-year-olds this weekend is the Grade 3 Sham. Bob Baffert trained Life Is Good could go off at even money. John Shirreffs will saddle a couple in this, Waspirant and Parnelli.
- Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes – 1 1/8 miles turf – $200,000
This weekend’s featured race is the San Gabriel Stakes. Next Shares, Desert Stone, Cleopatra’s Strike and Majestic Eagle could all enter the starting gate for the weekend’s top prized race. Do your handicapping because no entrant figures to have much of an edge over the competition.
Have a great week!