Horse racing betting is usually in the middle of its Triple Crown season at this point in the spring. But even in the midst of the pandemic shutdown, racing odds are still on the board at select tracks.
Our racing analyst Monique Vag breaks down the horse racing odds and gives her favorite free picks and betting tips for Gulfstream Park, Churchill Downs and Santa Anita Park on Sunday, May 17 with races starting at 2:15 p.m ET. **video
Gulfstream Park Free Picks
Race No. 4, $45,000 Maiden, Post: 2:15 p.m. ET
Pick: No. 9 THIS III DEFEND (8/1)
Has raced well since making the move to the turf although he's been forced into some wide trips. Today he gets another opportunity to race on the firm turf and draws a much better post to work with than the extreme outside in his most recent.
Hoping this gelding can work out a ground saving trip and is able to rally in time late to hit the board at a nice price.
Churchill Downs Free Picks
Race No. 4, $79,000 Maiden, Post: 2:32 p.m. ET
Pick: No. 7 FLABBERGASTED (4/1)
Has flaunted quite a bit of early speed and that could certainly come in handy here with most of her main rivals drawing to the outside. Hoping this filly is able to take advantage of an ideal post and settle in on the lead. If she's able to rate well on the front end and not be forced into wide trips (perhaps the removal of blinkers can help with that), she looks to be a major contender against this group.
Race No. 10, $84,000 Allowance, Post: 5:44 p.m. ET
Pick: No. 1 FOUR WHEEL DRIVE (2/1)
Drawing the rail post could really work to this colt's advantage as he can get the jump on most of his main rivals straight out of the gate. Although his best effort was last time out when getting on the lead, he's shown that he doesn't need the front end to win and is more than capable off a stalking trip.
With this colt taking a drop out of the graded stakes ranks to face off against much easier, he looms as the one to beat and the price should reflect that at post.
Race No. 11, $79,000 Maiden, Post: 6:16 p.m. ET
Pick: No. 3 TOSHIO (6/1)
Unfortunately, was hard to handle in his pari-mutuel debut over the turf and acted up in deep stretch unseating his jockey. Since that effort, he's made the move to a new barn and gets to try dirt for the first time in his career while shortening in distance.
His recent workout was super quick, and this colt has shown he could possess quite a bit of speed. Hopefully he's able to flaunt some of that today and capitalize off a good draw.
Santa Anita Park Free Picks
Race No. 7, $50,000 Maiden, Post: 6:37 p.m. ET
Pick: No. 8 SAVING SOPHIE (6/1)
Her best efforts in terms of finish and times have been over the dirt, so it is good to see her move back to a surface she has raced well on. Hoping this filly isn't forced into a wide stretch rally today as she's narrowly missed finding the winners circle off some less than ideal trips. Hoping the change in surface and return to racing over a fast track can help to spark a big effort.