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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:54 PM

Friday's Horse Racing Picks and Odds from Gulfstream Park, Fair Grounds on Friday March 20

It was back to the drawing board Thursday afternoon, as after nearly having Friday’s Aqueduct card completed word came out that the New York track would suspend racing after a backstretch worker tested positive for Coronavirus.

The backstretch worker was actually working and living at Belmont Park and did not travel to Aqueduct last week during their last three days of racing. The NYRA announced racing at the Big A would be suspended until further notice.

So, for Friday we will head out to Fair Grounds and Gulfstream Park again. Other tracks that are still running include Oaklawn Park, Santa Anita, Laurel Park, Sam Houston, Tampa Bay Downs, Golden Gate Fields and Charles Town, all the racing action being conducted with no spectators.

There will be plenty of national television action over the next three days. America's Day at the Races will air Friday from 1:30 - 3:00 ET on FS2 and 3:00 - 6:30. on FS1. Saturday and Sunday's coverage will air on FS1 from 1:30-6:30 ET.

In addition, the NBC Sports Network will simulcast the TVG Network on Saturday and Sunday from 4:00-8:00 ET. It was announced that Britney Eurton would anchor the action, but she posted a video on Twitter stating she will self-quarantine after coming in contact with someone that tested positive for Covid-19.

She did a winner’s circle interview with New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton last Saturday at Oaklawn Park. Payton announced yesterday he has contracted the virus.

Some think horse racing should shut down as other major sports have done. The difference is the grooms and trainers still have to care for the horses. With it being an outdoor sport there certainly is plenty of space to “social distance” except perhaps when the horses and jockeys are in the starting gate.

It is a good diversion for many of us, giving us something to do and wager on while we are home, so as long as a few tracks are running, I will try to come up with a few winners to pad our bankrolls.

We have a big day at Fair Grounds coming up on Saturday with eight stakes race including the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2), a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race. We will talk about that race tomorrow.

My Best Plays Report for Friday includes my eight strongest plays from Fair Grounds and Gulfstream Park.

To purchase my Best Plays Report for Friday click here.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Aqueduct Reports daily and my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday which will include all the major Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races.

Thursday’s Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:

GP Race 5 Md $50,000 (3:08 ET)

3 Tara 7-2

9 Daily Grace 2-1

6 Mixteca 20-1

1 Simple Story 4-1

Analysis: Tara
made a good late rally while wide to finish in the runner up spot last out when dropping in for a $50,000 tag, beaten a half-length for the top spot. She came back off a two month break two back with a ninth on turf. She makes her third start of her current form cycle and does not need to over forward much off her last to pick up her diploma here. Jaramillo sticks for the Alvarado barn.

Daily Grace drops in for a tag for the first time here in her third career outing. She showed good early speed in her debut before getting caught running a god second at 3-1. Second out she stalked the early pace while mid pack and weakened in the stretch to finish fourth as the beaten favorite. The winner Up in Smoke came back to beat state bred Alw-1 optional claimers in her next outing on March 5. The Nicks barn is 27% winners dropping runners from maiden special to maiden claiming. She is out of a Bwana Charlie mare that has dropped two other foals to race, both winners.

WIN: #3 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 3,9 / 1,3,6,9
TRI: 3,9 / 1,3,6,9 / 1,3,6,8,9

Thursday’s Featured Race of the Day from Fair Grounds:

FG Race 5 Md Sp Wt (2:26 CT)

8 Fairway Magic 7-2

1 Picasso 3-1

2 Symphonic 6-1

4 Steadytillready 8-1

Analysis: Fairway Magic
stalked the early pace and came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot last out in his first start off a 11-month layoff. The gelding showed some promise last year, running second in his second career start back in Dec. of '18. He should be tighter second off the bench for the Calhoun barn that is having a solid meeting. The gelding is out of a Roar mare that ash dropped three other foals to race with a pair of winners, top earner stakes winner Delphinia ($71,150).

Picasso makes his first start since last summer at the Spa where he pressed the early pace and weakened to finish seventh in his second career start. That was a good group, the winner and third place finisher next out winners. Asmussen is 23% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. The colt has a nice pedigree, by Tapit out of the stakes winner Inspired ($439,785) who has dropped one other foals to race, 2 for 6 Night Time Lady ($80,158). A solid string of works here over the main track for his return.

WIN: #8 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,8 / 1,2,4,8
TRI: 1,8 / 1,2,4,8 / 1,2,4,6,8

Good luck today!

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