2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Essential Quality makes his 2021 debut on Saturday in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes. The Godolphin runner faces rival Jackie’s Warrior and the Robertino Diodoro trained Keepmeinmind. We provide more information on the Southwest as well as 3 other terrific stakes races happening on Feb. 20. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds for the Top Stakes Races of the Week from Saturday, February 20th. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Horse Racing Odds & Picks for February 20th Races
Gulfstream Park – Saturday, Feb. 20th
- Grade 3 Royal Delta Stakes – 1 1/16 miles – $150,000
Saffie Joseph Jr. will likely enter a couple in here, Gibberish and Queen Nekia. Of the two, Gibberish has the better shot. She’s on a 3 race winning streak, including taking the Treasure Chest at Delta Downs in her last.
Claude McGaughey trained Ms. Danvers could go off the chalk. She won the Grade 3 Comely in her last race. Eres Tu could be tested for class while Dream Marie and Bajan Girl come out of better races.
Oaklawn Park – Saturday, Feb. 20th
- Grade 3 Bayakoa Stakes – 1 1/16 miles dirt – $250,000
One of the best fillies and mares to ever run, Brad Cox trained Monomoy Girl, returns to the track in the Grade 3 Bayakoa on Saturday. Now a 6-year-old, Monomoy has 11 wins and 2 seconds from 13 races. She’s won 7 Grade 1 races, including the BC Distaff twice and the Kentucky Oaks. Her other Grade 1 wins were in the Ashland, the Acorn, the Coaching Club American Oaks, and the La Troienne. Don’t worry about betting the Bayakoa. Watch and marvel at Monomoy Girl’s greatness.
- Grade 3 Southwest Stakes – 1 1/16 miles dirt – $750,000
So far, trainers for just 4 horses have said they’ll run in the Southwest Stakes. Essential Quality should go off at close to even money. The Tapit sired runner is undefeated after 3 races. Keepmeinmind won the Kentucky Jockey Club in his last. Diodoro scratched Keepmeinmind from this past Saturday’s Risen Star to run in this. Jackie’s Warrior hopes to return to form after the terrible BC Juvenile attempt. Warrior has a shot at this distance. Last Samurai will go off a massive longshot.
Santa Anita Park – Saturday, Feb. 20th
- Grade 2 Buena Vista Stakes – 1 mile turf – $200,000
13 horses could line up for the Buena Vista at Santa Anita Park on Saturday. Of the 13, Red Lark looks toughest. Although Lark has a couple of fourth-place finishes in her last, those finishes were in Grade 1 events. The Patrick Gallagher trained runner won the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks last August. If you don’t like Red Lark, make sure to do your handicapping. It’s a wide-open field after the predicted favorite.