Jeff Siegel’s Horse Racing Picks for 12/16

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Xpressbet writer Jeff Siegel offers his top plays for Friday with one at Gulfstream Park and one at Oaklawn.

Gulfstream Park Race No. 4 (1:36 p.m. ET/10:36 a.m. PT)
#3 Kanthari (8-5)

 

Brought $575,000 at the OBS 2021 March sale after previewing in 20 2/5 seconds (fastest quarter mile drill at the venue) and finally makes it to the post late in his 3-year-old season in this modest all-weather maiden special weight sprint that should be his for the taking. The Todd Pletcher-trained son of the outstanding speed sire Kantharos hasn’t been asked to show his best stuff in the morning, but the work tab should have him plenty fit and ready to score at first asking at this abbreviated five-furlong trip. Listed at 8-5 on the morning line, he’s a strong Win play and rolling exotic single.

Oaklawn Park Race No. 6 (3:50 p.m. ET/12:50 p.m. PT)
#4 Communication Memo (8-5)

Well-regarded juvenile colt is improving with racing, has the benefit of three in-the-money sprint races to tighten him up, and should be set to earn his diploma in this two-turn mile affair. His most recent effort was his best, a sharp runner-up performance at Churchill Downs that produced a career-top speed figure. The son of Bolt d’Oro is bred to appreciate today’s extra ground and that, combined with the addition of Lasix, should be more than good enough to make short work of his foes as the legitimate 8-5 morning-line favorite.