Bonus coverage. Another Friday Special. Why not? Send the kids to school (virtual or the real thing), put the dog out, tell the world you're on a conference call and enjoy racing from France to Fair Grounds. 

The Saratoga Special Reader’s Club Names of the Day 

Guns Blazing, eighth race, Laurel Park. The 3-year-old filly is by Firing Line. 

Lunatic, fourth race, Santa Anita. We just like a horse named Lunatic. We think we might bet on him just to yell, “Come on you Lunatic.”

Spin Cycle, eighth race, Penn National. The 8-year-old gelding is by Hard Spun out of Submerge.

Quotes of the Day

“They can't accuse of us coming for the free beer and sandwiches.”
Sean Clancy to Tom Law after replying yes to Lane’s End Virtual Press Day

“We have sometimes planned for Cheltenham and sometimes haven’t. We have always made the entries but for different reasons he has never ended up there. However, I have thrown caution to the wind this year with the entries and maybe this is the time where he does make it to the Cheltenham Festival.”
Trainer Malcolm Jefferson about Waiting Patiently, entered in the three championship chases at Cheltenham

“The Cheltenham Gold Cup is a potential long-term target for The Conditional. His owner is an older gentleman who would love to have a runner in the race, and we all have dreams don’t we so we’ve made the entry and who knows, he may end up in the race in March.”
Trainer David Bridgewater about Peter Caver’s The Conditional 

Riverdee’s Play of the Day

Bet all you want on Kazontherazz in the 7:50 at Lingfield.  

By the Numbers

41: Entries for the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup 

57: Days of racing planned for Oaklawn Park's winter meet. It starts January 22. 

Thoroughbred Racing Calendar’s Races of the Day 

Deauville. Race 1. 6:05 a.m. Get cracking early with the opener. Talap looks like a certainty.

Lingfield. Race 1. 6:50. Amid freezing temperatures, jump cards are being abandoned quicker than Donald Trump. Good thing this all-bumper card is on the all-weather. The opener offers, perhaps, a first. A son of More Than Ready in a bumper. Independence makes his career debut for Brian Barr. The 5-year-old, bred by Peter Blum Thoroughbreds (of Authentic fame), cost $50,000 at Keeneland September 2017 and £22,000 at Goffs UK Breeze-Up Sale a year later. Well, here he is in a $4,500 bumper going 2 miles against sons of Westerner, Shirocco and Motivator. 

Newcastle. Race 1. 7:10. Another all-bumper card gets underway here. Certainly not as entertaining or intense as proper National Hunt racing but at least it’s something. How many times have you said that lately?

Lingfield. Race 3. 7:50. We were impressed by Kazontherazz in her debut Dec. 1. The 5-year-old mare takes on some tougher foes here but should improve from her running-on third.

Newcastle. Race 3. 8:10. How about Hackberry? A son of Nathaniel making his debut for Brian Ellison. 

Newcastle. Race 8. 10:40. Bushypark seeks his fifth win in a row for Philip Kirby.  

OK, take the dog for a walk, answer emails, make a sandwich.

Tampa Bay Downs. Race 2. 1:12 p.m. Some well-meant homebreds try to make amends for disappointing careers thus far in this two-turn maiden. 

Southwell. Race 5. 1:15. Without any jump racing on the docket, you’ll need to wade into the all-weather flat card at Southwell. Ghost Rider, a half-brother to 95-rated Swindler, makes his debut. 

Tampa. Race 3. 1:42. Maryland Hunt Cup winning jockey/trainer Billy Meister is the owner of Survey. The Irish-bred could surprise…hey, it wouldn’t be anything like The Hard Word or Hello Hal. Yeah, look them up. They broke their maidens in the biggest of the big. 

Aqueduct. Race 3. 1:50. Good to see Jim Ryerson with a nice prospect. Out First ripped to a 7-length win in the slop at Aqueduct Dec. 6. The daughter of Outwork drew the inside post in this New York-bred allowance. 

Aqueduct. Race 5. 2:50. We looked at Mills as a possible jumper, oh, about seven years ago. Now 11, the son of Any Given Saturday has earned $600,000 the hard way. Now trained by Eddie Barker, the gelding makes his 78th start against $10,000 claimers. 

Aqueduct. Race 6. 3:20. The end of an era. Cost Average and Carillo carry the white, green circle and red “P” for Paul Pompa Jr. in this one-turn maiden. The longtime owner died in 2020, his horses will be dispersed at Keeneland next week. Carillo and Cost Average break next to each other and will sell next to each. Carillo, a son of Union Rags, is Hip 1566. Cost Average, a son of Speightster, is Hip 1567.

Fair Grounds. Race 4. 3:27. Extra Mile aims for his third straight in the Louisiana-bred allowance. Owned and bred by Klein Racing, the 4-year-old son of Country Day walloped maidens back in January last year and returned in December to do the same routine on allowance foes. 

Tampa. Race 7. 3:46. Again, there is nothing like a maiden on the turf at Tampa. Speightstown, Bernardini, Into Mischief, Kingman…Klaravich, Godolphin, Phipps, Janney, Richards, Lael…Delacour, Proctor, Harty, Clement, McGaughey, Brown…

Gulfstream. Race 8. 4:11. We root for and respect Fernando Abreu and the longtime assistant to Allen Jerkens might have a good one here. Comp’d crushed maiden claimers in her debut and takes a rise in class against allowance foes here. 

Santa Anita Park. Race 5. 5:34. Minsky makes his American debut for Red Barons Barn or Rancho Temesca (never could understand the "or" in there) and trainer Mark Glatt. The son of Zoffany has ridden the roller coaster of the sales market. As a yearling, he fetched 60,000 Euros from Joseph O’Brien. As a 2-year-old, he brought 4,000 guineas from John Butler. As a 3-year-old, he cost 60,000 guineas from his present connections. The one-time winner is 5-1 for a $63,000 purse.

Santa Anita. Race 7. 6:32. Frontier Market enticed a $170,000 bid from David Ingordo at Keeneland November 2019. A three-time winner for Klaravich Stable and William Lawrence, The son of Lemon Drop Kid chased River Boyne in two graded stakes for Hronis Racing and John Sadler before hitting the shelf. The bay gelding makes his 8-year-old debut in a heady allowance on the turf. 

Turfway Park. Race 5. 8:16. Probably not Plan A but some decent maidens line up for this $32,000 maiden special, including the former-Shug-McGaughey-assistant clash of Robbie Medina’s Duveen and Reeve McGaughey’s Fort Moultrie. 

Charles Town Races. Race 9. 11:02. Friday Night Lights. Eight recently turned 3-year-olds clash in a solid allowance race on a solid card at West Virginia oval. Waist Deep won the Sapling at Monmouth and Triple Titos and Like Segal won their debuts impressively.