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Thoroughbreds: For a change, Garrity heads to Ohio and Oklahoma

Tuesday races at Mahoning Valley, Will Rogers Downs and Turf Paradise

Chris Garrity

While we're looking forward to this weekend, which features the Florida Derby, the Dubai World Cup, and -- just maybe -- the return of racing to Santa Anita, we have a light Tuesday slate today, with action at a few tracks around the country. We'll pop for a few cracks at at Mahoning Valley in Ohio, Turf Paradise in Arizona, and Will Rogers Downs in Oklahoma. But we'll keep it short and sweet. We do expect dry conditions at all three tracks, and we've handicapped for fast and firm. Let's go.

Race 2 at Mahoning (post time: 1:12 pm Eastern) is a 6-furlong dirt sprint fro $7,500 claiming females 3 and up. We like 5-Roman Around. This 4-year-old filly has run creditably in allowance races, and is dropping in class. We think that she will find the lower level of competition just what the doctor ordered, and that she will win the pace duel, and the race. We'll take her at 2-1. The bet: Mahoning Valley Race 2, $20 to win on 5-Roman Around.

Race 3 at Mahoning (post time: 1:40 pm Eastern) is another 6-furlong sprint, this one for $5k, for Ohio-breds 3 and up. We like 6-Sum Song. This 7-year-old gelding is coming off a long layoff; he last ran in August at Thistledown. But his trainer, Penny Rone, is skilled at getting horses ready off a layoff. Moreover, Sum Song has worked strongly for his return. We think he's a go at 2-1. The bet: Mahoning Valley, Race 3, $20 to win on 6-Sum Song.

Out at Turf Paradise, Race 6 (post time: 5:45 Eastern) is an allowance at 7 1/2 furlongs on turf. The pick here is the inside horse, 1-Beat the Heat. This horse won an allowance last out with a powerful late move; that was at a mile, but we think the slightly shorter distance won't matter. We will bet him to win at 5/2. The bet: Turf Paradise Race 6, $25 to win on 1-Beat the Heat.

We turn to Will Rogers Downs. Opening day at the track outside Tulsa was yesterday. The track was speed-favoring, with stalkers, horses just off the leaders, winning most of the races. So we'll look for horses who fit that pattern and who figure to win.

Race 3 at Will Rogers (post time: 3:15 Eastern) is a 6-furlong starter allowance for older females. We like 6-Tequila Rage. This 6-year-old mare had a bad race last out, but that was in the slop at Sam Houston, and we think a return to fast dirt will result in an improvement. She's got the perfect stalking running style for this racing surface, and she draws a preferred outside post. And she's 5-1, so we'll bet her to win. The bet: Will Rogers Downs Race 3, $20 to win on 6-Tequila Rage.

The 5th at Will Rogers (post time: 4:15 pm Eastern) is a 5 1/2-furlong sprint, a $15,000 maiden claimer for Oklahoma-bred horses 3 and older. We like 4-Rapid Impulse. This 3-year-old colt had a couple of near-misses in higher-level maiden races at Ruidoso Park, and drops slightly in class, from $20k to $15k maiden company. He also has the stalking style we like here, and we think he wins the race. We'll take him at 2-1. The bet: Will Rogers Downs Race 5, $20 to win on 4-Rapid Impulse.

That's all for today. Good luck at the windows.

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