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And they’re off at Aqueduct Racetrack.
And they’re off at Aqueduct Racetrack.|Aqueduct / NYRA
Thoroughbreds

Saturday Stakes Horse Racing: Garrity picks Aqueduct, Woodbine and Del Mar

First race is at 2:50 pm ET

Chris Garrity

It's not the busiest Saturday, as far as stakes races go, in the history of the world, but we have found a few we like. We expect fast dirt and firm turf everywhere; let's go.

Aqueduct, Race 7, 2:50 pm

$100,000 Pumpkin Pie Stakes, 7 furlongs, dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

There's a short field of seven in the Pumpkin Pie, and short fields normally don't offer the best betting opportunities, but we think this is an exception, as 1-Philanthropic merits an empty-your-pockets win play. She's won two in a row since being coming to trainer Jason Servis's barn, but more important, she is lone speed: the rest of the field has little early zip, and we see her shooting right to the front from her rail post, setting very, very comfortable fractions, and cruising home. We doubt we'll get Philanthropic's 2-1 morning line odds, but we'll bet her to win anyway. We will also (see below) play her in the Daily Double comprising Races 7 and 8. The bets: Aqueduct, Race 7, $75 win on 1-Philanthropic; $25 double, 1-Philanthropic with 1-Frontier Market.

Aqueduct, Race 8, 3:20 pm

$150,000 Artie Schiller Stakes, 1 mile, turf, 3 & Up

Ten drew into the Artie Schiller, and it's a good field, and a good race. We think a fast to very fast pace is a virtual certainty here, as there are a couple of confirmed front-runners going. In light of that, we're looking for a closer, and the best one is Chad Brown's 1-Frontier Market. We see this 6-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding getting an absolute dream of a trip, both from a pace and traffic standpoint: breaking from the rail, he should be able to save ground around both turns, securing a good tactical position on the fence, waiting patiently while the speed horses run themselves into the ground. We see him making a big late move to take this, and as an added bonus, we get jockey Irad Ortiz, who is scorching hot right now. We'll bet Frontier Market to win, and we will do so enthusiastically. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 8, $50 to win on 1-Frontier Market.

Woodbine, Race 8, 4:41 pm

$100,000 Frost King Stakes, 7 miles, synthetic, Ontario-bred 2-year-olds

A field of seven goes in this sprint, which will earn its name, as it will be quite cold in suburban Toronto this afternoon. We like a price in here, 8-Torpedo Max. The favorites are all speed horses, and a hot pace is probable as a result. Speed plays less well on the synthetic Tapeta surface at Woodbine than it does on conventional dirt, so we are expecting an absolute collapse of the pace here, which can happen from time to time in 2-year-old races. Torpedo Max will be flying late: he won his last start, his career debut, by rallying from last in a field of nine. We expect something similar to day. Because he's 20-1, we will bet him to win and to place. The bets: Woodbine, Race 8, $25 to win/$15 to place on 8-Torpedo Max.

Del Mar, Race 8, 7:00 pm

$75,000 Let It Ride Stakes, 1 mile, turf, 3-Year-Olds

This is another stakes with a short field, only six runners, but they're an evenly matched bunch, and it's a good race to handicap, and to bet. We like 3-Ocean Fury, who's trained by Doug O'Neill. A mile on turf is his best distance, and he has a forwardly-placed running style that should work, as the Del Mar turf course was tough on deep closers yesterday. We see Ocean Fury stalking a moderate pace, and taking the Let It Ride with a move in deep stretch. We will bet him to win at 7/2. The bet: Del Mar, Race 8, $25 to win on 3-Ocean Fury.

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

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