In this image provided by Gulfstream Park, Tiz the Law, riddren by Manuel Franco, wins the Florida Derby horse race at Gulfstream Park, Saturday, March 28, 2020, in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
In this image provided by Gulfstream Park, Tiz the Law, riddren by Manuel Franco, wins the Florida Derby horse race at Gulfstream Park, Saturday, March 28, 2020, in Hallandale Beach, Florida.|Lauren King/Coglianese Photos, Gulfstream Park via Associated Press
Thoroughbreds

Thoroughbred Thursday: Garrity picks the horses at Gulfstream and Oaklawn Parks

Horse racing returns to Gulfstream and Oaklawn Parks today, and we will head there too, pari-mutuelly speaking.

Chris Garrity

Racing returns to Gulfstream and Oaklawn Parks today, and we will head there too, pari-mutuelly speaking. The weather should not be an issue in South Florida or in Arkansas, so we’ve handicapped all races for fast dirt and firm turf. We have a quartet of plays on individual races, two from each track, and then a little Pick 3 play in the last three races at Oaklawn. Let’s go.

Gulfstream Park, Race 4, 2:31 pm ET

Maiden Special Weight, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies

Maiden races on the grass are generally popular at the entry box, and this race is no exception, as a full field of twelve 3-year-old fillies will go to the starting gate.

There are several good-looking and well-bred first-time starters in the group, and we like one of them, 6-Publication, a Juddmonte Farms homebred with an impressive pedigree: she’s by superstar stallion Tapit, out of a mare named Filimbi, who was a Juddmonte runner herself, and who won multiple stakes on turf, in both Europe and the United States. She starts for trainer Chad Brown, who wins at a very cozy 22% with firsters, and she has exactly the kind of morning workout pattern we like to see, a long, steady tab of regularly-spaced, stamina-building, drills. Brown generally trains turf horses to sit back early and make a big run late, and we expect to see that from Publication this afternoon. We will bet her to win at 6-1. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 4. $30 to win on 6-Publication.

Oaklawn Park, Race 2, 2:35 pm ET

$50,000 Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies

Nine sophomore fillies will go to the post in this claiming dirt sprint. We like 6-Ancient Brown, who has two career starts, both at Aqueduct. She’s New York-bred who broke her maiden at the Big A on December 21, then ran fourth in a pretty tough state-bred allowance race on January 20. That race was at a mile, but today she cuts back to 6 furlongs, which is probably a better distance for her. We think she gets a good pace-pressing trip, and gets her picture taken with a winning move at the top of the stretch. We will bet her to win at 7/2,. The bet: Oaklawn Park, Race 2. $30 to win on 6-Ancient Brown.

Oaklawn Park, Race 6, 4:36 pm ET

Allowance, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Arkansas-bred Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

Ten state-bred female sprinters line up for the 6th at Oaklawn. 2-Savedbyanangel is a strong play: she has speed figures that are competitive with the rest of the field, which is good; but what is even better is that she has competitive figs and an edge in early speed. In dirt sprints, speed is king, and when a couple of horses have similar speed figures, the one with more speed is almost always the smart pick. In this race, that’s Savedbyanangel. Look for her to be right up front, either setting the pace or just off it, and to win the race from there. We will bet her to win at 3-1. The bet: Oaklawn Park, Race 6, $35 to win on 2-Savedbyanangel.

Gulfstream Park, Race 8, 4:41 pm ET

Allowance, 5 furlongs, Turf, Filies & Mares 3 & Up

The rails on the turf course at Gulfstream Park are way out again, at 120 feet, and that means one thing: speed is going to be tough to beat. This is true at all distances, but it’s especially true at this 5 furlong distance, where horses must be forwardly placed early to have any chance at hitting the finish line first.

That makes the pick here easy: 2-Fallen Leaf has a very pronounced edge in early pace: she has had the lead after a quarter mile in nine of her last ten starts -- and the only time she missed; she blew the break. She will absolutely have the lead this afternoon, on a course favoring speed, and she is also fresh, having last raced at Gulfstream Park West on November 7. That makes her the pick. We will bet her to win at 7/2, and we will do so enthusiastically. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 8, $50 to win on 2-Fallen Leaf.

Oaklawn Park, Races 7-8-9

Post times 5:06 pm ET, 5:38 pm ET, 6:09 pm ET

We like the late Pick 3 sequence at Oaklawn, so we’ve lumped the races together. We’ve not bothered listing the conditions of each race, so look them up on the track’s website if you’d like to see them. Here is our breakdown of the individual races:

Race 7: In this $20k claimer, the top picks are 7-Rockshaw and 11-Lewys Vaporizer. We will also include longshot 5-Asongforyou, who has very high speed, and speed is always dangerous.

Race 8: This is a pretty wide-open allowance race. We’ll include 3-Summer Fortune, 6-Quick Decision, 7-Raggedy Annie, and 10-Misty Blue.

Race 9: We like 3-Pete’s Call and 8-Lawton. If one does not win, the other should.

We will play these picks on a single Pick 3 ticket:

Oaklawn Park, Race 7, Pick 3: 5,7,11 with 3,6,7,10 with 3,8

That’s 24 total combinations, for a total play of $12 at the 50-cent minimum. We will play it at a $2 base wager, for a total investment of $48

That’s all for today. Until the next time, enjoy the racing, stay safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.

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