2020 Opening Day at Belmont Park
2020 Opening Day at Belmont Park|Chelsea Durand | NYRA
Thoroughbreds

Sunday at the track with Garrity: Three plays from Churchill Downs and Belmont Park

We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all three races. First post is 4:14pm EDT.

Chris Garrity

We’re going to keep things short and sweet today: three plays, at three tracks, in about an hour. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all three. Let’s go.

Churchill Downs, Race 7, 4:14 pm ET

Allowance, 5 ½ furlongs, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

This first-level allowance for distaffers drew a field of ten. The pick is 9-Lead Guitar. A repeat of any one of her last three races will be good enough to win this, and while there is a question of regarding a layoff, as her last race was over seven months ago, we think she will fire off the bench. We will bet her to win at 3-1. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 7, $35 to win on 9-Lead Guitar.

Belmont Park, Race 8, 5:04 pm ET

$40,000 Claiming, 6 ½ furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up

This claiming dirt sprint drew a field of nine, but two of them are coupled in the betting, leaving eight wagering interests. We like 5-Zoomer, a 4-year-old gelding who is changing barns, making his first start for Jamie Ness after running in the mid-Atlantic last year. His speed figures are competitive, but what we like about him most are his human connections: Ness wins at a very good 24% with horses making their first start for him, and Ness convinced jockey Irad Ortiz, the top rider so far in the early days of the Belmont meeting (he’s winning at a ridiculous 43%), to get aboard. OK, Zoomer: that’s good enough for us. We will bet him to win at 4-1. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 8, $35 to win on 5-Zoomer.

Churchill Downs, Race 9, 5:18 pm ET

Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 3 & Up

This very tough non-winners-of-three allowance drew a field of ten. It’s absolutely wide open, with the shortest price on the morning line 4/1, and the longest price 15-1. It’s a real handicapper’s race.

We like 6-My Sixth Sense. His recent form is a bit obscured, as a bunch of his recent races were off tracks, but he has shown in the past that he likes both Churchill Downs and the mile and a sixteenth distance, and we think his grinding, stalking running style is a fit as well. At 5-1, he merits a play; we will bet him to win. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 9, $35 to win on 6-My Sixth Sense.

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

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