Thursday at the Track: Garrity picks 4 races at Saratoga, including the $85,000 John Morrissey Handicap
We are headed back to Saratoga today, where there’s a good ten-race card, one of them the only stakes race in the country today. We have plays in four races, including the stakes, and are expecting fast dirt and firm turf in all of them. Let’s go.
Saratoga, Race 4, 2:54 pm
$25,000 Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, FIllies & Mares 3 & Up
The main track at Saratoga favored speed, and inside runners, yesterday, and that makes this pick very straightforward: 2-Our Lady of Loreto is the fastest filly in the race and has an inside post position. Look for her to go right to the lead, shake off challengers at the top of the stretch, and win this one going away. Her form is probably the best in the race irrespective of the track, and one immutable rule in this game is that when a track bias will favor the horse in the race who’s the best anyway, go to the windows. We’ll do that here and will bet 2-Our Lady of Loreto to win at 2-1. The bet: Saratoga, Race 4, $50 to win on 2-Our Lady of Loreto.
Saratoga, Race 7, 4:40 pm
Starter Allowance, 6 ½ furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up
This is another race where the horse we probably would have liked on a fair surface figures to benefit from the way the track is playing: it’s 5-My Man Flintstone. He’s got the best last-out speed figure, and while he does not have an inside post position, he does break from the 5 hole, with four slow horses inside of him. We think he’s going to pop sharply out of the gate, outrun the horses to his left, get the lead, and then ride the rail all the way around the track. We will bet him to win at 9/5. The bet: Saratoga, Race 7, $40 to win on 5-My Man Flintstone.
Saratoga, Race 8, 5:14 pm
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, New York-bred Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Nine state-bred females go to the starting gate in second-level allowance on the grass. The pick is 8-Barrel of Destiny: the MIke Maker trainee has run three very good races in a row, and we think she’s going to make it four this afternoon. She has a good cruising speed and a good finishing kick, which should work here, as the early pace should be slow enough to compromise the chances of the come-from-behinders. Look for her to sit just behind the leaders early, move to the front on the far turn, and hold off the closers late. We will bet her to win at 4-1. The bet: Saratoga, Race 8, $30 to win on 8-Barrel of Destiny.
Saratoga, Race 9, 5:46 pm
$85,000 John Morrissey Handicap, 7 furlongs, Dirt, New York-breds 3 & Up
After scratches, seven go in the Morrissey, which is a terrific betting race. We’re going with speed in this one, with 4-Amundson, a blazingly fast 4-year-old son of Curlin. As long as he gets out of the gate cleanly, he’s a mortal lock to get the early lead, and then to drop over to the golden rail -- and once he does that, the rest of the field is not going to catch him. We will bet him to win at 2-1. The bet: Saratoga, Race 9, $50 to win on 4-Amundson.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.