Garrity's Friday horse racing picks include the Perfect Sting Stakes at Saratoga and four more races at the Spa and Del Mar
We have five plays today: three at Saratoga and two at Del Mar. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all of them. Let’s go.
Saratoga, Race 4, 2:54 pm ET
$100,000 Perfect Sting Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up
Six female turf runners line up for the Perfect Sting, the day’s lone stakes. We’re all in on the favorite, 4-Altea, a French-bred who has been running against much tougher, including in her last start, when she finished a close fourth in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland. She has a devastating stretch kick, and her trainer, Chad Brown, has gotten hot in recent days; both of these make us think she is headed to the winner’s circle. Look for her to be toward the rear early, and flying late. We will bet her to win at 9/5. The bet: Saratoga, Race 4, $50 to win on 4-Altea.
Saratoga, Race 8, 5:14 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, New York-breds 3 & Up
This second-level state-bred allowance dirt sprint drew a field of eight. We see a speed duel on the inside, which will compromise the chances of the pacesetters, as the rail at Saratoga has not been the place to be in recent days. That makes the pick 7-Kazmania, who has competitive speed figures, and should get a good stalking trip outside the speed. We think Kazmania wins a close one, and will bet her to win at 6-1. The bet: Saratoga, Race 8, $35 to win on 7-Kazmania.
Del Mar, Race 2, 5:30 pm ET
$50,000 Maiden Claiming, 5 ½ furlongs, Dirt, California-bred 2-Year-Olds
Six state-bred juveniles line up to sprint 5 ½ furlongs on the Del Mar dirt. We like a first-time starter, 2-Joymaker. He’s the pick partly because the colts who have run before have not done much, and partly because Northern California-based trainer Quinn Howey is an ace with firsters, with an incredible 29% win rate on the year. Look for him to show speed from his inside post, and to win this at juicy 8-1 odds. We will bet him to win. The bet: Del Mar, Race 2, $30 to win on 2-Joymaker.
Saratoga, Race 9, 5:46 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 3/16 miles, Turf, 3 & Up
A deep field of eleven lines up for this turf allowance. We like another Chad Brown runner, 1A-Value Engineering. The pace of this race looks slow, and we think he can sit just behind speed, and from there launch his strong late kick. We think he’s overwhelmingly the likeliest winner, and will bet him to win at 5/2. We will note that he is program number 1A because he was originally entered with a stablemate who was scratched Friday morning. The bet: Saratoga, Race 9, $40 to win on 1A-Value Engineering.
Del Mar, Race 5, 7:00 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 mile, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
This second-level allowance for females drew a field of six. We like 4-Tapwater, who starts for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. She’s been away for a long time, over a year, having last raced in May of 2019, but Mandella is good at getting horses to fire off the bench, and Tapwater is undefeated in two career starts on turf, and seems simply to outclass this bunch. Look for her to press the pace, and take control at the top of the stretch. We will bet her to win at 5-1. The bet: Del Mar, Race 5, $40 to win on 4-Tapwater.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.