Garrity's first post is 3:28 pm EDT at Saratoga.
We have four plays today, all at tracks whose name is synonymous with summer racing: Saratoga Race Course, Monmouth Park, and Del Mar. We’re expecting fast and firm in New York and California, and a sloppy main track at the Jersey Shore. Let’s go.
Saratoga, Race 5, 3:28 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 ⅜ miles, Turf, 4 & Up
We’ve slipped this third-level turf allowance into today’s lineup because there’s a horse we love who is running in it: 5-Taos, a 5-year-old French-bred from the Christophe Clement barn. We like him for a host of reasons: this is his second North American start; he should love this 11 furlong distance; he drops into allowance company after running in a Grade 2 stakes in his last; Joel Rosario rides, and the Clement-Rosario combination has been lights out the entire Saratoga meet. But the biggest reason we like him is the ultimate equipment change: he has been gelded since his last start, and we think he will move forward in a big way as a result. We will bet him to win at 8-1. The bet: Saratoga, Race 5, $40 to win on 5-Taos.
Monmouth Park, Race 9, 4:32 pm ET
$75,000 Incredible Revenge Stakes, 5 ½ furlongs, Turf, FIllies & Mares 3 & Up
The Incredible Revenge is scheduled for the turf, but it’s going to be a wet day at Monmouth, and we are expecting the race to be rained off the turf and onto a sloppy main track. That makes the pick 13-A Bit of Both, a main-track-only entrant who has high speed and a pedigree that suggests that she will thrive in the slop. She also gets an outside post position that will both play to her speed and allow her to avoid kickback from the horses inside of her. We will bet her to win at 9/2. The bet: Monmouth Park, Race 9, $30 to win on 13-A Bit of Both.
Saratoga, Race 9, 5:46 pm ET
$500,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational, 1 3/16 miles, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies
Seven go in the Saratoga Oaks Invitational. We are suckers for European turf horses making their debut in North America, but there’s one here that we especially like: 6-Ricetta, a homebred who starts for Juddmonte Farms. She’s got a terrific grass pedigree, and she has been running against some pretty stiff competition in England.
There are two things that make us think that Ricetta is going to win this race. The first is recency: She last ran at York on July 9, which is just a few weeks ago. That should have her fit and ready to run today. The second is a pet angle of ours: We think think she will thrive on the firm turf we expect at Saratoga this afternoon, as she broke her maiden on good-to-firm going at Newmarket. The idea is that her connections imported her to the U.S. because they think she will do better on the firm turf that is the norm here, but which they rarely get in Europe. Add to these the fact that trainer BIll Mott is very good with these kinds of horses, winning at a 17% clip with first-time North American starters, and we are heading to the windows. We will bet Ricetta to win at 9/2. The bet: Saratoga, Race 9, $50 to win on 6-Ricetta.
Del Mar, Race 10, 9:35 pm ET
$75,000 CTT and TOC Stakes, 1 ⅜ miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
This turf stakes race drew a field of ten. We like 4-Quick, an English-bred 4-year-old filly who starts for trainer John Sadler. She won her last race, an allowance at Del Mar on July 20, so she is rounding into form quite nicely. While her recent races have all been shorter, she won going a mile and a quarter in England last year, and we think that she is actually better at these longer races. She’s an improving horse, and she is finally getting a chance to run at her preferred distance, so we are heading to the windows. We will bet her to win at 6-1. The bet: Del Mar, Race 10, $40 to win on 4-Quick.
That’s all for today. Until the next time, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.