Sunday at the track: Garrity picks horses in 4 stakes at Saratoga and Del Mar, including the Del Mar Derby
There are a quartet of good graded stakes today, two each at Saratoga and Del Mar.We have plays in all four. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all of them. Let’s go.
Saratoga, Race 9, 5:11 pm ET
Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes, 7 furlongs, DIrt, 2-Year-Old Fillies
The Spinaway drew a field of six. We like the one on the outside, 6-Guana Cay, who is a maiden, having finished third and second in her two career starts. We like her partly because she is trained by Wesley Ward -- if he thinks she’s ready for a Grade 1 stakes without winning a maiden race, that’s good enough for us -- but also because of her form: her first race was on turf, but in her second, which was a dirt race at 5 ½ furlongs, she earned a very good Beyer Speed Figure, and seemed to be screaming for more ground. We think the 7 furlongs on the Spinaway fits, and we also think that the pace will favor her, as she’s a stalker who should get an ideal trip behind what looks to be a fast pace. Look for her to sit in the middle of the pack early, and pass the tiring pacesetters down the stretch. We will bet her to win at 3-1. The bet: Saratoga, Race 9, $40 to win on 6-Guana Cay.
Saratoga, Race 10, 5:45 pm ET
Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Seven go in the Honorable Miss, and pace figures mark this race as the play of the day. 7-Lady’s Island has a huge edge in early pace, and is a mortal lock to get the early lead. Her recent form, her results and speed figures and all that, looks OK, but we think it is much better than it appears on paper, as she has been in races with other very, very fast horses, and the pace of each of her last four starts has been wickedly fast. That she still won three of them is a testament to her ability, and we think she is going to have a much, much easier time on the front end in the Honorable Miss, especially since she drew the outside post, which is a tactical advantage. Put simply: she is going right to the front, and the rest of the field will not catch her. We will bet her to win at 9/2, and we will do so enthusiastically. The bet: Saratoga, Race 10, $50 to win on 7-Lady’s Island.
Del Mar, Race 9, 8:10 pm ET
Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante, 7 furlongs, Dirt, 2-Year-Old Fillies
The Del Mar Debutante drew six entrants. We’re expecting a speed duel in this one, as there are several speedy fillies who appear likely to hook up early and go very fast. That makes the pick 1-Get on the Bus, who starts for trainer Doug O’Neill, and who made her career debut in the Sorrento at Del Mar on August 7. She finished second that day, but that was a pretty good effort, considering that she made her racing debut in a graded stakes. She also showed the ability to make up ground late, which is the key here, we think: she should be in the perfect spot to move forward when the pacesetters begin to tire. She will not be in front early, but we think she will be in front at the wire. We will bet her to win at 8-1. The bet: Del Mar, Race 9, $40 to win on 1-Get on the Bus.
Del Mar, Race 10, 8:40 pm ET
Grade 2 Del Mar Derby, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, 3-Year-Olds
A good field of twelve goes in the Del Mar Derby. We like 4-Pixelate, a Godolphin homebred who starts for trainer Michael Stidham. Her last race was a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Kent Stakes at Delaware Park, and that has turned into a key race, as several horses who finished behind Pixelate that day have come back to win since. He should be able to save ground from his inside post position, get a good stalking trip, and win with a strong stretch move. We will bet him to win at 3-1. The bet: Del Mar, Race 10, $40 to win on 4-Pixelate.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.