Garrity's loaded Saturday Stakes picks 9 races at  Pimlico, Belmont, Keeneland and Santa Anita
Racing at Keeneland in Kentucky.keeneland.com
Garrity's loaded Saturday Stakes picks 9 races at Pimlico, Belmont, Keeneland and Santa Anita
Garrity's first post is at 2:01 pm EDT.

There are so many excellent stakes races today that it’s almost a shame that it’s Preakness day. Casual fans will pay attention to only the Triple Crown race, and that’s too bad, because these races are terrific in their own right, and many of them are just as good, or even better, than the Preakness itself.

We want to cover as many of them as we can, so for the sake of space, our analyses of the races will be briefer than normal. We have plays in nine races, all of them graded stakes, at tracks from New York to Baltimore to Kentucky to California. It’s really a terrific day to be a racing fan.

We expect fast dirt everywhere, and firm turf at Belmont and Santa Anita. At Pimlico and Keeneland, the grass will have some give in it: Pimlico is listed as yielding, and Keeneland as good Let’s go.

Pimlico, Race 7, 2:01 pm

Grade 3 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up

Six go in the De Francis. The pick is 2-Krsto Skye: he has been running very well in Florida, and should get an ideal stalking trip here, sitting just behind what should be a very fast early pace. We will bet him to win at 5-1. The bet: Pimlico, Race 7, $25 to win on 2-Kristo Skye.

Belmont Park, Race 6, 3:30 pm ET

Grade 2 Pilgrim Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, 2-Year-Old Fillies

Eight juvenile fillies line up for the Pilgrim. We like Chad Brown’s 3-Public Sector. She broke her maiden at this distance at Saratoga on August 15, and showed a strong closing kick in doing so. We see her going right back to the winner’s circle. We will bet her to win at 5/2. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 6, $40 to win on 3-Public Sector.

Belmont Park, Race 7, 4:03 pm ET

Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, 1½ miles, Turf, 3 & Up

This is a terrific race, with seven turf marathoners going to the gate. We’re going with an outsider, 6-Laccario, who has been running in stakes races in Germany for German trainer Andreas Wohler. Wohler is shrewd, and we think he came here looking for firm turf, which he will get this afternoon. Laccario is proven at the distance, he should love the going, and we think he’s in with a big chance at boxcar odds. We will bet him to win at 15-1. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 7, $30 to win on 6-Laccario.

Pimlico, Race 10, 4:41 pm ET
Grade 2 Black Eyed Susan Stakes, 1⅛ miles, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies

Ten sophomore fillies line up for the Black Eyed Susan. We’re all over favored 5-Bonny South: She has a pretty significant edge in speed figures, and we think that she’s actually even better than the figs indicate. We think she demolishes this field, and will bet her to win at 7/5. The bet: Pimlico, Race 10, $50 to win on 5-Bonny South.

Keeneland, Race 8, 4:51 pm ET

Grade 1 First Lady Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

The First Lady drew a field of six, and they’re all good. In a tough field, the pick is 1-Beau Recall, who starts for Brad Cox and who comes off a very good win in a stakes race at Churchill Downs. Key stat: She’s run a mile on turf ten times, and finished first or second in eight of them. The bet: Keeneland, Race 8, $30 to win on 1-Beau Recall.

Belmont Park, Race 9, 5:06 pm ET

Grade 1 Belmont Derby, 1¼ miles, Turf, 3-Year-Olds

We’ve liked 2-Gufo, who starts for trainer Christophe Clement, all year, and we see no reason to stop backing him now. He has five wins and a second in his last six starts, and while this field is much tougher than any he’s seen before, we think he will be able to handle the challenge. Look for him to be in the rear early, and flying late. We will bet him to win at 3-1. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 9, $30 to win on 2-Gufo.

Keeneland, Race 9, 5:24 pm ET

Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders Futurity, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 2-Year-Olds

Nine juvenile colts go here. We like one who should be a very good price: it’s 2-Upstriker, who earned a big speed figure winning a maiden race at Ellis Park on August 30. The pace here looks like it will be fast, and Upstriker should get an ideal trip sitting just behind it. We will bet him to win at 8-1. The bet: Keeneland, Race 9, $25 to win on 2-Upstriker.

Keeneland, Race 10, 5:57 pm ET

Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile, 1 mile, Turf, 3 & Up

We like 8-Analyze It to win the Shadwell Turf Mile, which might be the toughest race of the day. He’s a Chad Brown trainee who returned from a layoff of nearly two years to win the Red Bank Stakes at Monmouth on September 5, and we think he’s going to run better today with that race under his belt, and that makes him a good play at 9/2. We will bet him to win. The bet: Keeneland, Race 10, $40 to win on 8-Analyze It.

Santa Anita Park, Race 8, 7:25 pm ET

Grade 2 City of Hope Mile, 1 mile, Turf, 3 & Up

We love 4-Royal Ship in this spot. He’s a champion in his native Brazil, and while he did not win his U.S. racing debut, finishing second in the Del Mar Mile, he did acquit himself pretty well, finishing a decent third. We expect him to move forward off that effort, and that means he’s headed to the winner’s circle. We will bet him to win at 4-1. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 8, $40 to win on 4-Royal Ship.

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

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