With Monday holiday cards at Belmont and Santa Anita, Garrity picks 4 races and factors in Belmont's sloppy track
Belmont Park and Santa Anita both have special cards today for the federal holiday. The weather will cooperate at one of these places, the one out West, where it will be Southern California perfect, and the dirt fast and the turf firm. On Long Island, where the remnants of Hurricane Delta will be passing overhead today, it will be very wet, with all races off turf, and run on a sloppy main track. We have a pair of plays at both tracks, so let’s go.
Belmont Park, Race 7, 4:14 pm ET
$40,000 Claiming, 1 mile, Dirt, 3 & Up
After scratches, six will go to the post in this one-turn mile claimer. The pick is 6-Super Dude, who might be worth a flutter on a dry track, but is worth a much more aggressive play in the slop. He has three wins in five career off-track starts, and makes his first start off a claim for trainer Linda Rice, who nabbed him for $32k out of his last start. Rice wins with 22% of her starters first out after a claim, and that, coupled with this 6-year-old gelding’s affinity for wet going, makes him the likeliest winner. He will either get the early lead or be just off it, and will take the prize with a strong move turning for home. We will bet him to win, with the understanding that he will be a much shorter price than his 8-1 morning line odds, which were set for a fast track. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 7, $40 to win on 6-Super Dude.
Belmont Park, Race 8, 4:47 pm ET
Allowance, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up
Handicapping in the slop can sometimes be a simple process: one looks at how entrants have fared in the past when running over wet tracks. Other times, however, there’s a bit of projection involved, and one must guess at how a horse will take to the off going. That’s what we’re doing here, as the pick, among the six horses who are left after scratches, is 6-Cost Basis, a 3-year-old who starts for trainer Chad Brown. He’s lightly raced, with only four career starts, and while he’s never run on a wet track before, both his pedigree and his running style suggest that he will thrive in the slop. We think he splashes to the winner’s circle today, and will bet him to win at 4-1. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 6-Cost Basis.
Santa Anita, Race 3, 5:07 pm ET
$32,000 Maiden Claiming, 5 ½ furlongs, Dirt, 2-Year-Olds
Five modestly-bred juveniles line up for this maiden claimer. The pick is a first-time starter, 1-From the Get Go, who goes for trainer Luis Mendez. He’s been working very well in the morning, with a couple of very quick drills, and Mendez hits with a respectable 16% of firsters. We expect him to show speed from his rail post, and to win this with a pace-pressing trip. We will bet him to win at 5/2. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 3, $35 to win on 1-From the Get Go.
Santa Anita, Race 6, 6:42 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 5 ½ furlongs, Turf, 3 & Up
This is another Santa Anita race with a short field, with just five entrants. We like the favorite, 2-Grit and Curiosity. He’s coming into this second-level allowance off a good third in a Grade 2, the Eddie D stakes on September 2, and will like the lesser company he faces today; he should also get a good stalking trip, as the speed in the field is drawn inside of him. Look for him to stalk the leaders, and to win with a strong move in late stretch. We will bet him to win at 9/5. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 6, $40 to win on 2-Grit and Curiosity.
That’s all for today. Until the next time, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.