Wednesday at the track: Garrity picks 3 races at Churchill Downs
Tom Williams blows loose grass in the Winners Circle at Churchill Downs, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Louisville, Ky.Darron Cummings | Associated Press

Wednesday at the track: Garrity picks 3 races at Churchill Downs

First picked race, the 5th at Churchill Downs, has a post time of 3:03 pm ET

We have three plays today, all from Churchill Downs, where we expect fast dirt and good turf. Let’s go.

Churchill Downs, Race 5, 3:03 pm ET

$15,000 Maiden Claiming, 7 furlongs, Dirt, 2-Year-Old Fillies

Nine juvenile fillies line up for this maiden claiming dirt sprint. Those who have run have been pretty slow, which has made 6-Magic Solution, who’s earned a couple of decent speed figures in her last two starts, the 7/5 morning line choice. But we think she’s very vulnerable: those two races were on grass, and around two turns, and there is no guarantee that she will transfer that form to a one-turn sprint on the main track. At short odds, we are playing against her.

The pick is 5-Amber Waves. There’s a lot going on with this Ian Wilkes-trained filly: she’s dropping from a straight maiden race to maiden claiming company, she’s going from grass to dirt, she’s going from a route to a sprint, and she adds blinkers for the first time. That’s a lot of change, but we like the way she ran last time, and we like her dirt-oriented pedigree (by Constitution, out of a Harlan’s Holiday mare). At 5-1, we think she is a much better play than the chalk. We will bet her to win. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 5, $35 to win on 5-Amber Waves.

Churchill Downs, Race 7, 4:06 pm ET

Maiden Special Weight, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, 2-Year-Olds

We’re getting to the point of the year when juvenile racing really heats up, and this race, a terrific maiden turf route for juvenile colts, is a good example: quite a few of the ten runners look good, and a handicapper could go in several different directions to try to dope out a winner.

The direction we are going is toward 8-American Patrol, a Juddmonte Farms homebred and first-time starter from the Bill Mott barn. He’s by American Pharoah, who’s quietly emerged as a pretty good turf sire, especially with younger horses, and we like both his pedigree, and his morning workout pattern, which shows a string of steadily spaced drills with the occasional fast one thrown in. We very much doubt that he’ll be his 8-1 morning line odds come post time -- he will get bet -- but we think he merits a play anway. We will bet him to win. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 7, $40 to win on 8-American Patrol.

Churchill Downs, Race 9, 5:06 pm ET

Allowance, 1 ⅜ miles, Turf, FIllies & Mares 3 & Up

Ten females line up for this first-level allowance on the grass.

We were all over 4-Sursum Corda in her last, on October 3, when she returned from a lengthy layoff to run in an allowance race at Keeneland. We thought she was live at a big price, and while she didn’t win, she did outrun her odds, finishing a close third, only a length behind the winner. We think that effort was better than it looked, as she closed into a slow pace on a Keeneland turf course that was kind to speed.

We won’t get a huge price on her today, but we think the race will play out for her nicely, with enough early pace to set up her late charge. And she should thrive over the good turf at Churchill. At 9/2, we are betting on it. We will play her to win. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 9, $40 to win on 4-Sursum Corda.

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

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