Thursday Horse Racing: Garrity picks races at Delta Downs, Fair Grounds and Sam Houston
We have five plays in four races today, two daytime heats from Delta Downs and the Fair Grounds in Louisiana, and two evening races at Sam Houston in Texas. The weather looks good at all three tracks, and we expect fast dirt and firm turf in all races. Let’s go.
Delta Downs, Race 4, 3:16 pm ET
Allowance, 7 furlongs, Dirt, 4 & Up
Eight older horses go in this allowance for horses who have never won three races. The pick is 7-Frank the Mayor, who has been admirably consistent going back to last spring, and who has the perfect combination here of stamina and tactical early speed. Look for him to sit mid-pack early, behind the first flight of horses, and to grind his way to the front around the far turn. We will bet him to win at 3-1. The bet: Delta Downs, Race 4, $30 to win on 7-Frank the Mayor.
Fair Grounds, Race 6, 4:25 pm ET
Allowance, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 4 & Up
This interesting first-level allowance was originally scheduled for turf, but was moved to dirt Thursday morning. After scratches, there is a field of five.
One of them, 10-Majestic West, looks pretty close to a cinch. He was a main-track-only entrant, who would only run in the event the race was moved to the dirt, but now that has happened, he appears to tower over his rivals, as he has superior pace and speed figures. We wish every race looked this easy.
He will be nowhere near his 7/2 morning line place, but we think there is value in every winner, and will bet him even with the expectation that his odds will be shorter. We will bet him to win. The bet: Fair Grounds, Race 6, $40 to place on 10-Majestic West.
Sam Houston, Race 5, 6:56 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Olds
We’re figuring that among the ten sophomore colts in this allowance turf race, 5/2 morning line favorite 7-Lizard King, is going to get a lot of support at the windows, as he’s a well-bred colt who broke his maiden for top trainer Chad Brown last year. We hope he gets bet like crazy, because his figures mark him as a marginal contender, at best, and he looks like a mammoth underlay, the kind of horse we love to bet against.
The pick is 4-Generator, who starts for Steve Asmussen. He’s shown flashes of ability in his four career starts, but what we like about this colt is the surface: this will be his first start on turf, and both his running style and pedigree (by Hard Spun, out of a Distorted Humor mare) suggest that he will thrive on the sod. At 10-1, that makes him a good play. We will bet him to win, and will play him (see below) in the Double comprising Races 5 and 6. The bets: Sam Houston, Race 5, $35 to win on 4-Generator; $15 double, 4 (Generator) with 2 (Dreams of Valor).
Sam Houston, Race 6, 7:25 pm ET
Allowance, 1 mile, Dirt, 4 & Up
Seven older allowance horses line up here to run a mile on the Sam Houston main track. We like 2-Dreams of Valor, who makes his second career start for trainer Robertino Diodoro after spending a few years running for Craig Dollase in Southern California. His last race was a dud, a dull sixth-place finish, but that was at Churchill Downs, and against much tougher company than he will face today. He comes into tonight’s race off a brief freshening, and we think his effort will be much improved. Look for him to be forwardly placed throughout; we will bet him to win at 7/2. The bet: Sam Houston, Race 6, $35 to win on 2-Dreams of Valor.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.