Garrity picks 4 holiday races incl. the Interborough Stakes at Aqueduct & the Megahertz Stakes at Santa Anita
First picked race, the 4th at the Fair Grounds, has a post time of 3:27 pm ET
Many tracks that are normally dark on Monday have special holiday cards today. We have four plays, at four tracks, and we expect fast dirt and firm turf in all of them. Let’s go.
Fair Grounds, Race 4, 3:27 pm ET
$30,000 Maiden Claiming, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Olds
Eleven colts line up for this mile maiden race on the sod. 2-Wentru is going to take some beating: he’s run twice on turf, and while he didn’t win either, he ran well in both, and they were both straight maiden (maiden special weight races). Today he drops into maiden claiming company, and as we’ve said countless times, that is the biggest class drop in horse racing (and his trainer, Karl Broberg, wins at a robust 34% clip with this angle). Look for him to take the prize here by running in the middle of the pack early, and seizing control late. We will bet him to win at 5/2. The bet: Fair Grounds, Race 4, $40 to win on 2-Wentru.
Aqueduct, Race 7, 3:50 pm ET
$100,000 Interborough Stakes, 7 furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up
Six line up for the Interborough at the Big A, and the hot favorite is on the outside, 6-Portal Creek. While her last race, a close second in the Grade 3 Go For Wand at Aqueduct on December 5, was quite good, it was run over a sloppy track, and we suspect that the big speed figure she earned that day was inflated by the wet conditions. She has speed and an advantageous post position, and she could win, but at 6/5, she’s an underlay, and a play-against.
We like 1-Needs Supervision. While her recent figures look inferior, they were in races both shorter and longer than the 7 furlongs of the Interborough. Her figs in past races at the distance are competitive, and we think the pace will favor her, as she’s a stretch-runner in a field with quite a bit of speed. We see Needs Supervision sitting behind a fast pace and rallying to the front as the pacesetters tire late. We will bet her to win at 4-1. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 7, $35 to win on 1-Needs Supervision.
Parx Racing, Race 9, 4:01 pm ET
Allowance, 1 mile 70 yards, Dirt, 4 & Up
This first-level allowance on the dirt drew a big field of thirteen. A couple of them seem to have zero interest or ability in going that far, which makes the pick 1-Star Sign. He just missed last out, finishing second in a similar spot at Laurel Park on January 3; that was against a stronger field, which means we think he will not miss today. Look for him to be in the middle of the pack early and moving forward as the pacesetters start to back up. We will bet him to win at 5/2, and because he runs as part of an entry, we get his stablemate, 1A-Grit’n’grind, included in the wager. The bet: Parx, Race 9, $35 to win on the entry of 1-Star Sign/1A-Grit’n’grind.
Santa Anita Park, Race 7, 6:40 pm ET
Grade 3 Megahertz Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up
Six go in the Megahertz. None of the five with established North American form overly impresses us, so we’re going with 1-Brooke, a Chilean-bred 5-year-old mare who won five of her eight career starts in her native Chile. She’s got a terrific pedigree, by world-class turf sire No Nay Never out of a Proud Citizen mare, and we are expecting her to show that class today. She’s coming off a long layoff, having last run in March, but we think that trainer Simon Callaghan will have her ready to fire, and the short field will help. We also think she will thrive on the very firm turf at Santa Anita. We will bet her to win at 4-1. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 7, $50 to win on 1-Brooke.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.