Thursday at the track: Garrity picks 2 races at Aqueduct and another 2 at Gulfstream Park
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Thursday at the track: Garrity picks 2 races at Aqueduct and another 2 at Gulfstream Park

First picked race, the 7th at Gulfstream Park, has a post time of 3:40 pm ET

We have four races today, two main-track affairs from Aqueduct in Ozone Park, New York, and two turf heats from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. We expect fast dirt at the Big A, and firm turf in South Florida. Let’s go.

Gulfstream Park, Race 7, 3:40 pm ET

Starter Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies

Nine go in this starter allowance, for horses who have run for a claiming price of $40,000 or less, and we’re going with a straight-down-the-line speed play, in the form of 6-Polished Gem. She has sprinting speed, having contested a fast pace winning a 6-furlong maiden claimer at Churchill Downs in her last start. She will absolutely get the lead, and should do so comfortably, and on Gulfstream’s speed-favoring turf course, we think there’s a good chance she stays there all the way around the track. She’s never run on grass before, but her pedigree suggest she will do well on it, and we get 8-1 for the lack of turf experience. We will bet her to win. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 7, $30 to win on 6-Polished Gem.

Aqueduct, Race 7, 3:50 pm ET

Allowance, 7 furlongs, Dirt, 4 & Up

This first-level allowance dirt sprint drew a field of seven older horses. The pick is 1-More Graytful, who won a state-bred race very smartly two back, and then faltered, chasing a fast pace and fading, against open company on December 11. He should get an ideal setup here, stalking the horse just to his outside, 2-Foolish Ghost, and pulling away late to take the prize. We will bet him to win at 2-1. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 7, $35 to win on 1-More Graytful.

Aqueduct, Race 8, 4:20 pm ET

Maiden Special Weight, 6 furlongs, Dirt, New York-bred 3-Year-Olds

Ten lightly-raced sophomore state-bred colts line up for this maiden race. We like 5-Big Brown Shoes, a son of Kentucky Derby Big Brown who finished second in his career debut, in a very similar spot, on November 12. He set very, very fast fractions on the front end that day, which shows that he has speed, which we like, but we think he will be able to ration it more effectively today, partly for the experience of having run a race, and partly because his debut was on a muddy track, and today he’ll get fast dirt. He may set the pace, or he may stalk, but either way, we see him getting his picture taken this afternoon. We will bet him to win at 7/2. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 8, $40 to win on 5-Big Brown Shoes.

Gulfstream Park, Race 9, 4:42 pm ET

Starter Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies

Eleven 3-year-old fillies go here, and unlike the 7th race, which has similar conditions, there’s a lot of speed, which should set up the race for a closer. We think that will be 7-Richiesgotgame, whose last three races were on dirt, but who broke her maiden on grass, at Arlington Park last September, and who should get an ideal setup sitting just behind the pacesetters. We will bet her to win at 9/2. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 9, $30 to win on 7-Richiesgotgame.

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

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