Sunday at the track: Garrity picks from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park, incl. the Busanda Stakes at the Big A
First picked race, the 6th at Aqueduct, has a post time of 2:50 pm ET
After such a big day of stakes action yesterday, it’s no surprise that the simulcasting docket is a bit quiet today. But as we heard one of the TVG commentators say on the air yesterday, 3-1 in an allowance race pays the same as 3-1 in a Grade 1 stakes, so we have four plays today, a pair of races each at Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all of them; let’s go.
Aqueduct, Race 6, 2:50 pm ET
Allowance, 6 furlongs, Dirt, New York-bred Fillies & Mares 4 & Up
After getting blanked yesterday, we want to cash a ticket, and if eating a little chalk is what it takes, we’ll do it, as we’ll do it with 3-Impazible Donna, who has a speed figure edge over the other six state-bred females in the field. She does her best running pressing the pace, and that is exactly the setup she should get here, as we see 4-Eloquent Speaker and 7-Beautiful Karen battling for the lead through what should be swift fractions, with Impazible Donna sitting just behind them, ready to pounce when they run each other into submission. Impazible Donna is even money on the morning line, so we’ll have to take a short price, but if that’s what it takes to get off the schneid, we’re all in. We will bet her to win. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 9, $40 to win on 3-Impazible Donna.
Gulfstream Park, Race 8, 3:42 pm ET
Maiden Special Weight, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies
Twelve lightly-raced sophomore fillies to go the post in this maiden turf race, and we like the looks of two first-time starters, 3-Richebourg and 7-Earnestine N Hazel, who are trained by Chad Brown and Christophe Clement, respectively. Richebourg has the more glittering credentials, as she’s a Kentucky-bred by superstar stallion Curlin, who currently stands for a whopping $175,000 stud fee, but the Irish-bred Earnestine N Hazel has a nice turf pedigree too, as she’s by the Irish stallion Zoffany out of a Galileo mare. Both these fillies look good to us, and both Brown and Clement have good stats winning with firsters, but rather than agonizing over picking one or the other, we’ll just play them back and forth in the exacta. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 8, $15 exacta box, 3 (Richebourg) with 7 (Earnestine N Hazel). This ticket will cost $30.
Aqueduct, Race 8, 3:50 pm ET
$100,000 Busanda Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies
The Busanda drew a field of just five, but it’s a good betting race, as the two top betting choices, 2-Coffee Bar and 5-The Grass Is Blue, appear pretty evenly matched. We hope that bettors flock to the The Grass is Blue because he is trained by Chad Brown, because we very much prefer Todd Pletcher’s Coffee Bar. The 1 ⅛ mile distance is the key, we think: it’s early in the year for 3-year-olds of either sex to be running that long, and while Coffee Bar looks like she will thrive at at nine furlongs, The Grass Is Blue looks less likely to do quite so well. Look for Coffee Bar to sit just behind her stablemate, 4-Traffic Lane, who should set the pace, to move to the front at the top of the stretch, and to win the Busanda by open lengths. We will bet Coffee Bar to win. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 8, $40 to win on 2-Coffee Bar.
Gulfstream Park, Race 9, 4:13 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up
This first-level allowance dirt sprint drew a field of eight. We’re playing another favorite, in the form of 1-Royal Meghan, who has a big edge in both speed and pace figures, and should pop out of the gate and win this race in wire-to-wire fashion. She’s 7/5 on the morning line, we’re not going to get rich, but we think there is value in every winner, especially when you’ve not had one three days. We will bet Royal Meghan to win. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 9, $40 to win on 1-Royal Meghan.
That’s all for today. Until the next time, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.