Sunday at the track: Garrity picks races at Aqueduct, Oaklawn, and the Sensational Star Stakes at Santa Anita
The national stakes calendar is light today, as it has been on most recent Sundays, but we’ve still managed to find four plays for the afternoon, one in a stakes, one a maiden race, and a pair in allowance affairs. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all of them, so let’s go.
Aqueduct, Race 7, 4:24 pm ET
Allowance, 1 mile, Dirt, New York-bred Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Seven older state-bred females go to the post in the 7th at the Big A, and it’s a good race to handicap, as the contenders have all earned nearly identical speed figures in their recent starts. This will require a deeper dive into the past performances, to assess how those figures were earned, and who figures to earn the best number today.
We think it will be 5-Dancing Kiki, who won a $40,000 maiden claiming race quite smartly two back, then faltered in her first race finning winners in her last. We think she will rebound today, as we think the shape of the race will favor her pace-pressing running style, and we see her getting a perfect trip sitting just behind two dueling speedballs, making a winning run at the top of the stretch, passing the pacesetters and holding off the closers late. We will bet her to win at 5-1. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 7, $35 to win on 5-Dancing Kiki.
Oaklawn Park, Race 9, 5:10 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3-Year-Olds
A field of eight sophomore colts line up for this first-level allowance dirt sprint. The pick is 6-Bob’s Edge, and it’s a strong one, as his last two races were quite good, and today he should get an excellent setup, as he’s a horse with ample early speed, and he drew an advantageous outside post position. He may set the pace, or he may stalk; either way, he is getting his picture taken. We will bet him to win at 3-1. The bet: Oaklawn Park, Race 9, $35 to win on 6-Bob’s Edge.
Santa Anita Park, Race 5, 6:20 pm ET
Maiden Special Weight, 6 ½ furlongs, Turf, California-bred 3-Year-Old Fillies
Six 3-year-old fillies bred in the Golden State line up for the 5th at Santa Anita. We are all over the chalk, 3-Big Clare, who has come close in her two career starts, finishing third and second, but who today catches a very weak field, and should dominate this race. Look for her to sit just behind the speed, and win going away with a big move down the stretch. We will bet her to win. The bet: Santa Anita Park, Race 5, $50 to win on 3-Big Clare.
Santa Anita Park, Race 7, 7:26 pm ET
$100,000 Sensational Star Stakes, 6 furlongs, Turf, California-breds 4 & Up
Seven state-breds go in the Sensational Star. In a motley group, with horses changing distances and surfaces -- many of the entrants last ran on dirt, or in longer races -- we like the horse who has been running almost exclusively on turf, and primarily at sprint distances. It’s 3-Jetovator, who has a potent combination of natural early speed and a good finishing kick. He won an allowance race in his last start in wire-to-wire fashion, but he doesn’t need the lead to win, and that’s good, because in this spot we see him stalking, not setting the pace. But we think he wins for trainer Peter Eurton with a stalking trip, and a big move as the field fans out into the stretch. We will bet him to win at 5/2. The bet: Santa Anita Park, Race 5, $40 to win on 3-Jetovator.
That’s all for today. Until the next time, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.