Garrity picks the NY Stallion & Memories of Silver Stakes @ Aqueduct and the Tokyo City Handicap @ Santa Anita
On this spring Sunday, it’s a bicoastal kind of day: we have three plays in a pair of stakes at Aqeuduct Race Course, and we have one play in a stakes at Santa Anita Park. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all of them, so let’s go.
Aqueduct, Race 7, 4:34 pm ET
$200,000 New York Stallion Stakes (Park Avenue Division), 6 ½ furlongs, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies
Six sophomore fillies bred in the Empire State go here, and we are going to do something that we rarely do, which is hammer an obvious favorite at a short price. The filly is 1-Laobanonaprayer, who at 4/5 is normally the kind of horse we would try to beat, but after a rough day yesterday, when three of our five picks finished second, two of them by miniscule margins and in excruciating fashion, we are looking to restore our mental equilibrium by cashing a ticket. Laobanonaprayer looks to be better than the rest of this group, and we’d probably like her under any circumstances, but what makes her look like a cinch is the composition of the rest of the field: she’s a strong finisher in a race filled with cheap speed, with fast early/slow late types. Put bluntly, it looks like Laobanonaprayer will have to fall down to lose. We will bet her to win, and will play her in the Double (see below) covering Races 7 and 8. The bets: Aqueduct, Race 7, $50 to win on 1-Laobanonaprayer; $25 double, 1 (Laobanonaprayer) with 8 (Bubbles on Ice).
Aqueduct, Race 8, 5:07 pm
$100,000 Memories of Silver Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies
The Memories of SIlver drew a field of seven, but we have eyes for only one, 8-Bubbles on Ice, who makes her U.S. debut for trainer Christophe Clement after a four-race campaign as a juvenile last year in her native Ireland. The last two of her 2020 starts were in Group 1 races at the Curragh, where she acquitted herself quite well, especially considering the fact that these races are incredibly difficult. Bubbles on Ice quite simply appears to outclass this modest group, and that makes her a strong play. We will bet her to win at 4-1. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 8, $40 to win on 8-Bubbles on Ice.
Santa Anita Park, Race 3, 5:12 pm ET
Grade 3 Tokyo City Handicap, 1 ½ miles, Dirt, 4 & Up
The hot favorite in the Tokyo City, a rare graded stakes run at a mile and a half on dirt, is 3-Tizamagician, and while he has controlling speed and his recent form is good, and while his human connections (trainer Richard Mandella and jockey Flavien Prat) are impeccable, he looks like an underlay to us, as he’s 4/5 on the morning line, and figures to be an even shorter price when the gates open. He may win, but chasing these kind of underlaid favorites is, pari-mutuelly speaking, a one-way ticket to Palookaville. We will pass.
We like 4-Lure Him In. The Bob Hess trainee can get the distance, he can run on dirt, and we think the pace may favor his stretch-running style. Look for him to be last early, but first late. We will bet him to win at 4-1. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 3, $35 to win on 4-Lure Him In.
That’s all for today. Until the next time, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.