Mother's Day Horse Racing: Garrity picks Belmont, Churchill Downs and Santa Anita, including 2 stakes races
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Mother's Day Horse Racing: Garrity picks Belmont, Churchill Downs and Santa Anita, including 2 stakes races

Garrity's first post is at 4:18 pm EDT.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.

We have plays in four races today, two of them stakes, and we expect fast dirt and firm turf in all of them, except as noted below. Let’s go.

Belmont Park, Race 7, 4:18 pm ET

Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 mile, Turf, 3 & Up

Nine line up for this tough second-level allowance turf race. We are going with a closer, and a big price, in 7-Vettori Kin. He won his last race closing from the back, and he was claimed out of that race by Wayne Potts, who jumps him in class here, to an allowance race from claiming company. We like the aggressive move by Potts, we like the fact that Potts wins at a gaudy 26% clip with horses first off the claim, and we like the fact there appears to be enough speed in the field to set up Vettori Kin’s late charge. We will bet him to win at 20-1, and play him in the Double (see below) comprising Race 7 and 8. The bets: Belmont Park, Race 7, $30 to win on 7-Vettori’s Kin; $15 double, 7 (Vettori’s Kin) with 6-Candy Man Rocket).

Belmont Park, Race 8, 4:51 pm ET

$100,000 Gold Fever Stakes, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3-Year-Olds

The Gold Fever drew a field of six sophomore colts. We like horses cutting back in distance, and that makes 6-Candy Man Rocket a strong play. His last two races were in the Wood Memorial and the Tampa Bay Derby, and though his results in both were dismal, last and second-to-last, we think it was a case of the races being too far for him. Cutting back to 6 furlongs here should be right in his wheelhouse, and the additional stamina he developed from running longer should serve him well. We will bet him to win at 8/5. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 6-Candy Man Rocket.

Churchill Downs, Race 10, 5:18 pm ET

Allowance, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, 3-Year-Olds

An interesting field of eleven lines up for this first-level turf allowance for 3-year-olds, which, as of press time Sunday morning, was still on the grass, but which should be run over soft going. With the form of the American contingent, the colts who have been running in U.S. races, looking average at best, we think the table is set for Euro invader 3-Science, an Irish-bred who starts for Brad Cox after running three times as a juvenile in England. He won his last start quite smartly, beating eight rivals in a maiden race at Catterick, and while he comes off a layoff today, and stretches out to a longer distance, we think he can still win, as Cox excels at getting horses to fire off the bench, and his pedigree suggests that he will thrive going longer. Look for him to be mid-pack early, and flying late. We will bet him to win at 3-1. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 10, $40 to win on 3-Science.

Santa Anita Park, Race 7, 7:22 pm ET

$100,000 Fran’s Valentine Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, California-bred Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

The Fran’s Valentine drew just six entrants, but it’s going to be fascinating, even in that short a field, to see how the pace develops. With a couple of early speed horses drawn inside, we are counting on very quick early fractions, which will set up the late charge of both 5-Warren’s Showtime and 6-Pulpit Rider. They are close in overall ability, but they have the same running style, and we see the two of them in a ding-dong battle down the stretch. We’re not sure which will win, so we’ll take the easy way out and play them back and forth in the exacta. These two wagers will cost $30. The bet: Santa Anita Park, Race 7, $15 exacta box, 5 (Warren’s Showtime) with 6 (Pulpit Rider).

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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