Garrity's Saturday Stakes picks Churchill Downs & Santa Anita for the Blame, Regret, Matt Winn, Daytona, more
Garrity's first post is at 3:18 pm EDT.
With the tracks on the East Coast looking at a very wet day, we are turning our attention South and West, with three plays at Churchill Downs and two at Santa Anita. That’s a quintet of Saturday stakes action, and we expect fast dirt and firm turf in all of them, except where noted below. Let’s go. two
Churchill Downs, Race 6, 3:18 pm ET
$150,000 Blame Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Dirt, 4 & Up
The Blame came up a nice race, with a pretty good field of seven older horses. The pick is 5-American Dubai, who was claimed for $40,000 two back by trainer Robertino Diodoro, out of a race at Oaklawn Park, and then improved dramatically in his next start, winning a nine-furlong allowance by seven lengths, earning a big speed figure in the process. He has enough natural speed to get a forwardly-placed trip, which will be an asset, as the pace does not figure to be overly fast. We will bet him to win at 6-1. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 6, $35 to win on 5-American Dubai.
Churchill Downs, Race 8, 4:22 pm ET
Grade 3 Regret Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies
A field of nine sophomore fillies lines up for the Regret, which, after rains Friday, will be run on good turf. The soft going is important, as a couple of the logical contenders seem to want firmer ground, and that makes the pick 7-Gam’s Mission. She has won her last two, and while they were run on firm grass, she showed in her career debut, in which she closed strongly to finish second in a maiden race on good turf, that she can handle the going. Every one of her three career starts has been better than the last, and we foresee another step forward today, which will put make her a graded stakes winner. We will bet her to win at 5-1. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 8, $40 to win on 7-Gam’s Mission.
Churchill Downs, Race 9, 4:55 pm ET
Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 3-Year-Olds
Eight 3-year-olds go in the Matt Winn. We like 5-Fulsome, who began his career running four times on turf, but who showed his ability on conventional dirt two back, when he won an allowance race at Keeneland that was rained off the grass. He showed that was not a fluke by winning again in his last, this time over a fast track, in a $300,000 stakes race at Oaklawn Park. He’s an improving 3-year-old who seems to be sitting on a big one, and that makes his 5/2 morning line price very appealing. We will bet him to win. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 9, $40 to win on 5-Fulsome.
Santa Anita Park, Race 5, 6:15 pm ET
Grade 3 Daytona Stakes, 6 ½ furlongs, Turf, 4 & Up
The Daytona drew a field of just five, but they’re all pretty evenly matched, so it’s a good betting race. We see a fast pace, and a winner coming from behind, and that makes the pick 1-Majestic Eagle, a Neil Drysdale trainee who has been running in longer races, but here cuts back to a sprint. He will be well back early, but we will be flying late, and we think that quick early fractions will set up his late charge. At 5-1, we are betting on it. We will play him to win. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 5, $35 to win on 1-Majestic Eagle.
Santa Anita Park, Race 8, 7:52 pm ET
Grade 2 Triple Bend Stakes, 7 furlongs, Dirt, 4-Year-Olds
Five go in the Triple Bend, and trainer Bob Baffert has two of them. Baffert’s barn has been cold of late, so we are playing against his runners until that trend changes.
We like 1-Exaulted. He’s a lightly raced Peter Eurton trainee, with just five career starts to his name, but he has improved steadily in all of them, including his last race, when he a close third in the Grade 2 San Carlos at Santa Anita on March 6. His recent workouts, which have been very fast, are a sign that he’s primed for this spot, and at 4-1, that makes him a very attractive play. We will bet him to win. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 8, $40 to win on 1-Exaulted.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.