Garrity's Saturday Stakes picks races at Delaware Park, Gulfstream Park and Belmont
Viadera, winning the De La Rose last July.NYRA / Chelsea Durand

Garrity's Saturday Stakes picks races at Delaware Park, Gulfstream Park and Belmont

First post is at 4:15 pm EDT.

We have five plays on this day before Independence Day, on races from Delaware, New York, and Florida. While the thoughts of most will be on flags, bunting, and parades tomorrow, ours will be focused on overlays, as cashing tickets is an American tradition for which we will be proud to stand up and salute.

We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all races, except as noted below. Let’s go.

Delaware Park, Race 7, 4:15 pm ET

Grade 3 Kent Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, 3-Year-Olds

Eight 3-year-olds go in the Kent, which should be run over soft turf. We like -- no, make that love -- favored 5-Like the King, who has had a peripatetic season, running all over the place and on different surfaces, including when he finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby. Here he appears to fit here on form and class. Look for him to be mid-pack early, and rolling late. We will bet him to win at 8/5. The bet: Delaware Park, Race 7, $50 to win on 5-Like the King.

Delaware Park, Race 8, 4:45 pm ET
Grade 3 Delaware Oaks, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies

Nine sophomore fillies line up for the Delaware Oaks, and one of them presents an interesting handicapping question. 3-Midnight Obsession has done nothing wrong in her three career starts, winning two and finishing a close second in the other, but all three of her races were run on wet tracks. Will she be as good on a fast track, which she should see in this spot?

We think the answer is yes. In fact, we think that her wet-track efforts have been deceiving, and that she is actually better than she has shown so far. That makes her strictly the one to beat here, but with that wet-track form obscuring her true talent, she is a positively juicy 4-1 on the morning line. We’ll take that all day long, and will bet her to win. The bet: Delaware Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 3-Midnight Obsession.

Gulfstream Park, Race 10, 5:02 pm ET

Grade 3 Smile Sprint Invitational, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up

Eight go in the Smile Sprint. We like 8-Miles Ahead, who should get an ideal stalking trip from his outside post position. Look for him to sit just behind the pacesetters early, and seize command of the race at the top of the stretch. We will bet him to win at 4-1. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 10, $35 to win on 8-Miles Ahead.

Belmont Park, Race 9, 5:12 pm ET

$100,000 Perfect Sting Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

We’re expecting soft turf for the Perfect Sting, which drew a field of six. The heavy favorite is 9-Viadera, who figures to be something like 2/5 coming off a win in the Grade 1 Matriarch at Del Mar. But we are taking a shot against her, as her last race was in November, and she probably prefers firmer going than what she will get today.

The pick is 1-Honey Cake. This is her first North American start, but the Irish-bred 4-year-old ran against some pretty salty company in France last year, and should thrive over the softer going. We will bet her to win at 4-1. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 9, $35 to win on 1-Honey Cake.

Gulfstream Park, Race 11, 5:35 pm ET

Grade 2 Princess Rooney Invitational, 7 furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

The composition of the field of eight in the Princess Rooney suggests that the race could be stolen on the front end, and that is exactly what we are predicting, in the form of 3-Thisismytime, who has the most early speed in the group, and who has shown in the past that she is capable of running big races when she is allowed to run comfortably up front early. We see just that, and at 6-1, think that she can wire this group. We will bet her to win. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 11, $30 to win on 3-Thisismytime.

That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.

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