Garrity's Saturday Stakes: Monmouth Park, Arlington Million Day at Arlington Park, Fourstardave at Saratoga
The biggest stage in the racing world today will not be Saratoga, nor Del Mar, but Arlington Park in suburban Chicago, which runs three Grade 1 turf races on what they are still calling Arlington Million Day, even though the race that created the day, the Arlington Million, is now called something else, and even though 2021 will almost certainly the last time these races are run, as Arlington is reportedly close to being sold for redevelopment. The closing of a racetrack, especially one as gorgeous as Arlington, is guaranteed to make us sad, and to remind us of the late, great Hollywood Park, where we learned this game many years ago. But we will leave that all aside, and focus on the positive today, which is that the races look pretty good, and there is money to be won.
We have six plays in six races, three in the East and three in Chicago, and though we are playing for fast dirt and firm turf in all of them, keep an eye on the sky, especially for the races in New Jersey and Upstate New York, as showers and thunderstorms with the passage of a cold front. With that out of the way, let’s go.
Monmouth Park, Race 11, 5:02 pm ET
$100,000 Incredible Revenge Stakes, 5 ½ furlongs, Turf, Fillies & Mares, 3 & Up
There’s a field of nine in the Incredible Revenge, and with the composition of the field, a fast to very fast pace appears very likely, and that has us looking for a horse who can come from behind, and pick up the pieces when the speed horses begin to tire. We think that will be 5-Love and Peace, a French-bred mare who has been running in allowance company in Southern California. She comes into this race off a bit of a layoff, having last run in May, but Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale appears to have her primed to run today. Look for her to be well back early, and flying late; we will bet her to win at 5-1. The bet: Monmouth Park, Race 11, $35 to win on 5-Love and Peace.
Saratoga, Race 9, 5:39 pm ET
Grade 2 Saratoga Special Stakes, 6 ½ furlongs, Dirt, 2-Year-Olds
An even dozen go in the Saratoga Special. The pick is 2-Gunite. He earned a good speed figure breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs on June 26, and he showed in that win a high cruising speed combined with the ability to finish strongly, which is a very good combination, and something we don’t often see in 2-year-olds, especially this time of year. We expect him to run big today, not least because his trainer, Steve Asmussen, is hot. We will bet him to win at 5-1. The bet: Saratoga, Race 9, $35 to win on 2-Gunite.
Arlington Park, Race 7, 5:59 pm ET
Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes, 1 3/16 miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
The Beverly D looks easy, at least on paper: Favored 4-Santa Barbara, an Irish-bred 4-year-old filly who starts for Irish trainer Aiden O’Brien, simply seems to outclass the rest of the field. She won the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks in her last start, and should make it two in a row today. If we thought we could get her 2-1 morning line odds, we might remove both rubber bands from the bankroll; because she will be a shorter price at post time, we will be slightly more prudent. We will bet her to win. The bet: Arlington Park, Race 7, $50 to win on 5-Santa Barbara.
Saratoga, Race 10, 6:13 pm ET
Grade 1 Fourstardave Handicap, 1 mile, Turf, 3 & Up
A field of eight will go to the starting gate for the Fourstardave. We are all in on favored 1-Raging Bull, who just missed in his last, when he lost the Grade 3 Poker at Belmont by a head, but we think that race will set him up just about perfectly for this spot. There has been scuttlebutt in the racing world that wise guys are against Raging Bull; we hope that is true, because that will inflate the price on the horse who appears to us to be better than the rest of the field by a pretty significant margin. We will bet Raging Bull to win at 9/5. The bet: Saratoga, Race 10, $50 to win on 1-Raging Bull.
Arlington Park, Race 8, 6:28 pm ET
Grade 1 Bruce D Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Olds
The Bruce D, formerly called the Secretariat Stakes, drew a field of nine sophomore colts. It’s a bit of a motley group, as is shown by the fact that the nine have a combined total of zero graded stakes wins. One of the group will be a Grade 1 winner tonight, however, and we think it will be 4-Ginsburned, who has a terrific turf pedigree, and who won his last start quite smartly, rallying from the back of the pack to win a mile turf maiden race at Ellis Park on July 25. We see a similar setup, and a similar result, today. We will bet him to win at 5-1. The bet: Arlington Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 4-Ginsburned.
Arlington Park, Race 9, 7:13 pm ET
Grade 1 Mr. D. Stakes, 1 ¼ miles, Turf, 3 & Up
We’re going with another Aiden O’Brien Runner in the Mr. D., 9-Armory, a 4-year-old son of recently deceased superstar stallion Galileo, who has been running against some incredibly difficult competition in Europe, much, much tougher than he will face here. Two starts back, in fact, Armory finished a close third in the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at the Royal Ascot meet, one of the top grass races in Europe all year. If either of the top two finishers in that race, the 4-year-old filly Love and the 5-year-old mare Ayudara, were entered here, they’d likely be odds-on, which makes the 9/2 morning line price on Armory, who finished just a length or so behind them, look like something between a solid overlay and an absolute gift. This is doubly true because we think Armory will like the firm going at Arlington today more than he liked the soft going at Ascot. We will bet Armory to win, and we will do so enthusiastically. The bet: Arlington Park, Race 9, $75 to win on 9-Armory.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.