Garrity's Dad's Hat Happy Hour Handicapping picks 5 races at Keeneland, Woodbine, Belmont, Santa Anita
Turf racing at Woodbine in

Garrity's Dad's Hat Happy Hour Handicapping picks 5 races at Keeneland, Woodbine, Belmont, Santa Anita

First post is 4:44 pm EDT, last post is at 5:16. Let it rye-d.

It’s time for another edition of Dad’s Hat Happy Hour Handicapping, and it’s a good one on this glorious Autumn Friday, as the races, from both a sporting and wagering standpoint, are better than usual. We have five plays in five races from four tracks, from one end of the continent to another, all of which start in just a bit more than a half hour’s time. We expect fast dirt and firm turf for all races, so pour yourself a glass of one of the delicious hand-crafted concoctions from our friends at Dad’s Hat Rye, settle into your luckiest easy chair, and let’s go.

Keeneland, Race 8, 4:44 pm ET

Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes, 1 ½ miles, Turf, 3 & Up

The Grade 3 Sycamore is a good old-fashioned turf marathon that drew a dozen entrants. The 12 furlongs seems to be farther than most of them want to go, which makes the pick 1-Glynn County, who comes from the Mike Maker barn off two good efforts in graded stakes, and who should get the distance. We particularly like his last race, when he closed to finish a close third, just a length and a half behind the winner, in the Grade 2 Turf Cup at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 11. Glynn County is fit, appears to be ready, and will be running strongly at the end of the race, when most of the other horses will be looking to throw in the towel. We will bet him to win at 7/2. The bet: Keeneland, Race 8, $40 to win on 1-Glynn County.

Woodbine, Race 1, 4:45 pm ET

$80,000 Thunder Bay Stakes, 7 furlongs, Turf, Ontario-bred 3-Year-Old Fillies

This turf stakes race for Ontario-bred 3-year-old fillies drew a field of eight. We are going with favored 6-Lorena. She has raced exclusively on the synthetic Tapeta surface at Woodbine so far, and her ability to handle turf is therefore a bit of a question, but the speed figures she earned in her prior starts are so overwhelmingly superior to the rest of this modest group that she should win even if she is not quite as good on grass as she has been on synthetic. Look for her to press what should be a moderate or even slow pace, and to open up on the field turning for home. We will bet her to win at 2-1. The bet: Woodbine, Race 1, $30 to win on 6-Lorena.

Belmont Park, Race 9, 4:52 pm ET

$100,000 Carle Place Stakes, 7 furlongs, Turf, 3-Year-Olds

A deep field of twelve sophomore colts lines up for the Carle Place Stakes at 7 furlongs on the Belmont turf. We like the one all the way on the outside, 12-Snow House, who comes into this race after doing a speed-and-fade effort in a nine-furlong stakes race at Saratoga in July. That race, like all but one of his five career starts, was on dirt, but he has both the pedigree and the running style to be a factor on turf, and he we think his stalking running style will be a fit here, as the early pace should be fairly robust. Look for him to sit mid-pack early, to move to the front at the top of the stretch, and hold off the closers late. We will bet him to win at 6-1. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 9, $40 to win on 12-Snow House.

Santa Anita, Race 3, 5:02 pm ET

$50,000 Maiden Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, California-breds 3 & Up

A field of ten state-breds lines up for this maiden claimer at Santa Anita. We like the one on the rail, 1-Midnight Somewhere, who showed very high speed in his last start, running wickedly fast fractions at Los Alamitos a month ago, before he ran out of gas and faded badly, finishing last. We like second-time starters coming off a speed-and-fade effort, as they frequently learn from the experience, and run much better in their second start. We like Midnight Somewhere even more than usual, however, as his last race was a Maiden Special Weight race, and here he drops into maiden claiming company. As we’ve mentioned previously, this is the biggest class drop in horse racing, which makes Midnight Somewhere extremely dangerous. We will bet him to win at 3-1. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 3, $35 to win on 1-Midnight Somewhere.

Keeneland, Race 9, 5:16 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming 6 ½ furlongs, Dirt, 2-Year-Olds

Nine juveniles go in this first-level allowance dirt sprint. The pick is 9-Sonnyisnotsofunny, who won an Ellis Park maiden race impressively in July. It is a concern that he’s been away since, that he starts here off a layoff, but 2-year-olds can improve dramatically and rapidly this time of year, and he has the looks of a colt who is on the come. Plus, he has speed, and an outside post position, both of which will be assets for him today. We will bet him to win at 4-1. The bet: Keeneland, Race 9, $35 to win on 9-Sonnyisnotfunny.

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

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