Garrity's Sunday Stakes picks the Dowager at Keeneland, Point of Entry at Belmont, more
This is the quiet before the storm: with the Breeders Cup, the biggest day of the year in the sport and the best day of the year to be a gambler, now less than two weeks away, the stakes docket is a bit light today, as the best horses in the country are safely in their stalls, training up to the big event. We’ve managed to find plays in three races, two of them stakes, at Belmont Park and Keeneland, to tide us all over. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all three, so let’s go.
Keeneland, Race 7, 4:12 pm ET
Grade 3 Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes, 1 ½ miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Ten go in the Dowager. We like 4-La Lune, and we like her quite a bit: She’s an English-bred 5-year-old mare who began her career in England, winning a Group 3 stakes at Haydock in May, before coming to the United States, and trainer Ed Vaughan, in the summer. Her first American start was quite good, when she came from far back to finish second, just a neck behind the winner, in a $500,000 stakes race at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 12. With that race under her belt, she is strictly the one to beat here, especially since she is proven at this mile and a half distance, which is not the case with some of the others in the field. We will bet La Lune to win at 7/2. The bet: Keeneland, Race 7, $50 to win on 4-La Lune.
Keeneland, Race 8, 4:44 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 3 & Up
This conditional allowance drew a field of six. We’re going with favored 6-Warrior’s Charge, who has earned good speed figures while being outrun in stakes races, but who seems in line for a much better result against this group of allowance runners. We think he dominates this race, and wins by open lengths; we will bet him to win at 8/5. The bet: Keeneland, Race 8, $50 to win on 6-Warrior’s Charge.
Belmont Park, Race 9, 4:52 pm ET
$100,000 Point of Entry Stakes, 1 ½ miles, Turf, 3 & Up
Six go in the Point of Entry Stakes. Five of them are older horses, but we like the 3-year-old in the group: it’s 6-Experienced, who was last seen running fifth in the Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs on Aug. 31. His figures are a bit light, but he does fit one of our pet angles, which is improving 3-year-olds facing their elders in the fall; and we also like where he ran his last race, as the form of horses who last ran at Colonial has been pretty strong of late. He likes the distance, he finishes very strongly, which is always important in turf races, and we think he’s in with a big chance here. That makes his 10-1 morning line odds to good to pass up. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s conditioned by Jonathan Thomas, one of the sharpest trainers around. We will bet him to win. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 9, $40 to win on 6-Experienced.
That’s all for today. Until the next time, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.