Garrity's Friday 10.29 Dad's Hat Happy Hour Horse Racing Picks for Belmont, Keeneland, Santa Anita
If it’s Friday, it’s time for another installment of Dad’s Hat Happy Hour Handicapping. Today’s edition will be largely rain-soaked, as the forecast for both New York and Kentucky is poor, but we’ll use these races as a reminder that cashing on wet tracks counts just as much as cashing when the sun is shining. We’re listing track conditions with each race, so put on your favorite sweater, warm yourself with one of the delicious libations from our friends at Dad’s Hat, and let’s go.
Belmont Park, Race 8, 4:21 pm ET
$35,000 Claiming, 6 ½ furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Seven females, after scratches, will go in this claiming dirt sprint. We’re expecting a wet track, either good or sloppy, which makes the pick 9-Guns Blazing, a 3-year-old filly who has abundant speed, a perfect 1-for-1 career record on off tracks, and an outside post, which should allow jockey Luis Saez to get a clean trip, avoiding the kickback that is almost always a major factor in races in the slop. She comes out of a race at Monmouth Park in which she led almost all the way; that was on fast dirt, and today, on an off track, we think her speed will carry her all the way. We will bet her to win at 6-1. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 9-Guns Blazing.
Santa Anita, Race 2, 4:30 pm ET
Starter Allowance, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up
Five go in the 2nd race on the card at Santa Anita, where the main track will be fast. The pick is 4-Scary Fast Smile, a 4-year-old who was in over his head in his last two starts, an allowance race and a stakes, but who should find the lesser competition here to be much to his liking (this race is restricted to horses who have started for a claiming price of $50,000 or less). He’s got speed and an outside post; look for Scary Fast Smile to go right to the front, and never look back. We will bet him to win at 9/5. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 2, $40 to win on 4-Scary Fast Smile.
Keeneland, Race 8, 4:44 pm ET
$150,000 Myrtlewood Stakes, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 2-Year-Old Fillies
The Myrtlewood, a very nice stakes race for juvenile fillies that drew a field of ten, will be run on a Keeneland main track labeled good late on Friday morning. We think the conditions will favor 1-Jester Calls Nojoy, who broke her maiden in fast time two starts back, at Saratoga in September, over a racing surface very similar to what she will see this afternoon. She faltered in her last, when she was thrown in the deep end of the pool in the Grade 1 Frizette, but she should like both returning to sprinting, and the level of competition is much, much less than she saw in the Frizette. We will bet her to win at 7/2. The bet: Keeneland, Race 8, $40 to win on 1-Jester Calls Nojoy.
Belmont Park, Race 9, 4:52 pm ET
$100,000 Oyster Bay Stakes, 7 furlongs, Turf, 3 & Up
The Widener turf course at Belmont Park, over which the Oyster Bay will be run, was listed as good on Friday morning, and though the forecast for New York is wet, we are hoping that the rain can hold off long enough for the race to stay on the grass, as it’s a good betting race. Ten runners remain after late scratches.
We like 11-Value Proposition. , who combines recency -- he comes off a sharp win in a minor stakes at Monmouth Park on Sept. 4 -- with a proven affinity for softer going, as his last two races on turf with some cut in it were excellent. He has enough speed to stay reasonably close to the early pace, and should win with a strong rally down the long Belmont stretch. We will bet him to win at 5/2. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 9, $40 to win on 11-Value Proposition.
Keeneland, Race 9, 5:16 pm ET
Grade 3 Rubicon Valley View Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies
The Rubicon Valley is on the turf course at Keeneland, which has been listed as yielding. Eleven are entered. Some may struggle on the soft grass, but one who will thrive, we think, is 12-Queenship, an Irish-bred filly who makes her North American debut for trainer Joseph O’Brien. She beat 14 winning her last start, which is good, but that she did it over soft ground is even better. The wide post is no bargain, but we think jockey Julian Leparoux will be able to work out a good trip for her, and her class will prevail. We will bet her to win at 8-1. The bet: Keeneland, Race 9, $40 to win on 12-Queenship.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.