Thursday 11.4 Del Mar Picks: Garrity handicaps three turf races as he gauges the track for the Breeders Cup
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Thursday 11.4 Del Mar Picks: Garrity handicaps three turf races as he gauges the track for the Breeders Cup

First post 4:31 pm EDT.

We have on this Thursday, on the eve of the biggest event of the year, three plays, all in races from Del Mar, where the Breeders Cup will be run tomorrow and Saturday. All three contests are on the Del Mar turf, which was fair and firm yesterday. We expect that trend to continue, so let’s go.

Del Mar, Race 3, 4:31 pm ET

Allowance/Optional Claiming, 5 furlongs, Turf, 3 & Up

Eight older horses line up for this second-level allowance turf sprint. We are going all in on a speed play, in the form of 5-Mikes Tiznow. The 4-year-old gelding is a cinch to get the early lead, as he has blazing early speed, and he has led at the first call in virtually every race he has ever run. And we think that once he gets to the front, he is not going to look back. Look for Mikes Tiznow to win this race in wire-to-wire fashion; we will bet him to win at 3-1. The bet: Del Mar, Race 3, $40 to win on 5-Mikes Tiznow.

Del Mar, Race 5, 5:33 pm ET

Maiden Special Weight, 1 mile, Turf, 2-Year-Old Fillies

This maiden turf affair drew a full field of ten sophomore fillies. We like 6-Hemmerle, who comes from the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, who thought so much of her that he entered her in a minor stakes race, the Surfer Girl at Santa Anita on Oct. 3, even though she was a maiden. She did not win that race, but she did run quite well, finishing third in an eleven-horse field. In this spot, where she is dropping from stakes company to facing non-winners, she is going to be awfully tough, especially since she will be ridden by top jockey Irad Ortiz, who is in town for the Breeders Cup. Hemmerle looks to be sitting on a big one, so we will bet her to win at 3-1. The bet: Del Mar, Race 5, $40 to win on 6-Hemmerle.

Del Mar, Race 7, 6:38 pm ET
$100,000 Let It Ride Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Olds

Ten sophomore colts line up for the Let It Ride. The pick is 7-Coulthard, who began his career in his native Ireland, where he was winless in five starts last fall before being brought to the U.S., and the barn of Phil D’Amato, last winter. Since then, he has done a lot right, breaking his maiden in February, and then winning an allowance next out in March, both at Santa Anita. He came back from a layoff in an allowance on Oct. 2, and while his running line for that race looks rather pedestrian -- he finished fourth, over four lengths behind the winner -- his race was miles better than it looks on paper, as he had an absolutely brutal trip, getting cut off by other horses, and having to steady sharply, at least three times. Most horses would quit after this kind of trouble, but Coulthard ran on quite nicely, even though the troubled trip gave him zero chance to win. He seems to have come out of that race in good order, with a couple of excellent morning workouts since, and we think the rest of the field is running for second money. We will bet Coulthard to win at 3-1, and we will do so enthusiastically. The bet: Del Mar, Race 7, $50 to win on 7-Coulthard.

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

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