Garrity's 11.12 Friday Dad's Hat Happy Hour horse racing picks at Gulfstream, Churchill, Aqueduct, Del Mar
It’s Friday, which means it is time for another installment of Dad’s Hat Happy Hour Handicapping. For this mid-November edition, we have five plays at four tracks, from Florida to Kentucky to New York to California, in just over an hour’s time. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all races, except at Aqueduct, where the weather will be wet, and the main track sloppy; so pour yourself a tumbler of one of the delicious libations from our friends at Dad’s Hat, and let’s go.
Gulfstream Park, Race 8, 3:53 pm ET
Starter Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 mile 70 yards, Synthetic, 2-Year-Olds
Ten juvenile colts line up here. The pick is 1-Peter D, who drops into starter allowance company after a win in a state-bred stakes race at Gulfstream Park. That was his first start on the new synthetic surface at Gulfstream Park, and he improved significantly in it, compared to his prior starts, which were on grass. We do not think he will be quite as good today, but we do not think he will need to be, as this group looks very weak. Look for him to stalk the pace from his inside post, and win going away. We will bet him to win at 9/5. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 1-Peter D.
Churchill Downs, Race 7, 4:06 pm ET
Allowance, 5 ½ furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
This first-level allowance drew a field of ten. All eyes will be on favored 6-Sarah Harper, who looked like a future star in her last, when she broke her maiden in very fast time. If she runs that kind of race today, then she will win, but she is going to be a very, very short price, probably something like 3/5, and we are therefore taking a shot against her.
We like 10-Flash Magic. Like Sarah Harper, she is a 3-year-old filly with seemingly a world of talent; but unlike the favorite, she has struggled to show it, with only one win in seven career starts. She seems to be rounding into form, as she ran a good second in her last start, which was at this level, and another step forward today should put her right there. We will bet her to win at 9/2. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 7, $40 to win on 6-Sarah Harper.
Aqueduct, Race 9, 4:13 pm ET
$14,000 Claiming, 7 furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up
Older claiming horses line up to run 7 furlongs in the nightcap at the Big A. The pick is 2-Macho Boy, who probably would be a throw-out on a fast track, but is a major contender in the slop. He has proven off-track form, with five in-the-money finishes in nine career wet-track starts; that is good, but what is even better is that he has high speed, and the other seven entered here do not. Look for Macho Boy to go right to the front, and win this race in wire-to-wire fashion. He is 10-1 on the morning line, but that was made for a fast track; he will be much lower when the gates open, but we will bet him to win anyway. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 9, $40 to win on 2-Macho Boy.
Churchill Downs, Race 8, 4:36 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies
This very tough second-level allowance drew a field of seven. We’re all-in on 4-Super Quick, who was last seen winning an allowance race at Keeneland a month ago. Her recent morning workouts have been sensational, which we take as a sign that she is thriving physically, and ready to run a big race in this spot. We will bet her to win at 3-1, which is a very attractive price. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 8, $40 to win on 4-Super Quick.
Del Mar, Race 4, 5:03 pm ET
Maiden Special Weight, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up
Seven line up for this Del Mar maiden race. Two of them, 1-Today’s Flavor and 2-Essential Wager, are trained by high-profile trainers, Doug O’Neill and Bob Baffert, respectively, and that, plus the fact that both have high speed, and earned good speed figures in their last start, figure to cause them to get a lot of attention at the windows. We hope they both get bet like the second coming of Seattle Slew, because another entrant, 5-Disco Ball, to us looks better than either. He ran second in his last start, in a maiden race at Los Alamitos in September, and while ran quite well doing so, what really ramps up our enthusiasm for his chances today is the fact that it was his first race since December. He looks poised to move forward off that effort, and sh should get a dream trip, as he’s a stalker, and drew outside of his speedy rivals. We think he is the horse to beat, and will consequently play him to win at 5/2. The bet: Del Mar, Race 4, $50 to win on 5-Disco Ball.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.