Garrity's Wednesday 11.24 Churchill Downs Picks, plus the 7th race at Tampa Bay Downs opening day
While everyone else is gearing up for turkey, stuffing, and cranberries, we are gearing up for what looks like a terrific weekend of excellent racing, as there are over three dozen stakes races, including three Grade 1s, between Thursday and Sunday. Today is also opening day at Tampa Bay Downs, which is both a good thing and a sure sign that the depths of winter are rapidly approaching. We are going to wet our handicapping whistle with three plays today, one in Tampa, and two at Churchill Downs in Kentucky. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all of them, so let’s go.
Tampa Bay Downs, Race 7, 3:49 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Nine go in this allowance in Tampa. We like a 3-year-old filly who drew the rail, 1-Be Up, who seems to be on the improve, as she comes off a win in an allowance race at Colonial Downs on September 1. She has been away since, but seems primed for a top effort here for trainer Jonathan Thomas, and we think the post will help, as being inside will help her save ground around the turns. Look for her to sit just behind the first flight of horses early, and to win with a move as the field turns for home. We think Be Up will get up, and will bet her to win at 3-1. The bet: Tampa Bay Downs, Race 7, $35 to win on 1-Be Up.
Churchill Downs, Race 7, 4:06 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 ⅛ miles, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Fillies and mares 3 and older, seven of them, go in this second-level allowance at Churchill Downs. The pick is 1-Bold Tactics, a 3-year-old Union Rags filly who spent the late summer and fall running on the Pennsylvania/New Jersey circuit for trainer Kelly Breen, but who here makes her first start for Brad Cox. We like the way she ran in her last start, when she won an allowance race at Monmouth Park, but we like even more the fact that Cox wins at a 26% clip with horses making their first start in his barn. We will bet Bold Tactics to win at 3-1. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 7, $40 to win on 1-Bold Tactics.
Churchill Downs, Race 8, 4:36 pm ET
Allowance, 1 ¼ miles, Dirt, 3 & Up
A field of nine lines up here. We like 4-Bourbon Thunder, who drops back to allowance company after running fairly well in a couple of stakes: he was a close fourth in the West Virginia Derby in August, and second in the Bourbon Trial at Churchill on Sept. 25. He has posted a couple of good workouts since, and has both the pedigree (by Quality Road, out of a Stormy Atlantic mare) and the running style to handle the mile and a quarter distance. We will bet him to win at 5/2. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 8, $40 to win on 4-Bourbon Thunder.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.