Garrity's Saturday Stakes for Jan. 15 has 3 Santa Anita Picks for Cal breds, plus  Gulfstream Park and Oaklawn
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Garrity's Saturday Stakes for Jan. 15 has 3 Santa Anita Picks for Cal breds, plus Gulfstream Park and Oaklawn

Garrity's first post is 4:42 pm EST.

With cold causing the cancellation of racing today at Aqueduct, we are looking for plays in warmer climes to the south and west, leaning particularly heavily on the California Cup card at Santa Anita, which features ten races, and four stakes, for horses bred in the Golden State. We have put together five plays for this mid-January Saturday, and we expect fast dirt and firm turf for all of them, except as noted otherwise below. With that out of the way, let’s go.

Gulfstream Park, Race 10, 4:42 pm ET
$75,000 Sunshine Sprint, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Florida-breds 4 & Up

Eight older horses bred in Florida line up for this little stakes at Gulfstream Park. Most of them are one-dimensional speed types, which should result in a very fast early pace, and that race shape makes 2-Pudding, the field’s strongest closer, a strong play. Look for rider Javier Castellano to sit patiently behind the pacesetters early, and to move forward when the rabbits begin to quit. The proof is in the pudding, as the old saying goes, and we think Pudding wins this one easily, and will bet him to win at 3-1. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 10, $40 to win on 2-Pudding.

Oaklawn Park, Race 8, 4:46 pm ET
$150,000 Fifth Season Stakes, 1 mile, Dirt, 4 & Up

The Fifth Season came up a very strong race, with a deep and very talented field of nine. Today’s forecast for Central Arkansas is wet and cold, with rain and even some snow throughout the afternoon, and we consequently expect a wet track for it. That makes the pick 5-Concert Tour, who has been away since a 9th-place finish in the Preakness Stakes, when he faded after being bumped repeatedly throughout the race. He won the Rebel Stakes last year, on this Oaklawn dirt course, and he seems to have more upside than most of the runners here; but the going is what makes us like him in this spot: He’s never run on an off track before, but he has an excellent pedigree for it, and we think Concert Tour will emerge as a force in the handicap division with a big win in the Fifth Season. We will bet him to win at 5/2. The bet: Oaklawn Park, Race 8, $50 to win on 5-Concert Tour.

Santa Anita, Race 6, 5:36 pm ET

$200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, California-breds 4 & Up

Eight line up for the Cal Cup Turf Classic. We like 8-Indian Peak, who possesses the best turf form in the field. His last race on the sod was a very good third in the Grade 2 Seabiscuit at Del Mar on Nov. 27, when he finished just three-quarters of a length behind Field Pass and Sacred Life, either of whom would be odds-on against this group. Look for Indian Peak to be toward the rear early, and rolling late; we will bet him to win at 3-1. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 6, $40 to win on 8-Indian Peak.

Santa Anita, Race 9, 7:06 pm ET

$150,000 California Cup Sprint Stakes, 6 furlongs, Dirt, California-breds 4 & Up

3-Brickyard Ride takes a major class drop running against seven rivals in the Cal Cup Sprint: his last two starts were in Grade 1 and Grade 2 stakes. He got the lead and faded in both of those; he will get the lead again today, but against this much lesser group, he will not falter down the stretch. We think Brickyard Ride dominates this race from start to finish, and will bet him to win at 9/5. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 9, $50 to win on 3-Brickyard Ride.

Santa Anita, Race 10, 7:36 pm ET

$200,000 California Cup Oaks, 1 mile, Turf, California-bred 3-Year-Old Fillies

Ten 3-year-old fillies line up for the Cal Cup Oaks. With most of them having much speed and little finishing kick, we expect the early pace to be fast, and to favor closers. This makes the pick 3-Vivacious Vanessa, who broke her maiden at Del Mar in October coming from well back, almost last, to win by over a length. We see a similar setup, and a similar result, today, and that makes her 4-1 morning line number too good to pass up. We will bet her to win. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 10, $40 to win on 3-Vivacious Vanessa.

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

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