Garrity's Sunday 1.16 picks for Gulfstream, Santa Anita, Oaklawn, Fair Grounds – likes 'Ellen' in New Orleans
The stakes lineup today is very light, but that’s OK: we’ve put together plays at four tracks, from South Florida to Louisiana to Arkansas to California, for some Sunday action to fit around football games. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all races, so let’s go.
Gulfstream Park, Race 9, 4:42 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 ½ miles, Turf, 4 & Up
Eight allowance runners line up to run a mile and a half in today’s 9th race from Gulfstream Park. We like the looks of 5-Arturo Toscanini, an Irish-bred 4-year-old colt with an impeccable turf pedigree (by Galileo out of a Danehill Dancer mare), who ran against some very tough competition in Group 1 and Group 2 races in Ireland last year, and who seemed poised to make some noise in his U.S. racing debut on Jan. 5, but had buzzard’s luck, as that race 11 days ago was rained off the turf. Arturo Toscanini didn’t run much that day, but we are willing to look past that, as the race was run on Gulfstream’s new synthetic track, a surface he’d never tried before, and he looks to us like he is strictly a turf runner. We think he is going to show his class today, and win this, which makes his 9/2 morning line price music to our ears. We will bet him to win. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 9, $40 to win on 5-Arturo Toscanini.
Santa Anita, Race 3, 4:34 pm ET
Maiden Special Weight, 6 furlongs, Turf, 4 & Up
Seven females line up for this maiden turf sprint at Santa Anita. We like 2-Vigilantia, who just missed in her last, when she finished a close third in a maiden race at Del Mar in November. She looks poised to improve today, which makes her very live, and we think she will also do better at this 6 furlong distance, which is just a bit farther than the 5 ½ furlongs of her last. Look for Vigilantia to sit mid-pack early, and to be rolling late; we will bet her to win at 3-1. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 3, $40 to win on 2-Vigilantia.
Oaklawn Park, Race 8, 4:46 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, Arkansas-breds 4 & Up
A field of eight Arkansas-breds line up for this allowance at Oaklawn Park. We are going with a straight-down-the-line speed play, and are doing it with 2-Siouxper Charger, who has sprinter’s speed, and is therefore a lock to get the early lead, which we think will give him an insuperable edge over his rivals, none of which has the early zip to keep up with him. We think Siouxper Charger is going to win this race in wire-to-wire fashion, and will bet him to win at 5-1. The bet: Oaklawn Park, Race 8, $35 to win on 2-Sioxuper Charger.
Fair Grounds, Race 8, 5:36 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 5 ½ furlongs, Turf, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up
Eight older females line up for this turf sprint in the Big Easy. The pick is 2-Sail on Ellen, who comes into this race off a layoff, having last run at Colonial Downs in August, but that lack of recency is offset by the fact that she ran very well last year, especially at this 5 ½ furlong distance, over which she has hit the board in all seven of her career starts. She has good speed and a strong closing kick, which makes her strictly the one to beat. We will bet her to win at 4-1. The bet: Fair Grounds, Race 8, $40 to win no 2-Sail on Ellen.
That’s all for today. Until the next time, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.