Garrity's Sunday Stakes picks races at Aqueduct, Santa Anita and hopes to enjoy some Sweet Tea at Oaklawn

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Garrity's Sunday Stakes picks races at Aqueduct, Santa Anita and hopes to enjoy some Sweet Tea at Oaklawn

First post is 4:32 pm EST.

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We have three plays today, from the East Coast to the West Coast, with a stop in the Midwest in between. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all three, so let’s go.

Aqueduct, Race 7, 4:32 pm ET
$125,000 Heavenly Prize Invitational Stakes, 1 mile, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

Five go in the Heavenly Prize. We’re going with the chalk: 4-Maiden Beauty comes off a win in the slop in the Bay Ridge on Dec. 30, and while that was a fine effort, what gives her the nod here is her running style: she looks like lone speed. Sometimes this game can be complicated, but sometimes it can be quite simple: When a good horse figures to get the best trip, go to the windows. We will bet Maiden Beauty to win at 9/5. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 7, $40 to win on 4-Maiden Beauty.

Oaklawn Park, Race 8, 5:59 pm ET

Allowance, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

Ten older females go in this tough third-level allowance in Arkansas. We like the looks of 9-Sweet Tea, who took a while to get to the races, not making her first start until November of last year, when she was 3. She didn’t do much that day, but in her second and most recent start, her first as a 4-year-old, she improved dramatically, winning a maiden race in wire-to-wire fashion, and in very fast time, a victory that was validated when runner up Mun Luv came back to win on Feb. 27. Sweet Tea has a terrific pedigree (by Into Mischief, out of a Distorted Humor mare), and has the looks of a late bloomer to us, and though she probably doesn’t need it, the outside post will help. We will bet her to win at 7/2. The bet: Oaklawn Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 9-Sweet Tea.

Santa Anita Park, Race 9, 7:50 pm ET

$100,000 China Doll Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies

The China Doll drew a field of eight sophomore fillies. The pick is 6-Island of Love, an Irish-bred who began her career a bit off the beaten path, in Italy, but who did quite well there, winning both of her starts. That earned her a trip to the United States, and to trainer Phil D’Amato’s barn, where she made her American debut in the Lady Shamrock Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 30. She looked like a winner turning for home that day, but flattened out a bit and finished second. We think she will be better today than she was five weeks ago, which means Island of Love is going to the winner’s circle. We will bet her to win at 5/2. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 9, $40 to win on 6-Island of Love.

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

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