Garrity's Sunday Horse Racing Picks: 2 stakes and an allowance, at Aqueduct, Oaklawn and Santa Anita

My Boy Tate, winning last year's Haynesfield.

NYRA | Susie Raisher

Garrity's Sunday Horse Racing Picks: 2 stakes and an allowance, at Aqueduct, Oaklawn and Santa Anita

First post is 5:34 pm EDT.

The vernal equinox is today, if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway, and we will celebrate the change of seasons the best way we know how: by having a flutter on horses running in circles. We have three plays today, at three tracks, and expect fast dirt and firm turf in all. Let’s go.

Aqueduct, Race 9, 5:34 pm ET

$100,000 Haynesfield Stakes, 1 mile, Dirt, New York-breds 4 & Up

Six go in the Haynesfield. We are all in on the favorite, 3-My Boy Tate, an 8-year-old veteran who has has been primarily a sprinter in his long career, but who has had success stretching his speed as far as a mile, as he showed when he won this race last year. His most recent start was excellent: he was bumped at the start of the Hollie Hughes Stakes at the Big A on Feb. 19, but persevered well to finish second. With a cleaner start and cleaner trip today, which he should get, he’s going to finish on top. We will bet him to win at 9/5. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 9, $40 to win on 3-My Boy Tate.

Oaklawn Park, Race 8, 5:39 pm ET
Allowance, 5 ½ furlongs, Dirt, 4 & Up

This allowance in Hot Springs drew a field of nine. The pick is 4-Stratofortress, a 4-year-old who comes off a sharp maiden win on Feb. 12. It took the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee a while to get going – he didn’t break his maiden until his seventh career start – but we think that he is going to back up the maiden win by prevailing in his first try against winners. We will bet him to win at 4-1. The bet: Oaklawn Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 4-Stratofortress.

Santa Anita Park, Race 7, 7:12 pm ET
$100,000 Sensational Star Stakes, 6 ½ furlongs, Turf, California-breds 4 & Up

Santa Anita has been plagued by a horse shortage, which has resulted in short fields and unbettable races, so it’s good to see that the Sensational Star drew a good group of eight. It’s also a fun race to handicap, primarily due to the presence of 2-Brickyard Ride, one of the fastest horses in the country. It’s been a while since he’s run on turf, a year and a half, to be precise, but he’s done well on the sod before, with two wins in four career starts, and his recent races on dirt were superb, so it will be interesting to see if he can transfer his excellent form to the grass.

We think that Brickyard Ride will probably run well, but in terms of a winner, our attention is focused elsewhere: the pick is 1-Indian Peak. He looked like he was home free in the stretch of his last start, the Grade 3 San Simeon Stakes, before he was passed late by a horse named Barraza, who is probably the best turf sprinter on the West Coast right now. That was a quality race, and we give him the nod partly for that recency, and partly because the presence of a speedball like Brickyard Ride should favor his closing running style. Indian Peak will not be first early, but we think he will be first where it matters; we will bet him to win at 5/2. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 7, $50 to win on 1-Indian Peak.

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

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