Garrity's Friday 4.1 Dad's Hat Happy Hour Handicapping picks races from Oaklawn Park and Santa Anita
It’s time for another Friday installment of Dad’s Hat Happy Hour Handicapping. We have four plays today a pair each at Oaklawn and Santa Anita Parks, all within an hour’s time. We expect fast dirt and firm turf for all of them, so pour yourself a glass of one of the delicious, hand-crafted libations from our friends at Dad’s Hat, and let’s go.
Oaklawn Park, Race 7, 5:04 pm ET
$16,000 Claiming, 1 mile, Dirt, 3 & Up
Eight go here. The pick is 5-Doc Irwin, who broke his maiden for a tag, and then was trounced in two consecutive allowance races. Here he drops back into the claiming ranks, where he probably belongs, and where he should find the company much more agreeable. We will bet him to win at 3-1. The bet: Oaklawn Park, Race 7, $35 to win on 5-Doc Irwin.
Santa Anita Park, Race 3, 5:07 pm ET
$32,000 Claiming, 6 furlongs, Turf, 4 & Up
Seven older claimers go in this turf sprint in Southern California. There’s a lot of speed in the ground, which has us picking long shot 5-Prodigal Sean. Trainer Gus Headley has prepared him in a rather unusual fashion for this spot, running him on dirt in thousand-yard sprints at Los Alamitos, but we think that the experience in those races will pay off, Prodigal Sean looks fit, and running against those Los Al speedballs should have him more forwardly placed than he’s been in the past. We think Prodigal Sean is very live to beat this modest group, and at 12-1, there’s only one thing to do with that opinion: take it to the windows. We will bet him to win. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 3, $40 to win on 5-Prodigal Sean.
Oaklawn Park, Race 8, 5:39 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up
This very tough third-level allowance drew a field of six older females. The primary question from a handicapping perspective is whether the other five are going to be able to catch 1-Lil Kings Princess, and we think the answer is no: she looks like lone speed, and as she’s in razor-sharp form, we think she is going right to the front, and staying there all the way around the track. We think Lil Kings Princess wires this field, and will bet her to win at 5/2. The bet: Oaklawn Park, Race 8, $50 to win on 1-Lil Kings Princess.
Santa Park, Race 4, 5:43 pm ET
$20,000 Maiden Claiming, 1 mile, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
This bottom-level maiden claimer at Santa Anita drew a field of seven. We are solidly against morning line choice 4-Mo Connelly, who failed at this level in each of her last two starts, burning a lot of money in the process, as she was favored both times. She could win here, but will be a mammoth underlay, and we are playing against her.
We like 1-Justhappenlikethat. She has so far run exclusively on the synthetic surface at Golden Gate Fields, but her pedigree suggests she will be better on conventional dirt, which is presumably why trainer Jonathan Wong entered her here. She also figures to like the mile distance, and should be finishing strongly while the rest of the field staggers to the wire. We will bet Justhappenlikethat to win at 2-1. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 4, $40 to win on 1-Justhappenlikethat.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.