Garrity's Sunday Horse Racing Picks for Tampa Bay Downs, Oaklawn, and Santa Anita, including 1.5 miles on dirt
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Garrity's Sunday Horse Racing Picks for Tampa Bay Downs, Oaklawn, and Santa Anita, including 1.5 miles on dirt

First post is at Tampa Bay at 3:46 pm EDT.

We have three plays on this early spring Sunday, one each in Florida, Arkansas, and California. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all, so let’s go.

Tampa Bay Downs, Race 8. 3:46 pm ET

Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 1/16 miles, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

This first-level allowance drew a field of seven. We’re all in on the chalk, 1-Malibu Curl, who seems to have found a rather soft sport for a return to the races after a seven-month layoff. She showed promise as a 2-year-old in 2020, enough that she ran in the Grade 2 Demoiselle at Aqueduct in December, but never really got going as a 3-year-old last year, finishing fifth in both her starts. We are guessing that something was wrong with her physically, something that a vacation will hopefully have fixed. And it certainly helps her cause that Malibu Curl will probably not have to be at her best to beat this group. We will bet her to win at 9/5. The bet: Tampa Bay Downs, Race 8, $40 to win on 1-Malibu Curl.

Oaklawn Park, Race 8, 5:39 pm ET

$150,000 Temperence Hill Stakes, 1 ½ mles, Dirt, 4 & Up

Just six line up for the Temperence Hill, but we like it in spite of the small field, partly because it’s a stakes, but mostly because it is what has become a very rare thing, a mile and a half affair on the main track. Races are carded at this distance all the time on turf, but very seldom on dirt.

We like 1-Lone Rock, the runner who has by far the most experience, and the most success, in these kinds of dirt marathons. He does not have a very flashy running style, but his grinding style is murderously effective in a race like this, and while he’s not going to make anyone rich at 9/5, cashing tickets is always a good thing. We will bet him to win. The bet: Oaklawn Park, Race 8, $50 to win on 1-Lone Rock.

Santa Anita Park, Race 7, 7:08 pm ET

Starter Optional Claiming, 1 Mile, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

Seven go here. The pick is 4-Witch Moon, who comes off a sharp win in a maiden claimer on Feb. 27. Trainer Bill Spawr appears to have her ready for a repeat performance, which should be good enough to win this, especially since there appears to be enough speed in the group to set up her late run. We will bet Witch Moon to win at 7/2. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 7, $40 to win on 4-Witch Moon.

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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