Racing at Churchill Downs.
Racing at Churchill Downs.@ChurchillDowns on Twitter | Coady Photography

Garrity's Sunday Horse Racing Picks for Belmont, Churchill Downs (The Mint Julep) and Santa Anita

Garrity's first post is 4:40 pm EDT.

We have three plays on this beautiful early summer Sunday, in races in New York, Kentucky, and California, and all three are on grass. We expect firm turf in all of them, so let’s go.

Belmont Park, Race 8, 4:40 pm ET

Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 ¼ miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

Only six go in this turf allowance for older females, but it is a fascinating race to handicap, due almost entirely to the presence of two English-breds: the 4-year-old filly 4-Lady Rockstar, who starts for Brendan Walsh; and the 5-year-old mare 6-American Bridge, who goes for Chad Brown. Both did good work on the Continent last year, Lady Rockstar in the UK and American Bridge in France and Italy, and while both appear to be significantly better than the American horses they face today, we think that Lady Rockstar appears to be a bit better, as shown by her last start, when she made her U.S. debut a winning one, taking an allowance race at Belmont Park a month ago. She showed a devastating late kick in that race, closing strongly to win going away; we see a similar setup, and a similar result, today. Lady Rockstar may indeed be on her way to being a rock star; we will bet her to win at 9/5. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 4-Lady Rockstar.

Churchill Downs, Race 9, 4:55 pm ET

Grade 3 Old Forester Mint Julep Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

The Mint Julep drew a field of ten. We like the looks of the one on the rail, 1-Petricor, a Juddmonte homebred and Bill Mott trainee who, like all Juddmonte horses, has a world-class pedigree (she is by Frankel, out of a Dansili mare), and who showed that class six weeks ago, in her first race in the U.S., when she prevailed over nine other horses in an allowance race at Keeneland. We think she improves off that effort today; this makes her both a major threat and a terrific wager at 8-1 odds. We will bet her to win. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 9, $40 to win on 1-Petricor.

Santa Anita Park, Race 3, 5:01 pm ET
Maiden Special Weight, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, California-breds 3 & Up

A field of six lines up for this Santa Anita state-bred maiden race. We are playing against the obvious contenders, who all seem to have a propensity for finishing second rather than winning, and going with a horse who has been away for a while, 1-Big Frank Da Tank. He ran OK in a couple of maiden races last year, but apparently blew a tire in his last start, way back in February of 2021, when he was eased and finished last. He has worked very well leading up to this race, trainer Adam Kitchingman has a superb 33% win rate with horses coming off layoffs, and perhaps most importantly, in order to win, Big Frank Da Tank has to beat a field filled with horses who seem determined to be career maidens. At 12-1, that’s enough for us: We will play him to win. The bet: Santa Anita Park, Race 3, $40 to win on 1-Big Frank Da Tank.

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

Related Stories

No stories found.
Bettors Insider