Americanrevolution, winning the Cigar Mile in December, is Garrity's pick in the Stephen Foster.
Americanrevolution, winning the Cigar Mile in December, is Garrity's pick in the Stephen Foster.NYRA

Garrity's Saturday Stakes Picks Delaware Park, Woodbine, Churchill Downs – Fleur de Lis, Stephen Foster, more

Garrity's first post is 3 pm EDT.

Today is the first big day of the big holiday weekend in our little horsey corner of the world, and our part in the action will be five plays in five races, all stakes, in Delaware, Kentucky, and Ontario. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all five, so let’s go.

Delaware Park, Race 6, 3:00 pm ET

Grade 3 Delaware Oaks, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 3-year-old Fillies

A field of eight lines up for the Delaware Oaks. We are all over 3-Shotgun Hottie, who comes off a third-place finish in the Gazelle at Aqueduct that we think was better than it looked: She had some traffic trouble on the backside, and looked beaten turning for home, but rallied quite nicely late to take the show. She was never a threat to win that day, but her strong late move suggests that she is an improving 3-year-old, and ready to run a new career best, that is trouble for the rest of this field, which looks quite weak. We will bet Shotgun Hottie to win at 5/2. The bet: Delaware Park, Race 6, $40 to win on 3-Shotgun Hottie.

Delaware Park, Race 7, 3:30 pm ET

Grade 3 Kent Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Dirt, 3-Year-Olds

An octet of 3-year-old colts lines up for the Kent at Delaware Park. We very much like the lightly raced 3-Elizar, a French-bred ridgling who got stuck behind a glacially slow pace in his last, the Grade 2 Pennine Ridge at Aqueduct. He’s a late runner, and the slow early fractions that day gave him virtually no chance, but we think the pace scenario will be very different for him today, and will favor, rather than hinder, his stretch-running style. That makes him strictly the one to beat, and makes us salivate over his 5-1 morning line number. We expect him to be a bit shorter by post time, but we will bet him, and bet him enthusiastically, anyway. The bet: Delaware Park, Race 7, $50 to win on 3-Elizar.

Churchill Downs, Race 8, 4:35 pm ET

Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

Five go in the Fleur de Lis. Three of them are need-the-lead speed types: the running lines of 1-Super Quick, 3-Ava’s Grace, and 5-Shedaresthedevil suggest that they only win races when they get an uncontested early lead. Since they can’t all do that simultaneously, the logical conclusion is that they will fight over the early lead, setting the table quite nicely for 4-Pauline’s Pearl, who should be in the garden spot, sitting a few lengths behind this trio early, watching contently as the pacesetters run each other into submission. We expect Pauline’s Pearl to begin to move forward around the far turn, and to draw off in deep stretch. We do not think that Pauline’s Pearl is quite as good, overall, as some of the other runners, but this race will be a timely reminder that sometimes, the way a race is run determines the winner as much or more as the abilities of the horses competing in it. We will bet Pauline’s Pearl to win at 5/2. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 8, $50 to win on 4-Pauline’s Pearl.

Woodbine, Race 8, 4:48 pm ET

Grade 2 Nassau Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

Eleven older turf females go in the Nassau. We like 4-Crystal Cliffs, who was unlucky in her last start, in the Gallorette at Pimlico, when she ran a good race but finished second to Technical Analysis, one of the better grass distaffers around. We like that Crystal Cliffs does not face a horse of that caliber in the Nassau, but what we like even more is that she should thrive on the wide open turf course at Woodbine, which will suit her closing running style quite well. She should be toward the rear early, but she should first where it matters; we will bet Crystal Cliffs to win at 3-1. The bet: Woodbine, Race 8, $40 to win on 4-Crystal Cliffs.

Churchill Downs, Race 10, 5:47 pm ET
Grade 2 Stephen Foster Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Dirt, 4 & Up

A cracking good field of seven lines up for the Stephen Foster. We like 1-Americanrevolution, who looks to rebound after a disappointing effort in the Blame Stakes a month ago. We are willing to excuse that effort, as he had a moderately difficult trip, running wide throughout, and he didn’t run that badly, finishing fourth, just three lengths behind the winner. He broke from the outside that day, which was the primary cause for his traffic troubles, but should fare much better here, as he breaks from the rail. When Americanrevolution is on his game, he is an elite stakes horse; we think he shows that today, which makes his 7/2 morning line odds too good to pass up. We will bet him to win. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 10, $40 to win on 1-Americanrevolution.

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

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