Gunite, in front in the 2021 Hopeful Stakes, runs today at Churchill Downs. Garrity's picking against him.
Gunite, in front in the 2021 Hopeful Stakes, runs today at Churchill Downs. Garrity's picking against him.NYRA | Dom Napolitano

Garrity's Sunday Stakes Picks for Churchill Downs, Belmont Park, Gulfstream Park: Gunite and good luck

Garrity's first post is 4:22 pm EDT.

We have three plays today, on the first Sunday in July, in stakes races in Kentucky, New York, and Florida. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all races, so let’s go.

Churchill Downs, Race 8, 4:22 pm ET

$100,000 Maxfield Overnight Stakes, 7 furlongs, Dirt, 3-Year-Olds

A field of six lines up for the Maxfield Overnight Stakes. The favorites are 3-Gunite, last year’s winner of the Hopeful Stakes, who is even money after earning a strong 94 Beyer Speed Figure in his last start on June 3, which was his first since last fall; and 2-My Prankster, who is 8/5 after earning a similar figure in the Pat Day Mile on the Kentucky Derby undercard. Either could win, but we are looking elsewhere, to 1-Tejano Twist, starts for new trainer Chris Hartman. We think there is going to be a very fast pace in this race, and we also think that Tejano Twist will be the one who picks up the pieces; at 8-1, that makes him a solid play. We will bet Tejano Twist to win. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 8, $40 to win on 1-Tejano Twist.

Belmont Park, Race 8, 4:40 pm ET

$100,000 Perfect Sting Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

Six go in the Perfect Sting. Most of the attention, and most of the public support, will be going toward 5-Love and Thunder, a Chad Brown trainee who will be ridden by Flavien Prat, and while she is likely to win, she is also likely to be overbet, which has us looking elsewhere, toward 6-Messidor, who comes off a sharp win in a pretty tough allowance race on June 10. Look for Messidor to be mid-pack early, and rolling late; we will bet her to win at 9/2. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 6-Messidor.

Gulfstream Park, Race 9, 4:48 pm ET

$100,000 Bob Umphrey Sprint, 5 ½ furlongs, Turf, 3 & Up

The Umphrey drew a field of eleven. We are going with a straight-down-the-line speed play, in the form of 1-Warrior’s Pride, who has the most early speed, and who, after drawing a rail post, will have to use it. We see him going right to the front, and staying there all the way around Gulfstream’s speed-favoring dirt course. We will bet Warrior’s Pride to win at 8-1. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 9, $40 to win on 1-Warrior’s Pride.

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

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