Garrity's Saturday Stakes picks Delaware Park, Belmont, Horseshoe Indy – Delcap, Belmont Oaks, Indiana Derby
A sensational afternoon of racing is on tap for this midsummer Saturday: we have plays in five races, at Belmont and Delaware Parks and at Horseshoe Indianapolis, the track formerly known as Indiana Grand. The weather will be a factor in most of them: we expect soft turf in New York, a wet main track and yielding turf in Delaware, and a fast track in Indiana. Let’s go.
Delaware Park, Race 6, 3:00 pm ET
Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes, 1 ⅜ miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
After overnight rains, the turf course at Delaware Park was listed as soft early Saturday morning. That is important, as most of the logical contenders seem likely to struggle with the going. One who will thrive, we think, is 2-Belle Belisa, whose Irish pedigree and running style show an affinity for yielding conditions. Her recent races, which have been at shorter distances, have suggested that she wants more ground, and she will get it today: we think Bella Belisa will be running strongly late while the rest of the field is laboring over the boggy ground. We will bet her to win at 10-1. The bet: Delaware Park, Race 6, $35 to win on 2-Belle Belisa.
Delaware Park, Race 7, 3:30 pm ET
Grade 2 Delaware Handicap, 1 ¼ miles, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
The DelCap is the biggest race of the year in the First State, and we are expecting the 2022 renewal, which drew a field of seven, to be run on a sloppy main track. That makes the play very straightforward for us: 1-Let’s Cruise has both the best wet-track record and the most natural early speed, and we think she is going to go right to the front from her rail post, and stay there all the way around the track. There’s an old handicapping axiom, “speed in the slop,” and while we think that it, like most hoary racetrack adages, is overplayed, there is some truth to it, and this race, we think, will be an example. Let’s cruise: we will bet Let’s Cruise to win at 8-1. The bet: Delaware Park, Race 7, $40 to win on 1-Let’s Cruise.
Belmont Park, Race 7, 4:06 pm ET
Grade 1 Belmont Oaks, 1 ¼ miles, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies
The Belmont Oaks is the first of two Grade 1 turf races in New York this afternoon, and it drew an excellent field of ten. Half of them are based in Europe, and we give a distinct edge to the international group, as they seem a cut above the American fillies.
The best of the Euros today, we think, is 4-With the Moonlight, who has a sensational pedigree, and who in her races in England has shown an affinity for both this mile and a quarter distance and the kind of going she will get at Belmont Park today. Plus, she is a Godolphin homebred trained by Charlie Appleby, and they have made it a habit of late to swoop in and win these big turf races in New York. With the Moonlight is 6-1 on the morning line, but will probably be a shorter price at post time; we will bet her to win anyway. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 7, $40 to win on 4-With the Moonlight.
Belmont Park, Race 9, 5:12 pm ET
Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational, 1 ¼ miles, Turf, 3-Year-Olds
The Belmont Derby Invitational drew a field of thirteen, and is the day’s best race, from both a sporting and wagering standpoint. After spending so much time the past few weeks looking at stakes races with five-horse fields, it is nice to look at a big race with this many entrants.
The pick is 13-Stone Age. He comes from the powerful team of Coolmore and Aidan O’Brien, and while in his eight career races so far, all of which were in England and France, he has only hinted that he might be able to deliver the kind of performance that it will take to win a stakes of this magnitude, we think that changes today: we think Stone Age looks poised to run an absolutely monster race. He will love the going, he thrives at the distance – he has two wins and a second at 10 furlongs – and he will not be intimidated by any other colt in the field, as he has been butting heads with the best turf horses in Europe. When it comes to turf racing at the sport’s highest level, European horses are simply better than their American counterparts, and we think that this afternoon, Stone Age is going to remind us all why. We will bet him to win at 9/2, and we will do so enthusiastically. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 9, $50 to win on 13-Stone Age.
Horseshoe Indianapolis, Race 12, 6:40 pm ET
Grade 3 Indiana Derby, 1 1/16 miles, DIrt, 3-Year-Olds
A field of ten lines up for the Indiana Derby. We like the looks of 7-Best Actor, a well-bred colt who got a late start on his racing career, not running until April, but who has done quite well since, breaking his maiden in the slop at Oaklawn Park, and then backing that up with an allowance win at Churchill Downs last month. He earned identical 85 Beyer Speed Figures in both those races, and when a young horse does that – the Sheet players call it “paired tops” – it is usually a sign that he is improving rapidly, and that he will run even better the next time. That means trouble for the rest of the field, because if Best Actor steps forward today, he is going to win the Indiana Derby. We like everything about this horse, especially his natural early speed, and will bet him to win at 4-1. The bet: Horseshoe Indianapolis, Race 12, $40 to win on 7-Best Actor.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.