Garrity's Sunday Belmont, Monmouth Park and Ellis Park Picks – 3 races, 2 longshots with Irish War Cry Stakes
For this Sunday in July, we have a stakes race at the Jersey Shore sandwiched between allowance races in New York and Kentucky. It is an all-grass lineup today, three races at three tracks, and we expect firm turf in all of them. Let’s go.
Belmont Park, Race 6, 3:13 pm ET
Allowance, 1 mile, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Nine go in this first-level turf allowance. We liked 6-King’s Harlequin last time, when she made her North American debut in a similar spot on May 15, and though she finished fifth that day, she was just three lengths behind the winner, finishing the race quite nicely after being a bit green early. As a result we like her even more today than we did last time: look for her to gallop comfortably early, and blow open this race with a strong late rally. We will bet her to win at 9/2. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 6, $40 to win on 6-King’s Harlequin.
Monmouth Park, Race 9, 4:15 pm ET
$85,000 Irish War Cry Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, New Jersey-breds 3 & Up
Nine older horses bred in the Garden State line up for the Irish War Cry. The running style of most of them is fast early and slow late, and that means we are expecting a pace collapse, with early fractions so fast that they cook both the pacesetters and the group just behind them, and a winner coming from far back.
The pick is a 7-year-old gelding who will be a huge price: it’s 1-Passport, who has little early speed, which normally is a liability, but will be an asset if the pace is as fast as we expect, and who does have the ability to finish races strongly, even if he does it more in a plodding manner than with a dazzling turn of foot. He is capable of running fast enough to win this race if the pace scenario favors him, and since that is what we expect, and he’s 15-1, we are betting him to win. The bet: Monmouth Park, Race 9, $40 to win on 1-Passport.
Ellis Park, Race 7, 4:40 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 mile, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
This allowance at Ellis Park in Western Kentucky drew a field of nine. We like a mare at a big number, 8-Vezpa, has had a hit-and-miss race record since coming north of the Equator from her native Brazil: she won her first U.S. start, which was in April of 2021, but has not seen that level of success in her three subsequent starts. We think she gets back on the winning track today, as this race should have a robust early pace, which will play right into her stretch-running style. We will bet her to win at 12-1. The bet: Ellis Park, Race 7, $40 to win on 8-Vezpa.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.