Garrity's Sunday Stakes picks the Monmouth Oaks; Amsterdam & Bowling Green at Saratoga, Eddie Read at Del Mar
The four graded stakes today, in New Jersey, New York, and California, make up the day’s action. These are four good races, and we expect fast dirt and firm turf in all of them. Let’s go.
Monmouth Park, Race 5, 2:11 pm ET
Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies
The Monmouth Oaks drew a field of six. The pick is 5-Shahama, who seems to have found a relatively soft spot after facing much tougher in her last two starts, the Mother Goose at Belmont and the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. In those races she faced fillies like Secret Oath, Gerrymander, and Nest; suffice it to say that none of the rivals Shahama will face today will remind her of those monsters. Look for Shahama to stalk the pace early, loom boldly on the far turn, and draw away down the stretch. We will bet her to win at 9/5, and we will do so enthusiastically. The bet: Monmouth Park, Race 5, $50 to win on 5-Shahama.
Saratoga Race Course, Race 8, 4:59 pm ET
Grade 2 Bowling Green Stakes, 1 ⅜ miles, Turf, 4 & Up
A field of six lines up for the Bowling Green, which will be run at a mile and three-eighths on the inner turf course at the Spa. Most of the entrants have somewhere between little and no early speed, which should leave the race wide open to be stolen on the front end. We see the thievery being done by jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who rides 4-Cross Border, a Mike Maker trainee who we see going to the front early, setting the pace while running very comfortable fractions, and squirting away late while the others try unsuccessfully to catch him. We will bet Cross Border to win at 4-1. The bet: Saratoga, Race 8, $40 to win on 4-Cross Border.
Saratoga Race Course, Race 9, 5:34 pm ET
Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes, 6 ½ furlongs, Dirt, 3-Year-Olds
A good group of nine 3-year-olds goes to the gate in the Amsterdam. Most of the attention, and most of the support at the windows, will likely go to 7-Corniche, last year’s juvenile champion, who is undefeated in three career starts. He could win, but if he does, it will be without our money, as he’s coming off a long layoff, having last run in November, and figures to be an underlay.
We like 2-Gunite. The main track at Saratoga has been a bit speed-favoring of late, and this Steve Asmussen trainee has the most early zip in the field. We see him going right to the front from his inside post position, and staying there all the way around the track. We also like the cutback angle: Gunite’s recent races have been longer, 7 furlongs and a mile, and they should have him maximally fit for the 6 ½ furlongs here. We will bet Gunite to win at 4-1. The bet: Saratoga, Race 9, $40 to win on 2-Gunite.
Del Mar, Race 9, 9:07 pm ET
Grade 2 Eddie Read Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, 3 & Up
The big fields at Del Mar are a continuing surprise, and a continuing delight, and the Eddie Read is a good example: A deep and competitive group of eleven older horses are entered. We are taking a shot with a price: 4-Ecrivain has been a disappointment since being brought to the United States from his native France last winter, going winless in three starts, but he has loads of back class, as last year he ran, and ran fairly competitively, in races like the Prix d’Ishpahan and Prix Jacques le Marois, Group 1 stakes at Longchamps and Deauville, respectively, which are about as tough as races in Europe get. We think his fortunes change today, and do so at generous 15-1 odds. We will bet Ecrivain to win. The bet: Del Mar, Race 9, $40 to win on 4-Ecrivain.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.