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Garrity's Friday Dad's Hat Happy Hour Handicapping picks races at Ellis Park, Saratoga, Monmouth Park

First post is 4:56 pm EDT, final post is 5:30 pm. Let it rye-d.

If it’s a Friday, it’s time for another installment of Dad’s Hat Happy Hour Handicapping. On this glorious late summer day, we have five plays in five races in New York, New Jersey, and Kentucky. We expect fast dirt and firm turf for all, so pour yourself a tumbler of one of the delicious libations from our friends at Dad’s Hat, and let’s go.

Ellis Park, Race 3, 4:56 pm ET

$30,000 Claiming, 1 mile, Turf, 3 & Up

Ten go in this turf claimer in Kentucky. We see a swift early pace, which makes the pick 7-El Ahijado, a stretch-runner who should be closing strongly down the stretch when the early leaders are gasping for air. He’s run fast enough in the past to be competitive with these, and while he has won just 1 time in 48 career starts, he has hit the board with more frequency, and he drops in class here. We will bet El Ahijado to win at 8-1. The bet: Ellis Park, Race 3, $40 to win on 7-El Ahijado.

Saratoga Race Course, Race 8, 5:05 pm ET

$135,000 Summer Colony Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

A good field of seven older females goes in the Summer Colony. The pick is 1-Army Wife, who ran deceptively well in her last, when she finished third in the Molly Pitcher at Monmouth Park. We like the way she ran that day, and think that it is a sign that Army Wife is sitting on a peak effort today. We will bet her to win at 7/2. The bet: Saratoga, Race 8, $40 to win on 1-Army Wife.

Monmouth Park, Race 8, 5:16 pm ET

$12,500 Claiming, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 3 & Up

This claiming race at the Jersey Shore drew a field of eight. We like the one on the rail, 1-Kith, who has speed, and who should be dead fit after running competitively in her last two starts, which were in similar spots at Parx. She will need to break well, but if she does, she is going to go right to the front and not look back. We will bet on Kith to win at 7/2. The bet: Monmouth Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 1-Kith.

Ellis Park, Race 4, 5:24 pm ET

Maiden Special Weight, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

A half-dozen maidens line up for the 4th at Ellis Park. The pick is 2-Amaryllis Kiss, who should dominate from start to finish. Some races are hard to handicap; this one looks easy, as Amaryllis Kiss looks by far the best. We will bet her to win at 9/5. The bet: Ellis Park, Race 4, $50 to win on 2-Amaryllis Kiss.

Saratoga Race Course, Race 9, 5:39 pm ET

$50,000 Claiming, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies

Today’s 9th at the Spa is a $50,000 claimer for 3-year-old fillies at a mile and a sixteenth on the sod. We like 8-Judge Judith, who jumps in class after two consecutive wins at lower levels, and who should make it three in a row. We see her either on or near the lead early, squirting clear at the top of the stretch, and holding off the closers late. We will bet her to win at 9/2. The bet: Saratoga, Race 9, $40 to win on 8-Judge Judith.

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

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