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Garrity's Friday Dad's Hat Happy Hour Handicapping picks Saratoga, Monmouth Park, Ellis Park, Del Mar

First post 5:03 pm EDT. Last post 6:13 pm. Let it Rye'd.

This is already the last Friday in August, and while we have no idea where the rest of the month went, we will embrace what’s left of summer with another installment of Dad’s Hat Happy Hour Handicapping. We have plays in five races at four tracks today, from Saratoga to the Jersey Shore to Kentucky to Southern California. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all races, so pour yourself a tumbler of one of the delicious ryes from our friends at Dad’s Hat, and let’s go.

Saratoga, Race 8, 5:03 pm ET

$200,000 Yaddo Handicap, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, New York-bred Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

A field of eleven fillies and mares line up for the Yaddo. The pick is 10-Classic Lady, who gets significant class relief in this spot, running against fellow state-breds after having last competed in a Grade 3 at Parx. Classic Lady has enough speed to stay close to the early leaders, which is a huge asset, and enough finishing ability to hold off the deep closers. We will bet her to win at 5-1. The bet: Saratoga, Race 8, $40 to win on 10-Classic Lady.

Monmouth Park, Race 8, 5:16 pm ET

$7,500 Claiming, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 3 & Up

The nightcap at Monmouth Park is a claimer for horses who have never won two races. The pick is 6-Willy Mc, who drops in class, and has controlling speed. Some races are hard to handicap; this one looks easy: Willy Mc is going to go right to the front, and never look back. We will bet him to win at 8/5. The bet: Monmouth Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 6-Willy Mc.

Ellis Park, Race 5, 5:52 pm ET

Maiden Special Weight, 5 ½ furlongs, Turf, 2-Year-Olds

A field of eight lines up for this maiden turf sprint in Henderson, Kentucky. The pick is 3-Too Much Info, a first-time starter who has a good turf pedigree, but more important has a trainer, Robertino Diodoro, who excels with firsters. If he can break well – never a guarantee with any horse, let alone a first-time starter – we think he will do very well, and at 8-1, that makes him a good play. We will bet him to win. The bet: Ellis Park, Race 5, $35 to win on 3-Too Much Info.

Del Mar, Race 1, 6:00 pm ET

Maiden Special Weight, 5 furlongs, Turf, 3-Year-Olds

Seven juveniles line up for the opener at Del Mar. We are all in on the favorite, 7-Storming Machine, who just missed in his debut, closing strongly to finish a half-length behind the winner. He is 5/2 on the morning line, and will probably be shorter at post time, but Storming Machine looks superior enough that we are comfortable backing him at a relatively short number. We will bet him to win. The bet: Del Mar, Race 1, $35 to win on 7-Storming Machine.

Saratoga, Race 10, 6:13 pm ET

$200,000 West Point Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, New York-breds 3 & Up

The West Point drew a field of nine. We foresee a fast pace, and a winner coming from well off it, which makes the pick 4-Sanctuary City, who has a strong closing kick, and should get a good, ground-saving trip from his inside post position. He will be well back early, and flying late; we will bet him to win at 12-1. The bet: Saratoga, Race 10, $30 to win on 4-Sanctuary City.

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

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