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Garrity's Sunday Stakes picks turf sprints at Keeneland, Belmont at Aqueduct, and Santa Anita

Garrity's first post is 4:12 pm EDT.

We have three plays on this glorious October Sunday, all of them turf sprints: fillies and mares in New York and Kentucky, and state-breds in California. We expect firm grass in all races, except at Aqueduct, where the turf will be good. Let’s go.

Keeneland, Race 7, 4:12 pm ET

Grade 3 Franklin Stakes, 5 ½ furlongs, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

Big fields are the norm at the Keeneland fall meet, and the Franklin is no exception, with a dozen going to the post. It is partly to due to the size of the field, and partly due to the traits of the horses who comprise it, that we are expecting a very swift early pace, which will play against the speed horses, and play in favor of the stalkers and closers.

The one we like most is 7-Toby’s Heart, who was last seen in a Grade 3 at Kentucky Downs, a race that was an unmitigated disaster for her: She was bumped at the start, and then ran last all the way around the track. Her recent workouts suggest that she is sound and fit, and she has shown in the past that she can be good enough when the shape of the race favors her stretch-running style. Since that is exactly what we are expecting, her 15-1 morning line number is very enticing, and we will bet her to win. The bet: Keeneland, Race 7, $40 to win on 7-Toby’s Heart.

Aqueduct, Race 8, 4:22 pm ET
$150,000 Floral Park Stakes, 6 furlongs, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

Seven filly and mare turf sprinters line up to run 6 furlongs in the Floral Park. Pace figures point at 2-Lady Edith, who has run three consecutive very good races, without finding the winner’s circle, since being moved to trainer Christophe Clement’s barn in the spring. We think her fortunes will change today, as this is a much, much weaker group than she has been facing, and the fast early pace we are expecting should be right up Lady Edith’s stretch-running alley. It looks like the best filly is going to get the benefit of the way the race plays out; when this occurs, it’s time to go to the windows. We will bet her to win at 9/5. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 8, $50 to win on 2-Lady Edith.

Santa Anita Park, Race 9, 8:07 pm ET

$100,000 California Flag Handicap, 6 ½ furlongs, Turf, California-breds 3 & Up

The racing at Santa Anita the past few weeks has been dreadful, but the California Flag is a nice exception: a deep field of eleven Cal-breds line up to run down the iconic Santa Anita hillside turf course. The pick is 9-Aligato: He has run five times, has hit the board in all of them, and his stalking style will be an asset in a field that is loaded with early speed. We see him sitting mid-pack early, and rolling late, and he looks good enough to us that we are unconcerned that he is coming off a relatively long layoff, having last run in January. We will bet him to win at 5-1. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 9, $40 to win on 9-Aligato.

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

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