Garrity's Saturday Stakes picks races at Keeneland, Belmont at Aqueduct, Laurel Park, and plays against Gunite
We have four plays on this gorgeous October Saturday, one each in New York and Maryland, and a pair in Kentucky. We expect bluebird fall weather, and fast and firm turf, for all of them, so let’s go.
Keeneland, Race 6, 3:40 pm ET
$250,000 Perryville Stakes, 7 furlongs, Dirt, 3-Year-Olds
Eight will go to the starting gate for the Perryville, but most of the wagering will be directed at just one of them: 8-Gunite, who is coming off three very fast races, two of which he won, his only loss coming in the Grade 1 Allen Jerkins at Saratoga. That defeat might have been his most impressive performance, however, as he managed to finish just a length and a quarter behind Jack Christopher, who is probably the best sprinter in the land right now. Gunite is a deserving favorite.
But he is going to be a short price, and we are consequently going to try to beat him. We will do so with 3-Artorius, who cuts back to sprinting after finding the mile and a quarter of the Travers, where he finished sixth, just a bit too far for his liking. He has nowhere near the speed of Gunite, and it is possible that Gunite just runs away, but if the early pace is contested, and we think it will be, then Artorius has the ability to pick up the pieces with a strong finish. We will bet him to win at 5/2. The bet: Keeneland, Race 6, $40 to win on 3-Artorius.
Aqueduct, Race 7, 3:48 pm ET
Grade 2 Hill Prince Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, 3-Year-Olds
Ten sophomore colts line up for the Hill Prince. It’s a wide open race, and the one who looks the best to us is 8-Unanimous Consent, an English-bred who started his career very promisingly, winning his first three starts, but who has lost his last two races, the Pennine Ridge in June and the Virginia Derby last month. We think those results are at least partly due to bad luck: In the Pennine Ridge, the early pace was glacially slow, which played against his stretch-running style; in the Virginia Derby, he broke sideways and ended up going very wide all the way around the track. We think he will show today that he is better than he looked in those races, and that makes his 6-1 morning line number too good to pass up. We will bet him to win. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 7, $40 to win on 8-Unanimous Consent.
Laurel Park, Race 9, 3:56 pm ET
$125,000 Maryland Million Turf, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, 3 & Up
It’s Maryland Million day at Laurel Park, and the Turf is one of the better betting races on the card, with a deep and evenly matched field of thirteen going to the post. The pick is 7-Midnight Hauler, who invades from Pennsylvania after a couple of strong races at Parx and Penn National. Look for him to be midpack early, and rolling late. We will bet him to win at 7/2. The bet: Laurel Park, Race 9, $40 to win on 7-Midnight Hauler.
Keeneland, Race 9, 5:16 pm ET
Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes, 7 furlongs, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies
The Raven Run drew a field of nine 3-year-old fillies. It’s a great betting race. We like 7-Freedom Speaks, who has done well on turf of late, including a win in a stakes race at Kentucky Downs last out, but who we think will be just as effective on conventional dirt. There are two speedballs in the field, 1-Union Lake and 2-Smash Ticket, and the fact that they both drew inside posts, and are breaking next to each other, has us thinking that they will both run very swift early fractions, each trying to establish early superiority over the other, and that will leave Freedom Speaks in the garden spot, sitting just behind, and outside, the speed duel, ready to move forward when the pacesetters begin to shorten stride. This is a good filly who figures to be aided by the race shape; at 6-1, that makes her a terrific wager. We will bet her to win. The bet: Keeneland, Race 9, $40 to win on 7-Freedom Speaks.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.