Garrity's Friday Dad's Hat Happy Hour Handicapping picks Keeneland, Belmont at Aqueduct, Woodbine, Santa Anita
If it’s the end of the week, it’s time for another installment of Dad’s Hat Happy Hour Handicapping: for the last Friday in October, we have plays in five races, from New York to Ontario to Kentucky to California, all of which have cocktail-friendly, late-afternoon post times, and which go off in a bit less than an hour’s time. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all races, so pour yourself a glass of one of the delicious, hand-crafted-in-Pennsylvania elixirs from our friends at Dad’s Hat, and let’s go.
Keeneland, Race 7, 4:12 pm ET
$200,000 Myrtlewood Stakes, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 2-Year-Old Fillies
The Myrtlewood drew eleven juvenile filly sprinters. One of them, 6-Key of Life, comes pretty close to our embodiment of handicapping perfection: both speed figures, which measure the final time of a race, and pace figures, which measure how the internal fractions of a race are run, mark her as superior to the rest of the group. Even better is that we expect the race shape of the Myrtlewood to play in her favor, as she is a stalker, and should get a dream trip sitting behind what we expect to be a very fast pace, and from that advantageous position to pounce when the early speed starts backing up. When the best horse figures to get the best trip, it’s time to head to the windows; we will bet Key of Life to win at 8/5. The bet: Keeneland, Race 7, $50 to win on 6-Key of Life.
Aqueduct, Race 8, 4:22 pm ET
$120,000 Chelsey Flower Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, 2-Year-Olds
A field of six lines up for the Chelsey Flower. The handicapping question is a basic one: Can anyone beat 1-Tax Implications? The Chad Brown trainee is a deserving favorite, and probably the likeliest winner, but we think he is vulnerable, and are betting against him.
The pick is 2-Implicated. He also comes from the Brown barn, and we like him because we think the pace scenario here is going to be very similar to what he saw in his last start, which he won: a very fast early pace that sets the table for his strong stretch run. Look for Implicated to be flying late; we will bet him to win at 5/2. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 8, $35 to win on 2-Implicated.
Woodbine, Race 7, 4:36 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 ⅜ miles, Turf, 3 & Up
Nine allowance runners line up for the 7th at Woodbine. The pick is 7-Remote, a 3-year-old colt by War Front who took a while to get going, not joining the ranks of winners until the seventh start of his career, which was his most recent, in a maiden race at Colonial Downs on Sept. 6. He looks like a late-bloomer to us, a colt who did not attain physical maturity until a bit later than most 3-year-olds, and we therefore think he is quite capable of backing up his maiden victory with another triumph here. We will bet him to win at 7/2. The bet: Woodbine, Race 7, $40 to win on 7-Remote.
Keeneland, Race 8, 4:44 pm ET
Grade 3 Valley View Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies
The Valley View is a cracking good race, with a deep and evenly matched field of twelve going to the post. The pick is 6-Majestic Glory, an English-bred filly who was just OK in her last start, which was her first in North America, when she ran fourth in the Pebbles at Aqueduct on Sept. 18. We think a big improvement is in store for her today, which makes her a major win threat, and a terrific wager at 6-1. We will bet her to win. The bet: Keeneland, Race 8, $40 to win on 6-Majestic Glory.
Santa Anita, Race 3, 5:04 pm ET
$32,000 Claiming, 6 furlongs, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Eight hard-knocking turf sprinters go in the 3rd at Santa Anita. The pick is 6-Wrong Turn Cupid, who is making a major class drop here, running for a $32k claiming tag here after competing in allowance races in his last few starts. While this kind of class drop is usually cause for concern – it can be a sign of an injured horse – in this case, it makes sense, as Wrong Turn Cupid is a California-bred with a modest pedigree, and he probably fits here. It also doesn’t hurt that he won’t have to beat much, as the rest of this group looks decidedly weak. We will bet him to win at 5-2. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 3, $40 to win on 6-Wrong Turn Cupid.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.