Garrity's Saturday Stakes: Gio Ponti at Aqueduct, Chilukki at Churchill, Desi Arnaz, Cary Grant at Del Mar
The national simulcast schedule today is a bit light in terms of stakes races, which is unsurprising considering that we’re now in late November. We’ve managed to cobble together plays in four races, one each from from New York and Kentucky, and a pair out West at Del Mar. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all races, except where noted below. Let’s go.
Aqueduct, Race 7, 2:44 pm ET
$135,000 Gio Ponti Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, 3-Year-Olds
It will be brisk at Aqueduct today, but we are expecting the Gio Ponti, which drew a field of nine, to stay on turf, and we are expecting the turf to be good. We are also expecting a big improvement from 5-Wicked Fast, partly because he gets class relief in this spot – he was last seen finishing a close fourth in the Grade 2 Hill Prince a month ago – and partly because he has thrived on softer turf in the past. We also think the race shape will favor Wicked Fast, as he’s a closer in a field filled with early speed. Look for him to be toward the rear early, and flying late; we will bet him to win at 6-1. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 7, $40 to win on 5-Wicked Fast.
Churchill Downs, Race 10, 5:35 pm ET
Grade 3 Chilukki Stakes, 1 mile, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Seven go in the Chilukki. We like a filly on the cutback: 4-Ice Orchid comes out of a very game effort winning an allowance race at a mile and an eighth on October 23, and we see her getting a dream trip here, sitting just behind what should be a robust early pace, and moving to the front with a strong move around the far turn. We will bet Ice Orchid to win at 10-1. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 10, $40 to win on 4-Ice Orchid.
Del Mar, Race 6, 5:59 pm ET
$100,000 Desi Arnaz Stakes, 7 furlongs, Dirt, 2-Year-Old Fillies
The Desi Arnaz drew a field of seven juvenile fillies. It’s a pretty good group, but the runner we fancy the most is 6-Blessed Touch, whose last start was a very fast maiden win. There was nothing soft about how she won that day: she set very rapid early fractions, and still drew off to win by over eight lengths. We see a similar setup, and a similar result, for her today. We will bet her to win at 9/5. The bet: Del Mar, Race 6, $40 to win on 6-Blessed Touch.
Del Mar, Race 8, 7:00 pm ET
$100,000 Cary Grant Stakes, 7 furlongs, Dirt, California-breds 3 & Up
Six Cal-breds line up for the Cary Grant. It is partly because of the small field, and partly because of the tendencies of the horses who comprise it, that he picks is 4-Big City Lights, who has a huge pace edge over his rivals: he has a lot more natural speed than the rest, and we see him going right to the front, and staying there all the way around the track. We think Big City Lights dominates this race from start to finish; we will bet him to win at 9/5. The bet: Del Mar, Race 8, $50 to win on 4-Big City Lights.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.