Garrity's Saturday Stakes Picks Pegasus World Cup Day at Gulfstream Park, plus the Toboggan at Aqueduct
It’s Pegasus World Cup day at Gulfstream Park in South Florida, and we have plays in four faces on that stakes-studded card. Throw in a good sprint stakes in New York, and we have five plays that should add up to a couple of hours of fun action on an otherwise dreary winter afternoon. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all races, so let’s go.
Aqueduct, Race 7, 3:28 pm ET
Grade 3 Toboggan Stakes, 7 furlongs, Dirt, 4 & Up
Nine go in the Toboggan. The pick is 2-Pirate Rick, who has speed and an inside post position, two things that have been doing quite well of late on the Aqueduct dirt. We think Pirate Rick goes right to the front early, and stays there all the way around the track; we will bet him to win at 3-1. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 7, $40 to win on 2-Pirate Rick.
Gulfstream Park, Race 10, 3:34 pm ET
Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper Stakes, 1 mile, Dirt, 4 & Up
The Hooper drew a field of thirteen. The pick is 1-Miles D, who ran third in the Mineshaft Stakes at the Fair Grounds his last start. We think that was a deceptively good race, as managed to hit the board despite trying to close into a slow early pace. We do not think that will be an issue here, as there is an abundance of speed in the field, and that should set the table for his strong late run. Races at a mile at Gulfstream Park are run around one turn, rather than two, as they are at most tracks, and we think that this distance, and this configuration, is also right up Miles D’s alley: In one-turn races at a mile or a mile and a sixteenth, he has two career starts, and won both. He has been away from the races for a long time, almost a year, and while the layoff is a concern, we think he will be up to the task, partly because the race shape will favor him, and partly because he is trained by Chad Brown, who wins at an otherworldly 34% clip with horses coming off long layoffs. We will bet Miles D to win at 3-1. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 10, $40 to win on 1-Miles D.
Gulfstream Park, Race 11, 4:06 pm ET
Grade 3 TAA Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf Invitational Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up
A field of nine lines up for the Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf. We see a dream trip for one of them, 3-Wakanaka, who is an excellent closer, and who had the good fortune of drawing just outside two horses, 1-Artie’s Princess and 2-Dalika, who should set a robust early pace, setting the table for Wakanaka’s late charge. Look for her to be flying late; we will bet her to win at 5-1. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 11, $40 to win on 3-Wakanaka.
Gulfstream Park, Race 12, 4:40 pm ET
Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf, 1 ½ miles, Turf, 4 & Up
The Pegasus World Cup Turf drew a field of twelve. So many of them have so little early speed that we’re going with a horse at a price that we think just might steal it on the front end. It’s 3-Atone, who was last seen winning an allowance race at Aqueduct in wire-to-wire fashion. We see a similar setup, and a similar result today, and that makes his 12-1 morning line price too good to pass up. We will bet him to win. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 12, $40 to win on 3-Atone.
Gulfstream Park, Race 13, 5:40 pm ET
Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup, 1 ⅛ miles, Dirt, 4 & Up
A dozen older horses line up for the Pegasus World Cup. We can’t get past morning line choice 10-Cyberknife, whose last start was a close second in the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile. We would normally try to beat a favorite like him in this spot, because his merits are obvious, but the rest of this field looks weak, especially by Grade 1 standards, and he simply looks too good. This game can be difficult, but in this case, it’s simple: play the best horse. We will bet Cyberknife to win at 5/2. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 13, $50 to win on 10-Cyberknife.
That’s all for today. Until the next time, enjoy the races, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.