Garrity's Sunday Aqueduct, Oaklawn and Santa Anita Picks: One race at each track with Clocker's Corner Stakes
We have three plays for this football Sunday: allowance races in New York and Arkansas, and an overnight stakes race on the turf at Santa Anita. We expect fast dirt and firm turf for all races, so let’s go.
Aqueduct, Race 8, 3:47 pm ET
Allowance, 1 ⅛ miles, Dirt, 4 & Up
The most obvious winner of this Big A allowance, which drew a field of seven, is 1-Tonal Impact, who has four wins in his last five starts. This is not exactly an earth-shattering insight, as he’s 7/5 on the morning line, and will probably be even shorter at post time.
But we think we can beat him: the pick is 7-Three Jokers, a closer who should get a good trip behind what should be a fast pace. THis 6-year-old New York-bred has been trying to win at this level for a long time; we think today he finally does it, and will bet him to win at 6-1. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 8, $40 to win on 7-Three Jokers.
Oaklawn Park, Race 8, 4:43 pm ET
Allowance, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 4 & Up
Thoroughbred racehorses, broadly speaking, reach their physical prime in the early part of their 4-year-old seasons. There are exceptions to this rule, of course, individual horses who peak earlier or later, but as a general rule, most of them are as good as they’ll ever be as 4-year-olds.
We mention that because there is a runner in this Oaklawn allowance who has been away for a while, and who should be significantly better than when we saw him last: it’s 4-Presidential, who showed promise in the early part of last year, especially in his last race, when he finished a close second in the Texas Derby at Lone Star Park in May. He’s been away since, a long vacation, but his recent works have been exceptionally good, a suggestion that he is ready to run a big race. That makes him both a major threat to win this, and, at 5-1, an excellent wager. We will bet him to win. The bet: Oaklawn Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 4-Presidential.
Santa Anita, Race 8, 6:59 pm ET
$100,000 Clocker’s Corner Stakes, 6 ½ furlongs, Turf, 4 & Up
A deep field of seven lines up for the Clocker’s Corner. We like 7-Lane Way, who has run very well in his last three starts, with a win and two seconds, all of which were run at this distance on Santa Anita’s iconic turf course. Three of his last four starts were in graded stakes; that class will be an asset for him here, but a bigger asset for him will be speed: he has a good bit of it, which should put him in a tactically advantageous spot toward the front in a race whose early pace should be moderate. We think Lane Way wins this for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, and will bet him to win at 5/2. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 8, $40 to win on 7-Lane Way.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.