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Garrity's Saturday Stakes picks Gulfstream Park, Oaklawn, Santa Anita – Forward Gal, Bayakoa, Holy Bull, more

Garrity's first post is 3:46 pm ET.

We must be drawing away from the heart of the winter season, and inching closer to spring, as the national stakes schedule is stocked today, with a plethora of black-type races from coast to coast. We have plays in five of those stakes, from South Florida to Arkansas to Southern California. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all races; let’s go.

Gulfstream Park, Race 9, 3:46 pm ET

Grade 3 Kitten’s Joy Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, 3-Year-Olds

An octet of lightly raced 3-year-olds goes in the Kitten’s Joy. We like 6-Dude N Colorado, whose last race was a decent win in a maiden race that was rained off the grass. We like him here for one very simple but very important reason, speed he has a goodly amount of it, and the other runners do not. We see Dude N Colorado going right to the front, and staying in front all the way around Gulfstream Park’s speed-favoring turf course. We will bet him to win at 6-1. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 9, $40 to win on 6-Dude N Colorado.

Gulfstream Park, Race 10, 4:17 pm ET

Grade 3 Forward Gal Stakes, 7 furlongs, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies

The Forward Gal is a terrific betting race: there are ten sophomore fillies who on paper appear to be pretty evenly matched. We fancy 8-Red Carpet Ready, who is undefeated in two career starts, and who gets the tactical advantage of an outside post position. She is coming off a layoff here, making her first start since November, but her talent – she looks quite good – plus her speed make her the one to beat. She may go right to the front, or she may press the pace; either way, we think she is going to the winner’s circle. We will bet her to win at 4-1. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 10, $40 to win on 8-Red Carpet Ready.

Santa Anita, Race 4, 4:38 pm ET
Grade 3 Megahertz Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

Eight filly and mare turf runners lines up for the Megahertz. One who appears to have a significant class edge is 3-Nadette, a 4-year-old filly who ran against very tough company in her native France last year. Her U.S. debut was last fall, when overcame a slow start to finish second, showing a very strong finishing kick in the process. She should improve off that effort, which makes her both a major player and a terrific wager at 5-1 odds. We will bet her to win. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 4, $40 to win on 3-Nadette.

Oaklawn Park, Race 9, 5:42 pm ET

Grade 3 Bayakoa Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

Seven older females go to the starting gate in the Bayakoa. The pick is 1-A Mo Reay, a 4-year-old who looks to be sitting on a big effort. She comes into this race off a brief layoff, having last run on December 31, but we give her the nod partly because of her post position – she should get a good, ground, saving trip breaking from the rail – and partly because the race shape should favor her stalking running style. We will bet her to win at 5-2. The bet: Oaklawn Park, Race 9, $40 to win on 1-A Mo Reay.

Gulfstream Park, Race 12, 5:43 pm ET

Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 3-Year-Olds

The road to the Kentucky Derby takes an incremental step forward with the Holy Bull, which drew a field of eight. A key element in these Derby prep races is the 8 ½ furlongs: As the races get longer, horses who are unable to handle the additional distance fall by the wayside. We mention that because several of the runners here appear to us to be sprinters, whereas one, 8-Rocket Con, appears to be better around two turns than he was around one. Both his pedigree and his running style mark him as the likeliest winner; we will bet him to win at 7/2. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 12, $40 to win on 8-Rocket Con

That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.

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