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Garrity's Friday Dad's Hat Happy Hour Racing Picks: Gulfstream, Aqueduct, Santa Anita, Fair Grounds, Oaklawn

First post 4:07 pm EDT. Last post 4:50 pm. Let it Rye-d.

If it’s Friday, it’s time for another installment of Dad’s Hat Happy Hour Handicapping. We have five plays today, from one to the other, all of which go off in about 45 minutes’ time. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all races, so pour yourself a glass of one of the delicious elixirs from our friends at Dad’s Hat Rye, and let’s go.

Gulfstream Park, Race 8, 4:07 pm ET

Starter Allowance, 1 mile, Turf, 4 & Up

We start off today with this starter allowance in South Florida, where eight older horses line up to run a mile on the turf. The pick is 7-Rockstar Ro, who has sprinter’s speed, which will allow him, we think, to get the early lead. That should be enough, on the speed-favoring Gulfstream Park sod, to carry him to victory. We will bet him to win at 10-1. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 7-Rockstar Ro.

Aqueduct, Race 7, 4:28 pm ET

Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 mile, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

Today’s featured race at the Big A is this second-level allowance for older fillies and mares that drew a half-dozen runners. We like 6-Pharoah’s Heart, who won her last start, at this one-turn mile distance, quite impressively, stalking a swift early pace and drawing off to win by over three lengths. We think she runs big again today, as her speed and versatility, plus her outside post, give her a pretty significant tactical advantage over the rest of the field. We will bet her to win at 7/2 odds. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 7, $40 to win on 6-Pharoah’s Heart.

Santa Anita Park, Race 2, 4:30 pm ET

$10,000 Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

Seven older female claimers go in this Santa Anita dirt sprint. The presence of a lot of faint-hearted early speed has us looking in the direction of 1-Bella Renella, who has won three races in a row by sitting just behind the pacesetters early and charging late. We see a similar setup, and a similar result, for her today. We will bet her to win at 2-1. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 2, $40 to win on 1-Bella Renella.

Fair Grounds, Race 6, 4:45 pm ET

Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies

This first-level allowance in Louisiana drew a field of nine. We like the looks of 5-Sweet Alyssa, who did a speed-and-fade in her last start, an effort that we are excusing, as it was her her first start around two turns, her first try against winners, and it was run on a wet track that she appeared not to like. She has a good pedigree (by Union Rags, out of a Scat Daddy mare), and we think that she will move forward in a big way today. Look for her to be rolling late; we will bet her to win at 15-1. The bet: Fair Grounds, race 6, $40 to win on 5-Sweet Alyssa.

Oaklawn Park, Race 7, 4:50 pm ET

Maiden Special Weight, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies

Nine sophomore fillies line up for this maiden race in Arkansas. The pick is 5-D’oro Street, a speedball who has been unfortunate in her last two starts, both of which were run on muddy tracks that played against her natural speed. Things are going to go differently for her today, however, because she is going to get the early lead, probably quite easily, and on a track that will favor her speed, she’s going to be long gone. Look for D’oro Street to wire this group; we will bet her to win at 9/2. The bet: Oaklawn Park, Race 7, $40 to win on 5-D’oro Street.

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

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