Garrity's Sunday Stakes picks the Tale of the Cat at Monmouth, Alywow at Woodbine, Dancin Renee at Belmont

First post is 2:32 pm EDT.
Racing at Woodbine.
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Three plays, all in stakes races, make up the slate of action on the last Sunday of June. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all of them, so let’s go.

Monmouth Park, Race 5, 2:32 pm ET
$100,000 Tale of the Cat Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, 3-Year-Olds

A decent amount of rain fell at Monmouth Park yesterday, but it has been so dry of late that the Tale Of the Cat Stakes, which drew a field of eight, should stay on the turf, and it should be pretty firm even after the deluge. We’re against 5-Ocean City, who is favored coming off two wins that on paper look strong, but who didn’t beat much either time, and who here appears not much better than several other runners. At a short price, she looks like a big underlay, and a play-against.

We like 1-Heathguard, and we like him quite a bit. He broke his maiden two starts back, and then ran in a stakes race at Gulfstream Park, where he spun his wheels, as so many late runners do, trying to make up ground on the speed-favoring turf course there. Today he looks likely to get a dream trip from both a pace and traffic standpoint: his rail post should allow jockey Nik Juarez to negotiate a ground-saving trip; and the presence of quite a few one-dimensional speedballs to his outside should result in a race shape that favors his closing running style. Heathguard might be last early, but we think he will be first where it matters, and we will consequently bet him to win at 4-1 odds. The bet: Monmouth Park, Race 5, $50 to win on 1-Heathguard.

Woodbine, Race 7, 4:28 pm ET

$100,000 Alywow Stakes, 6 ½ furlongs, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies

Sophomore fillies, nine of them, line up for the Alywow Stakes at Woodbine. The race is likely to be decided, as so many turf sprints are, by pace: the early fractions should be robust, which we think will set the table for 3-Up and Down, who has been running in slightly longer races, with her last a 4th-place finish in a minor stakes at Pimlico, but who should sitting back and making a strong late rally at this distance. Up and Down’s recent races have been down, but today things look up; we will bet her to win at 5/2. The bet: Woodbine, Race 7, $40 to win on 3-Up and Down.

Belmont Park, Race 8, 4:48 pm ET
$125,000 Dancin Renee Stakes, 6 furlongs, Dirt, New York-bred Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

Seven older females line up for the Dancin Renee. The pick is 6-Betsy Blue, who finished second in her last despite a rough trip; she should have a cleaner journey today, as her outside post should allow her to sit just behind the leaders early, moving towards the front around the far turn, and clearing the field late. We will bet her to win at 7/2. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 6-Betsy Blue.

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

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