Garrity's Friday Dad's Hat Happy Hour Handicapping picks races at Woodbine, Belmont, and Monmouth Park

First post is 4:29 pm EDT. Last post is 5:16 pm. Let it Rye'd.
Racing at Woodbine.
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Like sands through the hourglass, June has passed. We have no idea where the  hell the month went, but the first month of the summer is over.

We’ll acknowledge the transition to the dog days of the season  with another installment of our regular Friday feature, Dad’s Hat Happy Hour Handicapping. Today we have five races at three tracks, all of which will be run in less than an hour’s time. We expect fast dirt and firm turf for all of them, so let’s go. .

Woodbine, Race 7, 4:29 pm ET
Starter Optional Claiming, 5 furlongs, Turf, 3 & Up

A field of nine turf sprinters lines up for this starter allowance. We like a horse at a price, 3-Western Trouble, who has been running competitively on the synthetic surface at Woodbine, but who here returns to turf, where we think he is a little better. He should get a dream trip, sitting just behind what should be swift early fractions, and rolling late. We will bet him to win at 12-1. The bet: Woodbine, Race 7, $35 to win on 3-Western Trouble.

Belmont Park, Race 8, 4:48 pm ET

Allowance, 1 ¼ miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

Today’s featured race at Belmont Park is this turf allowance for females at a mile and a quarter, which drew a field of nine. We like 2-Highland Grace, who has been brought along slowly by Barclay Tagg, a trainer well known for patience, and who seems to be rounding into form, having broken her maiden against a decent group in her last start. This 3-year-old filly is by American Pharoh, out of a Giant’s Causeway mare, a pedigree we very much like for running on turf in general, and for running on turf at a mile and a quarter in particular. Look for her to settle comfortably early, and to prevail with a strong stretch run. We will bet her to win at 3-1. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 8, $50 to win on 2-Highland Grace.

Monmouth Park, Race 7, 4:48 pm ET

$16,000 Claiming, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

Nine go in today’s 7th race at the Jersey shore. We find it hard to look past 6-Lost Luggage, who was last seen being thoroughly outrun in a race at Parx three weeks ago. We are excusing her effort that day, partly because it was against tougher company, and partly because she had a rough trip from both a pace and trip standpoint. She looks poised to rebound, and the fact that the rest of this field looks very weak will help. We will bet her to win at 3-1. The bet: Monmouth Park, Race 7, $40 to win on 6-Lost Luggage

Woodbine, Race 8, 5:01 pm ET
$25,000 Claiming, 6 ½ furlongs, Turf, 3 & Up

A full field of fourteen goes in the nightcap at Woodbine. We like a class dropper, 6-Wave Baby, who tries the claiming ranks after having spent his entire career running against much tougher allowance foes. This is a 6-year-old gelding who has one victory in 19 career starts, so he’s not exactly a win machine; countering that, however, is that he has never raced at this level before, and he should relish the lesser company. We will bet him to win at 6-1. The bet: Woodbine, Race 8, $40 to win on 6-Wave Baby.

Monmouth Park, Race 8, 5:16 pm ET

$12,500 Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

This claiming dirt sprint at Monmouth Park drew a field of seven. We’re looking for three things: speed, speed, and more speed, and that makes the play 6-The Sweaty Fox, who has a major edge in early zip on the rest of the group, and an outside post that makes that speed a huge tactical advantage. Look for The Sweaty Fox to go right to the front, and not look back; we will bet him to win at 8/5. The bet: Monmouth Park, Race 9, $50 to win on 6-The Sweaty Fox.

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

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