Garrity's Friday Dad's Hat Happy Hour Handicapping picks races at Monmouth Park, Del Mar and Saratoga
If it’s Friday, it’s time for another installment of Dad’s Hat Happy Hour Handicapping. We have plays in five races today, which go off in about 90 minutes’ time. So pour yourself a couple of fingers of one of the fine libations from our friends at Dad’s Hat, and let’s go.
Monmouth Park, Race 7, 4:48 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming 1 1/16 miles, Turf, 3 & Up
The featured race at Monmouth today is this third-level allowance. The pick is 3-St Anthony, whose pace and speed figures mark as a contender, but who gets the nod primarily because of class: he’s been running against tougher horses than the seven he will face here. Look for him to press the pace early, and draw away late. We think St Anthony will get not lost, and will bet him to win at 5/2. The bet: Monmouth Park, Race 7, $40 to win on 3-St Anthony.
Del Mar, Race 3, 5:00 pm ET
Allowance, 1 ⅜ miles, Turf, 3 & Up
Seven go in this turf allowance at Del Mar. Six of them seem likely to struggle to get the 11 furlong distance, but one who should thrive over it is 1-Nineeleventurbo, a 6-year-old gelding who comes off a good race at the slightly shorter mile and an eighth distance. Look for him to be midpack early, and rolling late; we will bet him to win at 2-1. The bet: Del Mar, Race 3, $40 to win on 1-Nineeleventurbo.
Del Mar, Race 4, 5:30 pm ET
$20,000 Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up
This claiming dirt sprint drew nine runners. The pick is 6-Signora Mister, who comes off a sharp win in a similar spot at Los Alamitos a month ago. We like him partly for that recency, but mostly because the rest of this field looks very, very weak. We will bet him to win at 3-1. The bet: Del Mar, Race 4, $40 to win on 6-Signora Mister.
Saratoga Race Course, Race 9, 5:44 pm ET
$50,000 Claiming, 1 mile, Turf, 3 & Up
Ten claimers line up for the 9th at the Spa. We’re looking at the one on the inside, 1-Aruba, whose last two races look superficially bad: he finished far up the track in allowance races, at Belmont last month and Gulfstream in March, respectively. We are willing to excuse both races, as he’s a stretch-runner, and was spinning his wheels on the ridiculously speed-favoring turf at Gulfstream; and at Belmont, he was running at a shorter distance that did not quite suit him. We think he looks poised to rebound, especially trying the claiming ranks for the first time. We will bet him to win at 8-1. The bet: Saratoga, Race 9, $40 to win on 1-Aruba.
Saratoga Race Course, Race 10, 6:18 pm ET
Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes, 6 ½ furlongs, Dirt, 3-Year-Olds
A good field of six lines up for the Amsterdam. We’re all in on 1-Drew’s Gold, who was last seen finishing second in the Woody Stephens at Belmont Park on June 10. This was a terrific effort both against the clock (he earned a gaudy 106 Beyer Speed figure) and in terms of the company he faced (it was a Grade 1 race). Look for him to just behind the early leaders, stalking what should be a very swift pace, and to seize control when the field turns for home. We will bet him to win at 9/5. The bet: Saratoga, Race 10, $40 to win on 1-Drew’s Gold.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.