Garrity's Friday Dad's Hat Happy Hour Handicapping picks races at Delaware Park, Saratoga and Woodbine
We’re on the cusp of a long holiday weekend, arguably the best one of the year, which makes it a perfect time for another installment of our regular Friday feature, Dad’s Hat Happy Hour Handicapping. We have four plays today, in Delaware, New York, and Ontario, and expect fast dirt and firm turf for all of them. So pour yourself a tumbler of one of the delicious, hand-crafted-in-Pennsylvania libations from our friends at Dad’s Hat, and let’s go.
Delaware Park, Race 8, 4:00 pm ET
$10,000 Maiden Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up
Seven maidens line up for the nightcap at Delaware Park. Six of them have racing experience, almost all of it thoroughly unimpressive, so the pick is the fresh face, 5-El Gran Sebas, who has two things going for him: The first is a couple of good morning works leading up to this race, which is his career debut; the second, which is far more important, is the fact that he has not yet proved that he is an inveterate loser. We are not quite going to make plans to see El Gran Sebas run in the Breeders Cup, but he does look capable of beating this pretty woeful group. We will bet him to win at 8-1. The bet: Delaware Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 5-El Gran Sebas.
Saratoga Race Course, Race 6, 4:00 pm ET
Maiden Special Weight, 6 furlongs, Dirt, New York-bred 2-Year-Old Fillies
The 6th at the Spa drew a field of ten 2-year-old fillies. The pick is a first-time starter, 4-Miss Maximus, who has a good win-early pedigree, a solid series of morning workouts leading to this spot, and a trainer, Brad Cox, who wins at a robust 25% with horses making their career debut. We are not overly enthralled with her inside post position – she will need to break well to overcome it – but she nevertheless looks talented enough to handle this group. We will bet her to win at 4-1. The bet: Saratoga, Race 6, $40 to win on 4-Miss Maximus.
Woodbine, Race 7, 4:06 pm ET
Maiden Optional Claiming, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, Ontario-breds 3 & Up
Ten line up for this maiden affair north of the border. It’s a motley crew, a field lacking a clear standout, and that has us taking a flier on a runner who will be a huge price: 2-Moet Monet, who has faced 41 rivals in five career starts, and finished in front of precisely seven of them. That would on the surface seem to mark this 4-year-old son of Palace Malice as a non-contender, but we think he just may have a shot, as he has a big edge in early speed on the rest of the group. If he doesn’t fall down when the gates open, he will get the early lead, and we think he just might get brave on the front end. We will bet him to win at 20-1. The bet: Woodbine, Race 7, $40 to win on 2-Moet Monet.
Saratoga Race Course, Race 7, 4:34 pm ET
Allowance, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Today’s 7th at Saratoga is a first-level turf allowance in which eight fillies and mares will go to the gate. The pick is 3-Tamarama, who makes her U.S. debut today after a 15-race career in her native England. She was solid over there, good not but not great, but the fact that she was competitive at tracks like Goodwood and Ascot makes her look a good bit better than those she will face today. We will bet her to win at 4-1. The bet: Saratoga, Race 7, $50 to win on 3-Tamarama.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.