Garrity's Saturday Stakes picks races at Woodbine, Colonial Downs and the Grade 1 Debutante at Del Mar
Racing in New York is dark until racing returns to Aqueduct on Thursday, so it is timely that there are big cards at both Woodbine and Colonial Downs to fill the void. We have a pair of turf stakes at both of those tracks, plus a Grade 1 race for juvenile fillies at Del Mar, where it is closing day, for five races that are sure to produce thrilling action, and will hopefully produce some folding money as well. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all races; let’s go.
Woodbine, Race 8, 4:48 pm ET
Grade 3 Singspiel Stakes, 1 ¼ miles, Turf, 3 & Up
Eight older horses line up for the Singspiel. So many of them have so little early speed that the race seems open to being stolen on the front end – and that is exactly what we think 7-Town Cruise is going to do, to go right to the front and not look back. This is a horse who has some back class – he won the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile two years ago – and though the mile and a quarter is probably a bit longer than his best distance, we think that the pace advantage he should enjoy will carry him to the finish. We will bet him to win at 10-1. The bet: Woodbine, Race 8, $40 to win on 7-Town Cruise.
Colonial Downs, Race 9, 5:45 pm ET
$250,000 Virginia Oaks, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies
An octet of sophomore turf fillies goes in the Virginia Oaks. It is worth noting that Chad Brown, who rarely ships horses to Colonial, starts a pair here: We hope both 1-Root Cause and 4-Idea Generation get bet enthusiastically, because that will improve the price on 7-Mission of Joy, who is the pick. This daughter of Kitten’s Joy comes off a loss as the favorite in the Belmont Oaks, and while her seventh place finish that day may look bad, we think it was better than it might appear on the surface, as she finished only three lengths behind the winner, and did so against tougher competition than she will face today. We think Mission of Joy can handle this group, and the presence of the Brown runners has us thinking that her 8/5 morning might hold up until post time. We will bet her to win. The bet: Colonial Downs, Race 9, $40 to win on 7-Mission of Joy.
Woodbine, Race 10, 5:56 pm ET
Grade 2 Canadian Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
The Canadian Stakes drew seven entrants. We like 4-Skims, who has a pedigree (by Frankel, out of a Street Cry mare) that is both superb for turf and suggestive that this 4-year-old filly will improve as she gets older. Look for her to be well back early, and rolling late; we will bet her to win at 6-1. The bet: Woodbine, Race 10, $40 to win on 4-Skims.
Colonial Downs, Race 10, 6:20 pm ET
Grade 3 Virginia Derby, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, 3-Year-Olds
A good group of eleven 3-year-olds lines up for the Virginia Derby. The pick is 9-Integration., who starts for Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey. McGaughey is known for being patient with young horses, but with Integration, he’s doing something that we cannot recall seeing him do, which is start a 3-year-old in a graded stakes immediately after a maiden win. That he is running him here, rather than in a more logical, and much easier, allowance spot, says to us that McGaughey thinks he is ready – and if Shug says he’s ready, we think he’s ready, especially since Integration is 8-1 on the morning line. We will bet him to win. The bet: Colonial Downs, Race 10, $40 to win on 9-Integration.
Del Mar, Race 10, 8:59 pm ET
Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante, 7 furlongs, Dirt, 2-Year-Old Fillies
A field of fourteen juvenile fillies lines up for the Del Mar Debutante. It’s the kind of group, partly because of its size and partly because of the traits of the entrants that comprise it, that seems likely to produce a sizzling fast pace, and a winner coming from far back. This makes 9-Tamara a strong pick: Look for her to be midpack, or perhaps even a bit farther back, behind and just outside the speed duel at the front, and to win with a big move around the far turn. Tamara is trained by Richard Mandella, who also trained her mother, Beholder, one of the greatest race mares who ever stepped foot in his barn (or anyone else’s). We will bet her to win at 7/2. The bet: Del Mar, Race 10, $40 to win on 9-Tamara.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.