Garrity's Friday Dad's Hat Happy Hour Handicapping picks Pimlico, Aqueduct, Los Alamitos, and Churchill Downs
If it’s Friday, it’s time for an autumnal edition of Dad’s Hat Happy Hour Handicapping. We have plays at five races at four tracks, all of which will be run in less than an hour’s time. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all races, so while you are savoring the crisp fall air, pour yourself a tumbler of one of the delightfully delicious libations from our friends at Dad’s Hat Rye, and let’s go.
Pimlico, Race 8, 4:06 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 3 & Up
Seven go in today’s 8th in Baltimore. 2-Everett’s Song is a strong play: His last two races were on off tracks, but he gets back today to doing what he does best, which is running on fast dirt. The going is a plus for him, and so is how we expect the race to develop: He should be able to sit just behind a couple of dueling speedsters, biding his time until they run out of gas, and then taking control with a move as the field comes out of the far turn and into the home stretch. We will bet Everett’s Song to win at 7/2. The bet: Pimlico, Race 8, $40 to win on 2-Everett’s Song.
Aqueduct, Race 7, 4:17 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 6 ½ furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up
Allowance sprinters, ten of them, go in Race 7 at the Big A. Speed was quite good in Ozone Park yesterday, which makes the pick 8-Rotknee, who is going to get the early lead, and who is not going to be caught. Look for him to prevail in gate-to-wire fashion; we will bet him to win at 7/2. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 7, $40 to win on 8-Rotknee.
Los Alamitos, Race 2, 4:28 pm ET
$10,000 Claiming, 5 ½ furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
For a good illustration of why there are too many racing dates in Southern California, take a look at today’s 2nd at Los Al: It’s a bottom-level claimer with an abysmally, almost incredibly awful field, horses so bad that a quick scan of the past performances will give a shock to anyone who knew the game in its Hollywood Park/Santa Anita glory days a generation ago.
Still, one of these nags will have to win, and we think it will be the class-dropping 5-Sapadilla, who was well beaten in his last two starts, both of which were against tougher fields at Del Mar. Look for him to press the pace early, and roll late; we will bet him to win at 9/2. The bet: Los Alamitos, Race 2, $40 to win on 5-Sapadilla.
Aqueduct, Race 8, 4:49 pm ET
$100,000 Winter Memories Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies
The field for the Winter Memories came up strong, with a deep and talented group of ten sophomore fillies lining up to run a mile on the turf. Half of them start for either Chad Brown or Todd Pletcher, but we are smitten with a runner from the George Weaver barn, 6-Sacred Wish, who has been pretty good thus far in her brief career, running competitively in some tough stakes, but who gets the nod here because of the surface: She has run exclusively on dirt so far, but we think that because of her pedigree and running style, she will be better on turf. That by herself makes her dangerous, but throw in Weaver’s turf stats (21% win rate with horses debuting on turf; 23% with horses switching from dirt to turf), and we quite fancy Sacred Wish. We will bet her to win at 6-1. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 8, $50 to win on 6-Sacred Wish.
Churchill Downs, Race 9, 4:55 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
A good second-level turf allowance goes as Race 9 today at Churchill Downs. It drew a field of eleven. We like 7-Lady Hideaway, who had traffic trouble in her last, when she finished tenth, four lengths behind the winner, in a stakes at Ellis Park. She should get a cleaner trip, and a much better result, here. We will bet her to win at 9/2. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 9, $40 to win on 7-Lady Hideaway.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.