Garrity's Saturday Stakes picks races at Aqueduct, Woodbine, Churchill Downs and Santa Anita

Garrity's first post is the Grade 3 Pebbles at 2:17 pm EST.
Racing at Woodbine.
Racing at Woodbine.@WoodbineTB on X.

Four races on turf, and one on synthetic, in New York, Ontario, Kentucky, and California, make up an interesting slate of action on this autumn Saturday. We expect fast and firm in all, so let’s go.

Aqueduct, Race 6, 2:17 pm ET

Grade 3 Pebbles Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies

Nine sophomore fillies line up for the Pebbles. We like one who is short on experience but long on promise: it’s 7-Startup Mentality, who has run just once, when she won a maiden race at Monmouth in July, but who appears to us, partly due to her excellent turf pedigree and partly due to the way she ran that day, to have the makings of a potential star. Look for her to use her devastating late turn of foot to take the prize here. We will bet her to win at 4-1. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 6, $40 to win on 7-Startup Mentality.

Aqueduct, Race 9, 3:43 pm ET
Grade 2 Red Smith Stakes, 1 ⅜ miles, Turf, 3 & Up

A field of twelve goes in the Red Smith. The pick is 8-Soldier Rising, who has been a bridesmaid of late, finishing second in his last two starts, the Turf Classic at Aqueduct, and the Sword Dancer at Saratoga. Those are both Grade 1 races, so we think he’ll appreciate the class relief he gets in this Grade 2, but what we think he’ll appreciate even more is the going: both of those starts were run on yielding turf, and Soldier Rising has been noticeably better in his career on firmer ground. Look for him to be well back early, and flying late; we will bet him to win at 3-1. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 9, $50 to win on 8-Soldier RIsing.

Woodbine, Race 9, 5:12 pm ET
Grade 2 Bessarabian Stakes, 7 furlongs, Synthetic, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

This Grade 2 on the Woodbine lint wide open, with the 14 fillies and mares who will go to the gate lacking a clear standout. It’s the kind of race that practically begs a handicapper to back a horse at a decent number, and we are doing that with 1-Spun Glass, who spent the summer racing in turf sprints on the mid-Atlantic circuit, but who may have found a home on synthetic: she won a 6 furlong stakes race in her last start, and here looks very good at this slightly longer distance. Look for this 6-year-old daughter of Hard Spun to be midpack early, to loom boldly on the far turn, to squirt clear down the stretch, and hold off the closers late. We will bet her to win at 10-1. The bet: Woodbine, Race 9, $40 to win on 1-Spun Glass.

Churchill Downs, Race 10, 5:35 pm ET

Grade 3 River City Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, 3 & Up

A dozen line up for the River City. We like the looks of 8-Grand Sonata, who struggled in his last, the Grade 1 Turf Classic at Aqueduct last month, partly due to the company he faced that day, and partly because the race was run over a yielding turf course he did not like. The firmer going he’ll get today should be much more to his liking, and so should this field, which is nowhere near as tough as he saw last out. We will bet him to win at 6-1. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 10, $40 to win on 8-Grand Sonata.

Del Mar, Race 7, 6:30 pm ET

$75,000 Kathryn Crosby Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

This mile turf race for fillies and mares drew a field of nine. There appears to be enough speed in the group to favor a late runner, and the one who looks the best to us is 9-Yerwanthere, who in her last start rallied from far back to win an allowance race at Santa Anita on October 28. We see a similar setup, and a similar result, for her today. We will bet her to win at 6-1 odds. The bet: Del Mar, Race 7, $40 to win on 9-Yerwanthere.

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

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