Garrity's Thanksgiving Stakes picks The Cardinal and Falls City at Churchill Downs, The Red Carpet at Del Mar

Garrity's first post is at 3:45 pm EST. Take a break from the turkey.
Racing at Churchill Downs.
Racing at Churchill Downs.Coady Photography / @ChurchillDowns on Twitter

Ah, Thanksgiving, where we all get to spend eight or ten hours indoors with people we don’t really like, eating Aunt Polly’s green bean casserole, watching Cousin Emily stare at her phone like it’s a portal to another dimension, and listening go Great Uncle Vic pine for the return of Lyndon LaRouche. What fun!

This is a great holiday, actually, but it’s one that is better if one takes a couple of periodic breaks from one’s knuckleheaded relatives. So we’ve come up with a few reasons to excuse yourself from those arguing around the table: There are three stakes races this afternoon, a pair from Churchill Downs and one from Del Mar. They are all interesting, and worth playing, and one thing about which we can all agree is that Uncle Vic, even well into his dotage, looks way better after one has nailed a couple of winners.

We expect fast and dirt firm turf in all races, except as noted below. Let’s go.

Churchill Downs, Race 10, 3:45 pm ET

Grade 3 Cardinal Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

Seven older females line up for the Cardinal, which we expect to stay on turf, but to be run on ground with some give to it, something on the order of good. We’re all in on 6-Juncture, who has run well without winning in her last three starts, but who here seems to have caught a group she should be able to handle. Look for her to be well back early, and rolling late; we will bet her to win at 5/2 odds. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 10, $50 to win on 6-Juncture.

Churchill Downs, Race 11, 4:14 pm ET

Grade 3 Falls City Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

The Falls City drew a field of nine. We’re against favored 8-Xigera, not because there’s anything wrong with her – her recent form is excellent – but because of her price; she is 3/5 on the morning line, and her edge on the rest of this group is far smaller than her odds would indicate.

We like 2-Skratch Kat. She has 15 career starts, quite a lot by the standards of the modern Thoroughbred, and while in her six races this year has not yet run anywhere close to fast enough to win a race at this level, her last two starts, a pair of wins in allowance races at Keeneland and Churchill Downs, are a sign that she might be close to getting back to the form she showed as a 3-year-old last year, which would make her a contender in this spot, especially since she’s a closer, and we think that the early pace here, which we expect to be quick, should favor that running style. We will bet Skratch Kat to win at 15-1. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 11, $40 to win on 2-Skratch Kat.

Del Mar, Race 6, 4:30 pm ET

Grade 3 Red Carpet Stakes, 1 ⅜ miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

Eight go in the Red Carpet. The pick is 6-Sister Otoole, who is a pretty good illustration of the state of turf racing in the Golden State: in her two starts this year East of the Mississippi River, she was well beaten, finishing third in the Waya Stakes at Aqueduct in October, and fifth in a Saratoga allowance race in July. The one time she ran in California, however, she won, taking the prize in a minor stakes race at Del Mar in August. Back East, she is not much more than ordinary, but that should be good enough to beat this weak group of locally-based fillies and mares. We will bet Sister Otoole to win at 3-1. The bet: Del Mar, Race 6, $40 to win on 6-Sister Otoole.

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

Trending Stories

No stories found.
Bettors Insider