Garrity's Saturday Stakes picks 3 graded races at Gulfstream Park, the $150K Poinsettia at Oaklawn

Garrity's first post is 3:32 pm ET.
Racing at Gulfstream Park.
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The day’s best races, as we wind down the clock on 2023 and look forward to a new year, are at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. We have plays in three races there, plus one at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, which are guaranteed to provide some fun, and just might provide some folding money for a New Year’s bender. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all races, so let’s go.

Gulfstream Park, Race 8, 3:32 pm ET

Grade 3 Suwannee River, 1 mile, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

Ten go in the Suwannee River, but we have eyes for just one: 4-Full Court Felicia, who did some excellent work earlier in the year in the Mid-Atlantic, winning Laurel Park, Colonial Downs, and Pimlico, efforts that earned her a start in the Grade 2 Goldlikova Stakes at Santa Anita Park in November. She did not run well that day, and we don’t know whether it was because she did not like the long trip, or for another reason, but she looks poised here to dispatch this less than imposing group. Look for her to be toward the rear early, and rolling late; we will bet her to win at 3-1. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 4-Full Court Felicia.

Gulfstream Park, Race 10, 4:34 pm ET

Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 3 & Up

Eleven older dirt horses line up for the Harlan’s Holiday, a good race on a good card in South Florida. The pick is 9-Gasoline, who had a rough go in his last start, when he got caught too close to a swift pace in the Clark at Churchill Downs, and faded to finish fifth. He looks to us to be poised to return to the form he showed in his start before that, when he won a tough allowance race in very fast time. He prevailed that day with a stalking trip, and we see a similar setup, and similar result, for him here. We will bet Gasoline to win at 9/2 odds. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 10, $40 to win on 9-Gasoline.

Gulfstream Park, Race 11, 5:14 pm ET

Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, 3 & Up

The Ft. Lauderdale drew a field of ten. With several entrants starting for trainer Chad Brown, whose horses always get bet, we think we can get a big price on a good horse with a big chance: it’s 5-Kingmax, who was bred in Ireland and began his career in England, where he was competitive in some pretty tough races at top-tier tracks like Goodwood, York, and Newmarket. He won his first two American starts last summer, both allowance races on the turf at Monmouth Park, efforts good enough that  trainer Jorge Delgado decided to run him in a stakes race on the synthetic track at Woodbine. He did not take to the lint, and finished a dull fifth, but we expect him to be much better today, partly for the time off – he last raced in July – but mostly because he’s returning to the turf. We will bet him to win at 12-1. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 11, $40 to win on 5-Kingmax.

Oaklawn Park, Race 9, 5:14 pm ET

$150,000 Poinsettia Stakes, 5 ½ furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

Seven go in the Poinsettia. The pick is 3-I’m the Boss of Me, who will be right up front, and who got the advantage of drawing outside the other likely pacesetter, 1-High Class. We think the two of them vie for the lead early, well in front of the rest of the field, and I’m the Boss of Me prevails in a long stretch duel. We will bet her to win at 4-1 odds. The bet: Oaklawn Park, Race 9, $40 to win on 3-I’m the Boss of Me.

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

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