Garrity's Monday New Year's Day Stakes Picks: Cash Run, Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream, Smarty Jones at Oaklawn
Most of the attention in the sporting world today will be on tackle football, but we’ve found time to dope out three races, all stakes featuring 3-year-olds, in Florida and Arkansas. It’s an all-dirt lineup, and we expect a fast main track for all of them. Let’s go.
Gulfstream Park, Race 8, 3:36 pm ET
$150,000 Cash Run Stakes, 1 mile, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies
Seven fillies go in the Cash Run. Most of them have the same fast early/slow late running style, so we are going with 1-De Regreso, who should be rolling late. This daughter of Audible has been running on the synthetic surface at Gulfstream Park, where she has been merely OK, but we think she will be better on conventional dirt, especially since the race shape should favor her stretch-running style. We will bet her to win at 5-1. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 1-De Regreso.
Gulfstream Park, Race 10, 4:36 pm ET
$150,000 Mucho Macho Man Stakes, 1 mile, Dirt, 3-Year-Olds
This time of year, in a race like the Mucho Macho Man, we would expect to see most of the runners coming off sprints. It is therefore somewhat intriguing that the majority of the eight runners have already tried 8 furlongs, some successfully, some less so. One who did quite well is 6-Inveigled, and we expect a repeat of his last, when he earned a good speed figure winning a mile allowance at Gulfstream Park on December 9. He pressed the pace that day, sitting just behind the early leaders and taking control at the top of the stretch; we see a similar setup, and a similar result, for him in this spot. We will bet Inveigled to win at 9/5 odds. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 10, $50 to win on 6-Inveigled.
Oaklawn, Race 9, 5:15 pm ET
$300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, 3-Year-Olds
The nine horses who line up for the Smarty Jones were 2-year-olds yesterday, but are 3 today: All Thoroughbreds turn a year older on January 1, which is a sign that we are getting closer to seeing the Triple Crown trail heat up. We doubt we will see any of these colts in the starting gate in Louisville on the first Saturday in May, but one who looks good in this spot is 4-Mystik Dan, who was quite good in the first two starts of his career, when he finished second and first, respectively, in a pair of maiden races, but then got cooked running too close to a suicidally fast early pace in his third and last start, an allowance race at Churchill Downs six weeks ago. We think he’ll be better today, partly for having gone through that experience, and partly because the race shape here should be less extreme. We think that Mystik Dan rebounds in a big way today, and does so at a very nice 5-1 morning line number. We will bet him to win. The bet: Oaklawn, Race 9, $40 to win on 4-Mystik Dan.
That’s all for today. Until the next time, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.