Garrity's Saturday Stakes Picks the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, including the Grade 3 Louisiana Stakes

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Racing up and down the Eastern Seaboard has been scrapped, a result of yesterday’s winter storm, so we are very thankful that there is a very playable card at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. We have selected four races, all of them stakes, as worthy of our sporting and pari-mutuel attention; we expect fast dirt and firm turf in all of them, so let’s go.

Fair Grounds, Race 9, 5:00 pm ET
$100,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

Older turf females, nine of them, line up for the Krantz. The pick is 1-Lovely Princess, who comes off a sharp win, at Fair Grounds and at this distance, on December 23. She breaks from the rail, and that should allow her to get a good trip from both a trip and pace standpoint: look for her to be saving ground in the middle of the pack early, and rolling late. We will bet her to win at 3-1. The bet: Fair Grounds, race 9, $40 to win on 1-Lovely Princess.

Fair Grounds, Race 10, 5:30 pm ET
$150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes, 1 mile 70 Yards, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies

An octet of lightly raced 3-year-old fillies lines up for the Silverbulletday. Speed figures point in the direction of 6-West Omaha, who has just one win in three career starts, but whose last start, a runner-up finish in a minor stakes at the Fair Grounds a month ago, was better than it looks on paper, as she chased a filly who won the race in gate-to-wire fashion while setting very soft early fractions. With more pace to run at, which we think West Omaha will get today, we think she will prevail. She’s 2-1 on the morning line; we will bet her to win. The bet: Fair Grounds, Race 10, $40 to win on 6-West Omaha.

Fair Grounds, Race 11, 6:00 pm ET
$100,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, 4 & Up

The E.R. Bradley is for older turf runners, and the 2024 edition drew a field of nine. We like a closer, 6-Who Took the Money, who made up a ton of ground in his last start, when he was last early, and rallied to finish second, just a length behind the winner. That he did this despite a slow early pace that played against his late-running style is very much to his credit, and we are consequently very enthusiastic about his chances today, as the early fractions should be much more honest, which will set up his late charge quite nicely. He might be last early, but we think Who Took the Money will be first where it matters; we will bet him to win at 8-1. The bet: Fair Grounds, Race 11, $40 to win on 6-Who Took the Money.

Fair Grounds, Race 12, 6:30 pm ET
Grade 3 Louisiana Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 4 & Up

A very good field of seven lines up for the Louisiana Stakes. We like – no, make that love – 2-Smile Happy, who we think is going to run huge today, partly because he faces a much lesser group than he did in his last, when he ran fifth in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster at Ellis Park last July, and partly because we think he will get a dream trip here, sitting just behind what should be very swift early fractions, with jockey Brian Hernandez biding his time until the pacesetters begin to shorten stride. This is a 4-year-old horse who can be quite good under the right conditions, and the stars seem aligned for Smile Happy to be in top form today. We will bet him to win at 9/5 odds. The bet: Fair Grounds, Race 12, $50 to win on 2-Smile Happy.

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

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