Garrity's Friday Dad's Hat Happy Hour Picks: Aqueduct, Santa Anita, Tampa Bay Downs, Gulfstream, Fair Grounds

First post 4:16 pm ET. Last post 4:45 pm. Let it Rye-d.
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It’s a dreary winter day, but that is as good a time as any for another installment of Dad’s Hat Happy Hour Handicapping, our Friday feature in which we play a number of races in a short window of time. Today it’s five races in about a half hour’s time; we expect fast dirt and firm turf, except as noted below, so let’s go.

Aqueduct, Race 9, 4:16 pm ET

$30,000 Maiden Claiming, 1 mile, Dirt, New York-breds 4 & Up

This maiden claimer is the nightcap at the Big A, where it will be a rainy day, and the track will be a sloppy mess. We’re going with a straight-down-the-line speed-in-the-slop play, in the form of 1-Runandscore, who has a good wet-track pedigree, and who has run well on tracks labeled good and muddy, but has yet to encounter a truly sloppy track. We think he will like it: we see Runandscore going right to the lead from his rail post, and staying there all the way around the track. We will bet him to win at 10-1. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 9, $40 to win on 1-Runandscore.

Santa Anita Park, Race 3, 4:32 pm ET

$20,000 Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 4 & Up

An octet of older claimers goes in this sprint in California. It’s the kind of group that practically begs a punter to take a horse at a price, and we are doing just that with 8-Tangledupingrey, a California-bred 4-year-old gelding who has speed and a tactically advantageous outside post position, and seems to be rounding into form. His last start was a dud, but it was on grass, a surface he’s never liked, and we think he should run well returning to conventional dirt. We will bet him to win at 15-1. The bet: Santa Anita, Race 3, $40 to win on 8-Tangledupingrey.

Tampa Bay Downs, Race 9, 4:35 pm ET
$16,000 Claiming, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

A full field of ten older turf females go in the nightcap in Tampa. We are not overly impressed with those who have been running locally of late, so the pick is 6-Amplio Esquema, who was last seen running at Laurel Park in the fall. We think she will be better for the time off, and with fresh legs, she should handle this group. We will bet her to win at 4-1. The bet: Tampa Bay Downs, Race 9, $40 to win on 6-Amplio Esquema.

Gulfstream Park, Race 10, 4:38 pm ET

Allowance, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Florida-bred 3-Year-Olds

This first-level allowance Florida-bred 3-year-olds drew a field of ten. We’re all in on 2-Roar Ready, who comes off a razor-sharp maiden win on November 11. He probably will not have the early lead, but we think he will have the lead at the finish line, probably by a significant margin. We will bet him to win at 2-1 odds. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 10, $50 to win on 2-Roar Ready.

Fair Grounds, Race 7, 4:45 pm ET

Allowance/Optional Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Louisiana-bred Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

The forecast looks wet today at the Fair Grounds, and we are expecting an off track for this dirt sprint for state-breds, which drew seven entrants. We like 4-Beleout, who has been running, and doing fairly well, in state-bred stakes races. She looks to be controlling speed, which is nice; what is even nicer is that her pedigree suggests she will take to the slop like a duck takes to water. We see Beleout running away on the front end, and will bet her to win at 3-1. The bet: Fair Grounds, Race 7, $40 to win on 4-Beleout.

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

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