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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Weekend Handicapping: A Terrors Hammer nails the Lecomte at FG today

Our streak was finally broken last Sunday when Private Jet won his first time start in the US.  The racing gods got even with me, on Saturday I extol the virtues of a first time European starter in Mutual Trust and then on Sunday ignore Private Jet.  The truth is I don’t know much about South African horses or tracks and his results didn’t look nearly as good at Mutual Trust.  A lesson learned? Or that’s horse racing.  Today we move over to the Fair Grounds and will look at the 68th running of the Lecomte (G3).  It’s the 11 race on the card, for 3YO going a mile and 70 over dirt.  There are 11 entered for the purse of $175,000 and it’s a strong field of lightly raced three year olds.  This is race is difficult because there are so many nice horses to choose from and many are real close in record and Beyer’s.  Bottom line the tote dictates the play.  So here we go …

Contenders:

#8  Hammers Terror ML 6/1

He has won two in a row and the last being here at FG at this distance.  Beyer’s are solid and consistent.  There are two other factors I like, one being some key races of past opponents and really strong workouts.  I have done well with Stidham in the past and respect him greatly.  He has also shown he can get to the front and dig in.  With a large field getting up to the front is critical.

#4  Mr. Bowling ML 8/1

This colt has been off since October after holding onto 3rd in a G3 at Churchill.  He is another horse that has shown consistent speed, likes to run near the front and also has key races from past competitors.  Larry Jones does well in Graded Stakes events and I like that he has Albarado on board. 

#5  Exfactor  ML 5/1

Here is the pure speed in the group with Beyer’s in the low 80’s.  He won the Surgar Bowl ($58K) here in December and can jump to the front and not look back.  Has three wins in a row coming into the race and has won a G3 event.  The only reason he is not on top is this is his first route.  I don’t see anything in his breeding or training that would prevent him to go this distance, but with his front end tendencies he could get burned up.  I would like to see one first but with that speed hard to ignore.  If the price is right would be real tempted.

Dark Horses:

Not trying to be funny but I could say honestly the rest of the field.  There is a case to be made for #2, #2b, #6, #1a, #10, #11.  Of all of them I would lean to the #11 Shared Property ML 4/1.  Toss out the last and you a real strong 2YO winning the Arlington Washington G3.  He likes go come off the back end and has shown can handle traffic and all.  Here is another if the price is right, would be hard to pass up.


Bomb’s Away:

#3  Ted’s Folly  ML 10/1

Hard to pass up on one with a winning streak of six!  Good consistent speed to run with this group, shown that he can route, and is stretching out a bit today.  The glaring concern is class and running style.  He likes to lay off and close, but this time he isn’t in Oklahoma.  He is interesting and could be real surprise; Medina stays with him which I find interesting.

Selections:
8 – 4 – 5


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