Saturday, April 14, 2012

Weekend Handicapping: Tackleberry in the Charles Town Classic

It's not often we get a big race out of Charles Town. So today with a $1,000,000 on the line we will take a look at the 12th Race, the 4th running of the Charles Town Classic (G2).  There is a field of 13 as of this writing and they will be going a mile and an eighth over the dirt course. What makes this race interesting is that all are shipping in, in fact, I think only three of them have ever raced at Charles Town and none more than once.  So we can toss out the horse for course angle, and with this big of a field we have to find the one's that can get out in front to avoid trouble.  I will make a note here that #7 Duke of Mischief ML 10/1, returns to defend his crown, winning this race last year over a sloppy track.  He won't be in my mix but wanted to reference his being in here.  So here we go ...


#2 Tackleberry ML 3/1

Had an outstanding 4YO campaign winning three of six including two G2 events at Gulfstream Park.  Finished fourth in the Classic last year and then with a weak performance in the Metropolitan, reflects a diminishing form cycle.  He started the 2012 season in a G2 event with a place finish and a 98 Beyer.  Since then he has had three nice workouts including a bullet on April 7th.  All indications are that he is back in form and ready to start another roll of victories.  It also looks like the change to Maragh helped and today he gets a weight break, so that can't hurt. He likes to get out in front early, and could easily go wire to wire against this group.

#10 Uh Oh Bango ML 4/1

Shipping in from Santa Anita were he won the San Pasquale (G2) in January. Since then has has respectable results in the San Antonio and Santa Anita Handicap (place and show).  He has beaten some of these in the past and appears to handle change of surfaces well.  His Beyer's show that he is consistent but does struggle at this distance,this will be his fourth try at a mile and an eighth.  His best racing has comes when he goes forward and believe today he will.  The interesting factor is that Kory Owens puts Gryder back on, he has been the one jockey that does get him out to the front.

#4 Pants On Fire ML 6/1

After a nice win to start his 4YO campaign, he got tangled up in the New Orleans Handicap.  We know he can win at this distance taking the Louisiana Derby, and has the tactical style to race with the front runners.  The key here for me is that Kelly Breen is bringing him back so fast, only on 13 days rest.  His connections must feel he came out of that last race in excellent condition, and Rosie Napravinik stays in the irons.  He will need a big bounce today.

Dark Horse:

#6 Caixa Eletronica ML 8/1

He has tried this distance once, winning a handicap race back in August of last year.  He started off this season with two good performances at Aqueduct sprinting before hitting a dud at Laurel in late February.  Not sure if Pletcher had been prepping him for this race, but he puts him for a reason.  We know Pletcher does well with the sprint to route angle and today brings in Castellano to ride.  I'm not worried about his form, I will toss out the Laurel effort and see him bounce off of that.  If he can stay away from trouble he will be there at the end.

Bombs Away:

#9 Redding Colliery ML 10/1

This 6YO had an outstanding 4YO season capped off by winning the Hawthorne Gold Cup (G2).  The in 2011 had only one race that showed nothing, now this season he has had two races at Aqueduct, winning a minor stakes race off the bench.  We know this horse has the speed, finished third in this race two years ago and has won at this distance before.  The angle here is that Kiaran McLaughlin hits 34% on 2nd off a layoff and that last outing was a prep for this one.  Might be asking a lot of him, but if he finds any of the past in his heart he will beat this crowd.


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