FG Handicap – Grade III
FG Race #11 1 1/8m Turf Graded Stake
Purse $150.000 For Four Year Olds And Upward.
1 Dan D Man, trained by Nakamura Stables
He recorded a 106 speed rating in only his second turf race winning an ungraded stakes by a half length…now that must be a HRP record! Prior to that and making his achievement all the more HRP like he had won a dirt optional claimer and two tiny races at the lowest level, with his only other turf effort being on debut where he was beaten 28 lengths. So what on earth do we make of his form? In my mind with just 118Lbs, a sub 1.35 work and that crazy speed rating he must be a very serious contender.
2 Bubba Kush, trained by Threshold
Another in and out sort who has a couple of pieces of form that would give him a chance and lot that doesnt. Bought for just $10 he ran well enough last year but never really looked like breaking through as a graded stakes class horse. His seasonal debut earned a 101 HRP rating but only a 97 SRF speed rating so it seems the opinions on this one really do differ on every level. A decent draw, a low weight and an improved win last out make him a bit of a dark horse in this race.
3 One Direction, trained by Estero Farms
Another that is putting in sub 1.35 works he too ran triple digit speed figures last time out when running third in the Fort Lauderdale. With bottom weight and that super run on seasonal debut he may be a step ahead of the handicapper here and i rather like him to be in it at the finish.
4 Cherokee Charlie, trained by Team 7 Illusions
Though he has run some good races in top company he still hasnt got his nose in front at this sort of level. A claiming winner last summer he was bought by Team 7 and got much better winning the English Channel and running a good third in the Bradley Handicap last time. He gets in here with bottom weight but this is a tough race and he would do well to cash a cheque.
5 The Land, trained by Wolf Ridge Stables
Won the Pennine Ridge as a three year old and the Baruch Handicap as a four year old so has plenty of form to recommend him. His seasonal debut was uninspiring but he did run from the outside in the Fort lauderdale so has excuses. When you look at his record and see him with one pound more than horses with much inferior form you have to give him a chance in a very open race.
6 Magi, trained by Nakamura Stables
A ten race winner, most of them have come at a lower grade but you have to respect his last two efforts in much better grade. His last start fifth in the Fort Lauderdale will have sharpened him up for this and the 1.34 and 1 work make him a very big hope off 118Lbs.
7 Compress, trained by Cherrytree Hill Farm
This fella needs no introduction with over $3,000.000 in purse winnings and 4 grade ones. He ran a cracker in the BC Mile last year off a horrible draw ending up third and flying at the finish. His seasonal debut came on dirt where he ran on to be sixth but back on his favoured surface today you must give him a winning chance even off top weight.
8 Maggies Bones, trained by End Run Farm
A nice enough sort he ran well in the Bradley Handicap last time when a close third after making the running but this is such a hot race it may not be good enough to see him in the first four.
9 Playmaker, trained by RNP Stables
Won the Bradley Handicap by a comfortable length but that was off a nice inside draw and today he has the other end of the spectrum. There’s no doubt he has a touch of class and always runs high speed figures so a top 4 finish is a distinct possibility.
Well this is a very tough handicap indeed with every runner having a chance of sorts. Compress would be the obvious choice, he has been a great horse for a while now and i dont see any slowing down, he will be very tough to beat. As for the others we have Magi running crazy fast work times and One Direction looking like a horse on the up and you cant rule out Dan D Man from the inside gate.