The Muniz Memorial Handicap- Grade II
FG Race 11 1 1/8M Turf
Purse $300.000 for
Four Year Olds and Upward
While the 3 year olds will dominate the headlines at the FG this weekend we do have a number of other stakes races including this Grade 2 event for older turf horses. This looks to be a very competitive event so let’s take a look at each contestant and come up with a prediction.
1 Bubba Kush, trained by Threshold
Acquired for the bargain basement price of $10 back in July he will be making only his 5th start for his new connections who have been very patient with him. Seemed to respond very well to the addition of Bute in his last race where he dominated an optional claimer at Gulfstream. Works are a tad slower than some of the rest and does not have has much graded stakes experience but with a good draw cannot be counted out.
2 The Joker, trained by Maxmillion Farm
Has changed hands a couple of times over the last year first being claimed for $28 and then quickly flipped to his current owner for $70 after one race. Has only made 9 career starts the best of which was his last outing where he tried to wire the field in the Grade 1 GP Handicap and was caught late to finish 2nd. Seems to be working very well, the trainer specializes in these turf routes and his jockey is winning at 31% on turf so figures to have a big chance.
3 Truthbetold, trained by Joseph Racing
Purchased for $75 in the June auction this gelding has been a steady performer for his new owner. Has not been able to break through for a stakes win but has a couple of solid efforts in Grade 3’s. Seems to do his best running at shorter distances so a victory here would be a surprise although not totally out of the question.
4 Spanish Showboat, trained by Mb Stables
The wily old veteran of the field as this 8 year old gelding has earned almost $3700 which is 3x the rest of the field combined. That being said he has shown no signs of slowing down having won the Grade 1 Manhattan and more recently dominating an open allowance at Santa Anita. His works are still very fast and he has a very good turf jock so if he can overcome the slight disadvantage in weight he will be very tough.
5 Limato, Chili King Stables
Purchased for $250 back in July this gelding has struggled to provide a return on that investment. Did win an overnight stake in November but that is his only in the money finish in 6 tries for his new owner. Tends to drop pretty far out of it and leave himself too much to do so will be hoping for a quick pace today which I am not sure he will get. I think a minor check is his best outcome.
6 Cherokee Charlie, trained by Team 7 Illusions
Bought back by his original breeder for $17.50 last July and has been running competitively at higher levels ever since. His last outing was a nice third right here at the Fairgrounds in the FG Handicap where he just missed against Maggies Bones. Gets a three pound weight shift in his favor against that one so with a similar run could be the one to beat.
7 Maggies Bones, trained by End Run Farm
Super consistent colt has finished in the money on 11 of 13 tries. His last two races have seen a change in tactics as he has raced on the lead and was able to wire the field in the FG Handicap last out. As mentioned previously he is on the short end of a 3 pound weight shift so repeating that performance from the wide post may prove challenging. I imagine he will be in front as long as he can hang out but think he gets caught today.
Looks to me like Maggie Bones will get sent to the front from his outside post and try to wire the field again. With the additional weight and some speed inside of him I do not think he will be able to take them all the way this time. I look for Cherokee Charlie to turn the tables and get up just ahead of Spanish Showboat with Bubba Kush and Maggies Bones close behind.