Will The “Sun” Rise in ALB Handicap?


 6   ALB      ALB Handicap

 $200.000    3yo&Up    1  1/8m    Dirt          Hcp Weights (118-121)

We head out to New Mexico for some Hatch Chilies and a field of seven for the ALB Handicap, to be run at the classic mile and an eighth distance here in Albuquerque.  I just can’t get past Range Of The Sun here today… he changed hands prior to that runner-up effort in the Dominion Day (GIII) at WO, and had been right in the thick of things in a few other races including the SA Hcp (GI) and the Tokyo City Cup (GIII).  Any of those three races should land him in the winner’s circle today.  I’ll put Dastardly Havoc in the second spot off of his last few.  Rare are the times that I’d put a pair of horses on top when neither have won this season, but this isn’t nearly as tough as their recent starts, and this one was the runner up in the PRM Cornhusker (GIII) where he ran a very solid race.  Let’s use these two in a boxed exacta and see if we can make a couple of bucks.

Here’s The Field –

   Salar de Uyuni    Mb Stables    Juarez A J Jr   118   8/1 

He’s been sprinting on the turf so Mb moves him to the main track and sends him two turns today, trying to wake him back up.  Seven wins from eighteens starts and two wins this season, but his last pair have been tiring efforts where he finished fourth and sixth.  Does he come back around?

   Niagara Chief    Spankys Barn    Medellin A   118   10/1

Moved barns via hostile takeover at the $22.500 level and went right into the deep end of the pool running sixth in the PRM Cornhusker (GIII) in the first start for the new barn.  This appears to be a bit softer than that, but I think he will need his best to get a check today. 

   Dastardly Havoc    Maxmillion Farm    Vergara D P   119   4/1

Solid effort in the PRM Cornhusker (GIII) where he was the runner up.  Now he is still looking for his first win of the ’20 season, and only had a single win last season but it was in the OP Hcp (GII) beating a very nice lineup.  When he’s at his best, he can beat just about any of them so let’s see what we get today.

   Dustu    Team 7 Illusions    Coates J R   119   6/1 

I really don’t know which way to go with him…  he was fourth in the Clark Hcp (GI) back in Nov but couldn’t get the job done vs. WV-bred Alw horses last out.  Now that’s not a bad finish, but I would think he would mop the floors with them.  His best puts him in it, his worst… I don’t know. 

   Range Of The Sun    John Henry    Negron L   121   3/1

Changed hands in June via private purchase and ran second in the Dominion Day Stakes (GIII) at WO.   He’s been on the board in all of his ’20 starts including a runner-up effort in the SA Hcp (GI).  Any of his past three races should get it done here today.

   Shot Blocker    Bigking    Hebert T J   119   10/1

Three wins in a row and he looks like a bargain claim at the $7.000 level back in Dec.  His other two ’20 starts landed him on the board as well… now all of those were against much softer that what he sees today, but sometimes winning can be contagious. 

   High Plains Drifter    Winning Link Stables    Reyes F   118   12/1

Claimed for $20.000 prior to his most recent start, but this is a real acid test for this one.  His only stakes start was a fifth place finish in the Old Man in Feb… so this is tough placing.  He did show some life in that main track start at PRX vs tagged horses, but again, this is a tough field. 

Categories: NG Stakes, STAKES ARTICLES

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