Get Your Pin Ready for Ack Ack Handicap

Ack Ack Handicap – Grade III
CD Race #7 1m Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $300.000 For Three Year Olds And Upward.

This race never seems to draw a stacked field so is often an opportunity for a non BC contender to pick up a very nice purse and that is very much the feel of this years race. A good spread of weights see’s the usual with horses trying to beat the handicapper and coming from different disciplines and others that are more used to a dirt mile but generally carrying more weight. Here is how they line up as we try and sort the sprinters from the routers.

1        Brilliant Kruz        Nakamura Stables      Murphy Ci      118 —

One of two entries from the stable and the usual form lines to get in with bottom weight, not bad ones though, like you might expect, but the formula that is often used in these races of a horse that has performed on a different surface or a different distance. Both this four year olds wins have been on turf and he has run mostly in sprints but that is the price you pat to get bottom weight in a dirt route. So how does his form equate to this trip and surface, well, in my view he may just be the winner. The key here is not the form but the 1.10 and 1 six furlong dirt work he laid down just a few days ago and it is that sort of work out of practically nowhere that often leads to long odds and surprising wins.

2    Mad King          Mb Stables        Juarez N             121 —

This one gets top weight because he is the best dirt router in the field but that doesn’t always mean they are the best horse, however in this case with the perfect draw and only three pounds more than the light weight he just may win. His win in the MTH Cup was very very good especially as he came from such a rotten draw and his run last time out in the grade one Pacific Classic was better than his finishing position suggested. This is clearly the best dirt router in the field and 3Lb’s should not stop him but this game has a tendency to throw up outsiders now and again and i suspect he isn’t the clear cut winner he looks on paper.

3    Hollywood Eclipse     Nakamura Stables    Franco M       118 —

Well i don’t know how they did it but the second runner from the stable is also putting down grade one winning work times without being anywhere near that good a horse, at least yet. The six year old has won six races from thirty seven starts for just $190 but he put in a 1.36 flat mile work and a 1.10 and 1 six furlong work, times that a BC Classic runner would be happy with. So how the heck do we place him here? Well on the work times with bottom weight and a win over the mile you would have to say a major chance, one look at his form in 37 starts though would put you right off. I guess we will only know when they cross the line just how he will go.

4      Local Dude         D J C Racing Stables        Sanchez M J       119 —

A solid sort who also has some good work times but is lacking on the results front, it seems to be a common theme in this race. He has won four dirt routes which is a definite advantage and won a decent open Allowance at MTH last time beating the grade one Haskell winner so he has to go in the mix with a winning chance.

5      When Your Strange      Maxmillion Farm      Cohen D      118 —

This one is a pretty solid sprinter who has won five from twenty one for $317. The trainer has used the hack of putting a sprinter in a route handicap to get the bottom weight but i have a feeling that this may be a bit more than a sprinter. There aren’t many sub 1.36 works on the dirt and this one did just that a week or so ago so despite his form i think he may just be here to change things up. Another winning chance.

6       Salar de Uyuni         Mb Stables       Bejarano R          118 —

The other hack to get a horse in these handicaps with bottom weight is not only to change distance or surface but to wait till the appropriate form drops off the record. This one is a stakes winner in a dirt route three times no less but gets in here with bottom weight, head scratching, but you have to know the conditions to really do well at this game. Despite those route wins he has been campaigned in sprints recently which has dropped his rating. So what about him back to the mile? Well he put in a 1.36 and 1 mile work so clearly isn’t far off his best and whilst the outside draw is a worry with two runners in the field the trainer can work that out. The sixth winning chance ina six runner race.


Well if you just looked at the works for this race you may think you were looking at a BC Classic field but of course when you look at the form it tells a different story. Six runners here within a length on work times so it will comes down to form and desire, with a bit of weight and draw thrown in. I will be honest i have no idea which of these will win, the head says an Mb runner but i think at the end of the day if you just went for the longest odds you have as good a chance as any.

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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