Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the holiday brings with it special Monday racing programs at tracks all around the United States. One such card comes at Fair Grounds, and I’ll take a closer look at the seventh race of the day.
It’s a maiden special weight event for 3-year-olds going a mile and a sixteenth. The event drew a field of seven, and it’s led by a favorite that hits me as extremely beatable. Let’s take a look!
A Weak Chalk?
#2 WILD UNION has four seconds and a third from six career starts, and he’s 9/5 on the morning line. I understand why, especially given the presence of trainer Brad Cox and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan.
However, I have my doubts about him in this race. He’s had a lot of chances so far in his career, and some horses simply turn into “pack animals” after a while. At his likely price, I cannot endorse him. Thankfully, there’s another in here I happen to like a fair bit…
The 9/2 Top Pick
#5 MR. BIG NEWS has improved with every start to this point in his career. The son of Giant’s Causeway was most recently second at this level and route last month, and that finish came despite a less-than-ideal start where he broke last.
With a smoother start, I think Mr. Big News could be tough in here. His last-out Beyer Speed Figure of 71 is the second-best such number in the field, just one point off of Wild Union’s mark of 72. Unlike the probable favorite, Mr. Big News may still be improving, which to me makes him an overlay at his likely price.
A Second-Time Starter
#7 FIRST CITIZEN hits me as one to consider in the exotics. He was one-paced in his debut going short in the mud last month, and that doesn’t hit me as his preferred trip. He’s by Proud Citizen and out of a Langfuhr mare, which indicates that two turns should be right up his alley.
I don’t think there’s enough here to recommend First Citizen on top, especially since I’m not sure what he ran against in his unveiling. However, given that he’s got a start under his belt and gets what seems like his preferred set-up, he has to be on my tickets.
How I’ll Play It
I’m relying on Mr. Big News to bring home a big score. I’ll be keying him on top of exactas with Wild Union and First Citizen underneath, and I’ll have some win and place money going in that direction as well.
2 units: Exacta key, 5 w/2,7
2 units: Win/place, 5