OTB Race Previews
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Las Vegas, NV - Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York will be the scene of the Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap this Thanksgiving Thursday, November 28. A nice purse of $300,000 will be on the line for horses three years old and upward willing to sprint six furlongs on Aqueduct's dirt track.
A field of eight will line up in the Fall Highweight - race 8 on Aqueduct's holiday Thursday card. Post time is 2:42 PM. Here is a brief glance into the past performances of all eight entries for this Grade 3 stakes.
Strapping Groom - raced in graded stakes company for the first time in July and finished fifth in the Grade 3 James Marvin here but followed that with a good win in the minor Kid Russell Stakes August 12 and his best ever result - a win in the Grade 1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga August 31 at 15-1 odds. Last time out was a somewhat disappointing fourth in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler at Belmont Park October 26 after a third in the Grade 1 Vosburgh September 28. Before the James Marvin he won three times and finished second twice in his five previous starts including a nice 3 1/2 length win in the 6 1/2 furlong minor Lion Cavern Stakes with a 104 Beyer Speed Figure at Belmont Park June 26. Strapping Groom has eight wins, five seconds and two third place finishes in 24 career starts and enters as the tepid 5-2 favorite on the morning line. Junior Alvarado gets the mount from post 6.
Sage Valley - Rudy Rodriguez trained colt had a string of three straight wins to end his 2012 campaign - the biggest being the minor Mr. Nasty Stakes by 6 3/4 lengths at Aqueduct in November. After nearly six months away he returned May 18 to stretch his win streak to four in the Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Handicap by 2 1/4 lengths at Pimlico. He won the Grade 3 James Marvin here after an uncharacteristic fifth in the Grade 2 True North Handicap at Belmont Park June 8 and has struggled in his last two starts overall - a fifth in the Grade 1 Forego August 31 and a seventh last time out in the minor Frank J. Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park September 21. He has 12 career starts with six wins and three third place finishes and goes off at 3-1 odds. Joel Rosario will be in the saddle from the outside post.
Caixa Electronica - defending champion in this race and Todd Pletcher trained Caixa Electronica had a two race win streak against lesser competition early in the summer - Starter Optional Claiming races at Saratoga July 27 and at Belmont Park June 28 and went on to a fifth in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt August 4. He has gone on to place in two straight since - a second in a Starter Optional Claiming August 30 and a win last time out in the minor Duck Dance Stakes at Belmont Park October 6. Also this year he had a sixth in the Grade 2 True North Handicap June 8 and a fifth in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic in April. Caixa Electronica has four wins and a second in eight starts this year but has been difficult to figure out. He is 7-2 on the morning line and will have Javier Castellano aboard from post 2.
The Lumber Guy - previously impressive Lumber Guy has 12 career starts with four wins including last year's Vosburgh September 29, the Grade 2 Jerome Stakes on April 21, 2012, last year's Miracle Wood Stakes on February 25 and a Maiden Special Weight race in January 2012. He was a close second to Trinniberg in last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint but hasn't been the same since - a pair of sevenths in graded stakes immediately followed the Breeders' Cup - then a six month layoff. He returned August 23 to a second in the minor Chowder's First Stakes at Saratoga and followed that with a seventh in the Grade 1 Vosburgh. Last time out was another disappointment - an eleventh in the Breeders' Cup Sprint November 2. The Lumber guy is 4-1 on the morning line and lines up in post 7. He is a coupled entry along with...
B Shanny - Michael Hushion trained gelding makes his graded stakes debut Thursday having placed in six of seven starts this week - three wins, a second and two third place finishes. He is coming off a third place finish in the minor Hudson Handicap at Belmont Park October 19 behind Palace after a win in the minor Leon Reed Memorial at Finger Lakes August 17. B Shanny has five wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in 13 career starts but takes an enormous step up in competition Thursday.
Fall Highweight Handicap betting at Aqueduct with OffTrackBetting.com
Palace - Linda Rice trained colt enter having recorded three wins and two seconds in six starts in 2013. He has won two straight and three of his last four - the minor Hudson Handicap last time out October 19 and the Chowder's First Stakes before that at Saratoga August 23. He has placed in nine of his last 10 starts including seven wins and looks ready for his graded stakes debut Thursday. Palace is an intriguing 5-1 on the morning line and leaves from post 4.
Saturday's Charm - Steve Asmussen trained colt is coming off a good third as the longest shot in the field in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler at Belmont Park October 26. He made his graded stakes debut in March and finished an impressive second in the Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap behind Comma to the Top March 2 after three wins, a second and including a second two back in the minor Frank J De Francis Memorial at Laurel Park September 21. He has hit the board in five of six career graded stakes starts and appears to raise his game on the biggest stages. Saturday's Charm is 10-1 on the morning line and starts from the rail.
Jake N Elwood - races in graded stakes company for the first time Thursday but enters having failed to place in his last three starts overall - a sixth last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Laurel Park November 1, a fifth in the minor New Castle Stakes at Delaware Park September 14 and an eight in the minor Banjo Picker Sprint at Parx September 7. Before that was a two race win streak - both Allowance Optional Claiming scores with the last one coming on this track July 26. He has 14 career starts with five wins and three second place finishes. Jake N Elwood is the longest shot in the field at 30-1 and will have Luis Saez in the saddle.
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