By Rick Francis —-
The 93rd running of the Thanksgiving Handicap headlines the traditional opening of the 146th Fair Grounds meet; let’s take a look at the starting field.
Race 9), Thanksgiving Handicap 3YO & UP 6 Furlongs Post Time 3:05 CST
Charming Deputy (1), Haran/Murrill; 4-year-old has been on the shelf since early August following four straight off the board efforts; has yet to show he fits at this level.
Chublicious (2), Faucheux/Valdivia; 6-year-old is always tough at the distance, winning 9-of-17 attempts highlighted last out when besting three rivals in the Grade 3 DeFrancis at Laurel.
Mesoma (3), Hawley/Torres; has finished one across the board since moving to the Hawley barn back in July; exits a clear win over pricey Churchill OC’s; bullet work here on the 16th.
Yockey’s Warrior (4), Stall/Mena; 5-year-old out of Warrior’s Reward loves the Fair Grounds, winning 2-of-3 starts along with a show finish. One of those victories came in the 2016 Thanksgiving edition; will be forwardly placed once again and the one they’ll have to catch.
The Truth Or Else (5), McPeek/Gilligan; 5-year-old returns stateside after finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Korean Sprint; stakes veteran should love this pace to run at.
Wyeth (6), Sharp/Bravo; Candy Ride 4-year-old makes his debut in the Sharp barn, a 22 percent training angle, and does so with first time blinkers; new to the Fair Grounds jockey colony, “Jersey” Joe Bravo gets the call.
Blue Wings (7), Sharp/Beschizza; 4-year-old also makes his first start in the Sharp stable, and is a newly minted gelding. Son of Giant’s Causeway has been facing tough company at both Keeneland and Churchill.
Selections: 4, 2, 6, 3