I am filling in this weekend for the usual in-house handicapper at Turf Paradise, Howard Hong, who is participating the National Handicapping Championship at Red Rocks (Howard is placed 143rd and Trey Stiles is 160th after Friday). So, since the Sunshine Millions didn't rouse my interest and nothing else really stood out, I am playing a home game and handicapping the $25,000 Mesa Handicap at Turf Paradise on Saturday afternoon.
I will say this about the Mesa Handicap, I think anyone of eight of the field of nine can win, so I will try a minor price pick with 6-1 shot, #7 Beacon Falls. She has been riding a recent wave of success with two wins and two seconds in five starts during the current meet, all with Adolfo Morales aboard. Trainer Sandi Gann has been winning at a 27% clip this season and she has a strong workout on January 13, 5F in 1:02.2. For second, I will go with the leading trainer at Turf Paradise so far in Mike Chambers, who trains #1 Puff Maddie. She will probably be the favorite and in a race as wide-open as this, I had to try and beat her. She has won three of her last four and had two bullet workouts in the span of twelve days earlier this month. #6 Littlemiss Allison comes next for me. She has been off since December 5, when she ran 4th in the $50,000 City Of Phoenix Stakes at Turf Paradise. Prior to that, she had been a stakes winner at Northlands Park in Edmonton. Stephan Heiler, a very fine rider this season at Turf, gets the riding assignment. Finally, I will round out the top four with #3 Profitability. She ran a distant second in that City Of Phoenix Stakes at 59-1. You won't see a repeat of that price today. Two of her lifetime victories have come over the dirt at Turf Paradise. Here is the play for the $25,000 Mesa Handicap:
$5 WP #7 and $1 EX BOX 1-2-3-6-7
Remember, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. We also hope that Howard Hong and Trey Stiles make some big runs up the leader board at Red Rocks on Saturday. Good luck, guys. Tune in next week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!