How to Bet the Lone Star Park Handicap

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

May 23rd, 2018

Granted, the field that has assembled for Sunday’s $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III) at Lone Star Park isn’t very large. Just five horses have been entered, and one of them—#2 Full of Luck—may scratch from the race.

But even if just four horses face the starter, the race has plenty of quality thanks to the presence of #1 Mubtaahij and #4 Fear the Cowboy, who will be the two clear favorites after competing admirably against significantly tougher competition.

Mubtaahij needs to introduction, as he’s been racing at the highest levels of the sport since 2015, when he won the UAE Derby (UAE-II) in decisive fashion and finished fourth in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) behind Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Since then, the son of Dubawi has traveled back and forth between the U.S. and Dubai, facing off against some of the best horses in the world while winning the 2017 Awesome Again Stakes (gr. I) and finishing second in the 2016 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) and 2018 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I).

Mubtaahij isn’t exactly a winning machine—in fact, he’s reached the winner’s circle just once in the last three years, a span of sixteen races—but the drop in class for the Lone Star Park Handicap could be just what he needs to win again. He enters Sunday’s race off a third-place finish in the Dubai World Cup two months ago, so we know he’s in good form, and it’s hard to take a stand against trainer and jockey , who have teamed up for extraordinary success over the last couple of years, winning at nearly a 40% rate in graded stakes races.

Likewise, Fear the Cowboy has proved his worth with third-place finishers in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) and Charles Town Classic (gr. II), as well as a fourth-place effort in the Pegasus World Cup (gr. I). However, the late-running son of Cowboy Cal doesn’t have much early speed, which could put him at a tactical disadvantage in this small field. As a result, the speedy #3 Shotgun Kowboy—who finished third and second in the last two renewals of the Lone Star Park Handicap—could have a big chance to set or stalk a slow pace and hold off Fear the Cowboy in the homestretch.

Assuming that Full of Luck scratches, we’ll likely have to play this race straight to have any chance at making a meaningful profit. Therefore, let’s key Mubtaahij on top of a trifecta with Shotgun Kowboy and Fear the Cowboy underneath:

$20 trifecta: 1 with 3 with 4

Good luck!