Fair Grounds: Hanson's Spot Plays for Thanksgiving Day Nov. 25
Thanksgiving Day is the traditional lid-lifter for the Thoroughbred racing season in New Orleans, and Fair Grounds kicks off their 2021-22 meet in fine style Thursday with a nine-race card.
Turf racing aficionados should like several of the offerings on the holiday program, and the two below look like potential contenders at nice odds.
Race 6 -- Allowance (3:40 p.m. ET)
This second-level allowance with a $40,000 claiming option, at about nine furlongs, lacks a standout. It serves as a comeback race for #9 BEACHCOMBING (12-1), who was claimed for $30,000 here in January and proceeded to win a pair of allowances in comfortable style for trainer Shane Wilson.
Beachcombing disappointed as the favorite in the John Henry S. at Evangeline Downs when last seen in early July. Although the drop to a $40,000 tag off a near five-month layoff might seem negative, it's still above the price they haltered him for and looks a proper spot. He's been working fast all fall, is versatile in running style, and is 3-for-3 over the Stall-Wilson turf course.
Race 8 -- Joseph R. Peluso Memorial (4:44 p.m. ET)
Although she's started only five times since her importation from England more than a year ago, #10 ISLAND HIDEAWAY (10-1) hasn't run a bad one yet stateside. The four-year-old has a pair of allowance wins to her credit, and she's run credibly in both stakes appearances.
She figures to be much fitter than when she last ran over this course, in the Pago Hop S. last December. Entering that race off a four-month break, she endured a rough trip but still only lost by 1 1/2 lengths.
Her next race wasn't until the Sept. 26 Ricks Memorial at Remington Park, and she ran well there, too, losing by less than a length despite having not run in nine months. The fact she's turning in her third race in succession for the first time in awhile is also a positive sign.