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Homeracing

Fair Grounds Pick of the Week for February 24

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

February 22nd, 2019

Sunday's eighth race at Fair Grounds, an about one-mile turf maiden for three-year-olds, features the return to action of #5 EXCHEQUER (6-1) following a five-month absence. The Steve Asmussen-trained gray was thought precocious enough to debut at Saratoga last August, but retreated in the stretch after showing speed. His follow-up in a one-mile, main track test at Churchill Downs was better as he held his speed longer, though he weakened to sixth in the final furlong. That early bit of seasoning is a good if not great foundation to bring into this competitive heat. The lone Triple Crown nominee in the main body of the field, he's by 12% first-turf stallion Exchange Rate, a versatile sire with such notable turf progeny as French champion juvenile Reckless Abandon and Grade 1 turf winners Victory to Victory and Ball Dancing. Exchequer's dam, the stakes-winning Fools in Love, is a half-sister to Louisiana Derby (G2) winner International Star. More significantly, she previously reared Seahenge, who won the Champagne (G2) at Doncaster and placed in the Dewhurst (G1) in England at age two. Exchequer's recent worktab has been punctuated by a bullet five-furlong breeze on Feb,. 12 and a maintenance half-mile on Tuesday. Though this stable's runners can be overbet, there are others in here that will attract play and Exchequer could offer a square price.   Fair Grounds (c) Holly M. Smith Photography 2019

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