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Homeracing

Fair Grounds Pick of the Week for January 26

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

January 23rd, 2019

Saturday's feature at Fair Grounds is Race 5, a $44,000 third-level allowance for older horses on the turf with an $80,000 claiming option. Returning from a layoff approaching 11 months will be no easy task for #8 HIGH NOON RIDER (4-1), but he appears to be coming into the about 1 1/16-mile event well meant. One of two Brad Cox trainees in the field, High Noon Rider proved a worthwhile claim for $50,000 at Saratoga in the summer of 2017. Right off the bat, the former stakes winner won a lucrative allowance/optional claimer at Kentucky Downs, earning a first-place check for $87,000. The son of Distorted Humor made five starts at the 2018-19 meet at Fair Grounds, with one win in a spot similar to this and also second-place finish. His other three losses, all unplaced efforts, perhaps can be attributed in part to the information contained in the comment lines: "Blocked," "Bumped break," and "Jostled, steadied" suggest he didn't have great trips. Two of those races were the Buddy Diliberto Memorial and the Fair Grounds Handicap (G3), much tougher spots. Besides being a good fit for the level, High Noon Rider's recent works at Louisiana Downs have been encouraging, twice producing quicker times than Grade 3-winning stablemate #9 EZMOSH, who is also in Saturday's race. With a trouble-free trip, High Noon Rider looms a major factor in his comeback.

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