Thanksgiving could be Chublicious

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November 22nd, 2017

Thursday is a day for giving thanks, and for the six-furlong Thanksgiving Handicap Stakes at Fair Grounds. So which runner can give you extra reason to be thankful courtesy of a wise investment?

On a day where tasty food is part of the celebration, the omen bet in the seven-horse field is probably Chublicious. Fortunately, the horse’s form suggests he’s more than just one to take for the name.

The 6-year-old New Jersey-bred has been a consistent runner for the past two seasons. Most of his successes have been ungraded stakes – he’s won four at this level, including the John J. Reilly Handicap twice, the Mr. Prospector Stakes, and the New Jersey Breeders’ Handicap, all at Monmouth Park.

However, he has just scored his biggest success, the Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash (G3) at Laurel Park, beating home the good quality sprinters Blu Moon Ace, Whitmore, and Awesome Banner. If he can repeat this form in New Orleans, he’ll be very tough to beat.

Last year’s winner of this race, Yockey’s Warrior, is back for another go. He’s only raced three times since then, but he won an allowance race at Keeneland in October in what was his first race for six months and he should run well again.

If he starts and is close to his best, The Truth Or Else has some claims. He’s had a busy season which included a trip to Korea, where he finished fourth in the Keeneland Korea Sprint Sept. 10. He won the Sir Shackleton Stakes at Gulfstream Park earlier this year and finished third to Limousine Liberal in the Aristides Stakes (G3), form which would go well here. However, given that he last raced on Nov. 18, finishing fourth in the Bet on Sunshine Stakes at Churchill Downs, there has to be a strong chance he won’t back up in this five days later.

Mesoma tackles stakes company for the first time since January 2016. He has raced mainly in allowance races this year and heads into this race after winning a Churchill Downs allowance Sept. 24.

Wyeth has run some useful races this year, including a third-place finish in the Hanshin Cup Stakes (G3) at Arlington, and he should be considered for exotics. Blue Wings, who’s raced just twice this year for two fifth-place finishes, and the out-of-form Charming Deputy complete the field.

Chublicious and Yockey’s Warrior look the best chances on paper, but don’t discount Mesoma after some good recent form.