Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap Draws 9

Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap Draws 9

Category : News - Fri 19/02/2016 - 21:09 EST

The Grade 3, $125,000 Fair Grounds Handicap is one of four graded stakes races February 20 at Fair Grounds as a field of nine veteran turfers will travel a mile and an eighth in a contentious betting race.

Chocolate Ride is the 7/5 morning line favorite for trainer Brad Cox, and has repeatedly proven his affinity for the Fair Grounds green throughout his career, winning 5 of 6 starts there to go with a second place effort. The six year-old gelded son of Candy Ride has won 5 of his last 6 starts, including a last-out score in the Grade 3 Bradley Handicap January 16. The speedy runner has used his early speed to win in gate-to-wire fashion in many of his victories, but has occasionally shown the ability to win while sitting just off the pace. Regular pilot Florent Geroux will be in the irons with the pair set to break from post 6.

Roman Approval gets more ground

Roman Approval (4/1) has won 7 of 28 career starts, but has shown a marked tendency to settle for second, finishing on the bottom half of the exacta 13 times. Still, the Mike Maker trainee has been remarkably consistent and will receive a boost with turf-ace Javier Castellano taking the mount from post 3. Roman Approval has never attempted the mile and one eighth distance.

Longshot worth a look 

Same As (20/1) is sure to be a juicy price and could find himself in the hunt if able to make modest improvement. The lightly-raced Jeff Engler trainee has shown a steady, grinding style of running while facing much lesser competition at a mile and a sixteenth in this last two starts. 

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