A fantastic day of racing has been carded at Fair Grounds on Dec. 21. The Santa Super Saturday program offers 14 races, led by a six-pack of competitive stakes contests. I have found a handful of races of particular interest to me, all featuring two-year-olds, that I will key my wagers around.
Race 3 — Letellier Memorial S.
A talented cast of 2-year-old fillies will run six furlongs chasing stakes glory. The dash came up with a good cast, but #2 Taraz (2-1) looks formidable to me. The Juddmonte homebred was pummeled to 1-2 odds at Churchill Downs on debut and ran like it, drawing off like a budding star. Brad Cox trainee will be a Pick 4 single for me.
Race 5 — Maiden Special Weight
Juvenile males will vie in the about one-mile turf endeavor, and the field lacks a standout. #8 Sunrise Kitten (8-1) debuted on the green at Keeneland and had anything but a clean debut. Mike Maker charge broke through the gate pre-race, settled next-to-last early on, and simply had too much to do while racing on a good turf. Colt was well-backed on the day, and he shows seven morning drills in the interim. Adam Beschizza picks up the mount.
Race 6 — Maiden Special Weight
Two-year-old fillies will travel six panels on the dirt in a big field. #9 Shi O’Shi (12-1) looks like an inviting price for Bret Calhoun. Second-time starter ran a creditable third on the Churchill Downs turf at first asking, and she races for a fine juvenile conditioner who is 20% going turf-to-dirt. Daredevil filly will be forwardly placed from the start under repeat rider Gabe Saez.
Race 8 — Maiden Special Weight
A tough handicapping assignment presents itself in the six-furlong dash on the main strip. #7 F F Rocket (6-1) brought $525,000 in the spring and is training forwardly for the always-dangerous Al Stall, posting a bullet move from the gate at Fair Grounds last Saturday. Curlin colt is out of a full-sister to a champion two-year-old, and this barn is off to a fine start at the meeting.
Race 10 — Sugar Bowl
Six juveniles will sprint three-quarters of a mile in the stakes test. I thought #1 Shashashakemeup (5-2) was very impressive in a debut romp for Keith Desormeaux, and I will come right back with the colt in his stakes bow. $45,000 son of Shackleford led throughout in his tally, overcoming a tricky rail post as well as handling seven furlongs at first asking. Dark bay is bred to be more than a sprinter, and he could be a sneaky 3-year-old prospect heading into 2020 with a big run on Saturday.