Fair Grounds spot plays for Dec. 26

December 23rd, 2022

After providing a couple opinions on Monday's "Road to the Derby Kickoff" card over at the TwinSpires Jury post, here's a deeper dive into the Fair Grounds card with several other horses of interest on the stakes-laden program.

Race 6

The $100,000 Blushing K. D. S. will mark the first turf race of the 2022-23 Fair Grounds meet, and it will be interesting to see if speed holds with the rail well out and the fields limited to eight. If that's the case, #2 Mo Clare's (8-1) deserves a look as a potential upsetter. Although her stakes experience has been limited to restricted events, her form all season has been strong and she might have just enough class and speed to lead a less-than-stellar group on a merry chase.

Race 12

Trainer Tom Amoss started the Fair Grounds meet 5-for-12, so I'm not about to gloss over #8 Just Like Magic (15-1) at a bettable price in the $100,000 Untapable S. From the first crop of champion juvenile colt Good Magic (who's had six stakes winners already, four of them graded), Just Like Magic was precocious enough last spring to rebound from a debut fourth to a future Grade 3 winner to break her maiden second out at Churchill Downs on July 4.

Her Nov. 27 comeback at Churchill from an extended layoff was an odd race, in which she faded from midpack to last on the far turn before re-rallying to split the field of nine over a sloppy track. I'm intrigued by her placement in this spot and expect at least a more representative try second off the bench.

Race 13

#3 Intrepid Heart (9-2) would normally be a huge stand-against for me in the $100,000 Tenacious S. as he's run second seven times this season, compared to one win. However, he's been awful unlucky to have missed three times in photos this term, likes the track, and perhaps will show more grittiness and determination in the run to home with blinkers coming off.

#9 Happy American (6-1), the 2021 Tenacious runner-up, is making his second start back from an extended layoff and is another I'll be using in multi-race wagers.