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Handicapping the G3 Canterbury Park Distaff Challenge with Ed Burgart

Ed Burgart, legendary race caller and quarter horse handicapper, has a look at the  Q-Racing Video Canterbury Park Distaff Challenge.

Burgart (courtesy Los Alamitos)

The race will be run Wednesday evening, the eighth on a nine-race program. A cross-breed 10% takeout Pick 5 begins in race five.

Video tape observers will be lining up to wager on NSM Parks Candy Girl in Wednesday’s $30,000 Q-Racing Video Canterbury Distaff Challenge (G3). Will you be one of them?

NSM Parks Candy Girl breaks from Post 5 in the eight-horse field at Canterbury Park, and the winner of the 400-yard race earns a berth in the Q-Racing Video Distaff Challenge (G1) on October 21 during Bank of America Challenge Championship night at Lone Star Park.

In analyzing the eight entrants in this graded Canterbury Distaff Challenge, I utilized video tape observations in addition to the normal handicapping techniques of past class, current form, race strength and distance preference.

Here is the field in post-position order with the track’s morning-line odds:

1.) Jess Special Folly V (3-1) is a major contender, but seems best suited at shorter distances. After getting bumped mildly from both sides leaving the gate of her last fifth-place finish in the Junos Request Stakes (G1) at Remington Park, she accelerated near the lead and flattened out the final 1/16 versus a solid field. The winner, Fabulous Rachel, was second in the Decketta Stakes (G2) earlier this year at Remington Park and the runner-up, A Dream To Fill, has since won a Speedhorse Derby Trial at Fair Meadows. Jess Special Folly V’s last three wins have come at either 250 or 350 yards.

2) Five Bar Fantasy (8-1) is a course specialist who seems a bit outclassed. Her three lifetime wins have come at Canterbury against easier company at shorter distances. She was sixth in her last Remington Park allowance outing won by Jess Call Me Candy, a two-time 2022 allowance winner in Oklahoma.

3) Patriotic Attitude (15-1) is an unlikely contender. Her lone win came by a nose in a Remington Park maiden outing four races ago and she never extended her stride when seventh in her last Prairie Meadows start in a non-winners-of-two allowance affair.

4) Eye Live For Candy (5-2) is a vulnerable favorite in my opinion based on her lack of success outside Canada. She was a well-beaten third in her last three starts against Canadian star Had To Be Ivory, who has captured 24 of 30 starts. Eye Live For Candy can handle the distance based on two wins and two seconds in six 400-yard tries. But she was sixth in two 2022 Remington Park allowance races and fifth in a derby trial.

5) NSM Parks Candy Girl (9-2) is easily my top pick based on her sharp Remington Park form this year prior to a brutal sixth-place finish in her last Prairie Meadows allowance outing one month ago. After stumbling to come away poorly, NSM Parks Candy Girl took up sharply after getting bumped and was loaded with late energy when her rider couldn’t find a clear path. At 400 yards two outs ago, she dropped a neck photo against Here Comes Candy, who was fourth in the 2021 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) finals.

6) A Star Tonite (6-1) has only a Retama Park maiden win in seven starts and is an outsider. She did show some interest crossing the wire when fifth at 300 yards in her last Prairie Meadows start in a non-winners-of-two allowance race.

7) Political Fire (4-1) is one of the contenders and is a prior winner at 400 yards. She dropped a head photo in a 400-yard runner-up try against allowance company at Remington Park three races back. She broke sharp and finished one length clear of the fifth horse in her last fourth-place Prairie Meadows allowance/optional claiming outing three weeks ago.

8) RTM Belle (20-1) stumbled badly and lost her path when a well-beaten eighth while 7/10ths behind rival Political Fire. She has failed to repeat her 2021 Idaho Cup Futurity runner-up try 11 races back and faces a tough task.

My selections are 5) NSM Parks Candy Girl; 7) Political Fire; 1) Jess Special Folly V.