Thirteen 3-year-olds get one final chance to run against horses their own age Saturday in the $100,000 Woodchopper Handicap at Fair Grounds. The Woodchopper will be contested at the distance of about 1 1/16 miles on turf.One of the favorites for the race should be Better Talk Now, who ships down from New York after a brief freshening by trainer H. Graham Motion. Better Talk Now broke his maiden for Diane Perkins during the summer on the turf at Churchill Downs before moving to his new home. The 3-year-old son of Talkin Man has won his last two races, both in allowance conditions. Better Talk Now, to be ridden by Ramon Dominguez, has hit the board in five of nine career starts.The 117-pound highweight in the field is Extra Check, who earned black type for Three King Stable with his third-place finish in the grade I Secretariat at Arlington Park earlier this year. Trained by Michael Stidham, Extra Check won an allowance race on the turf at Fair Grounds before finishing ninth in the Black Gold Handicap. Extra Check finished second in his last start as the odds-on favorite at Sam Houston Park.
The field for the Woodchopper includes (from the rail out, with jockeys):
1--Majestic Thief, Lonnie Meche
2--Sea Dub, E.J. Perrodin
3--Extra Check, Frank Lovato Jr.
4--Runaway Choice, Robby Albarado
5--Skate Away, Gerard Melancon
6--Seainsky, Shane Sellers
7--Algezir, Eddie Martin Jr.
8--Major Frank, Donnie Meche
9--Gentle Bien, Calvin Borel
10--Better Talk Now, Ramon Dominguez
11--Major Rhythm, Corey Lanerie
12--Fighting Indians, Ray Sibille
13--R.E. Prince, Alex Jimenez