02/22/2007 1:00AM

Horse of the day for 2/23


Race 7 - Gulfstream Park
6 1/2 Furlongs
Maiden Claiming ($80,000-$75,000)
Purse $34,500.

BEAMING looms the likely favorite following an 84 Beyer runner-up effort against maiden special weight company, but he failed to last over a speed-favoring track that day, and the winner was dismissed at 64-1 odds. The third-finisher in that race, Most Distinguished, has professional maiden written all over him as he's compiled a 7-0-4-3 record with four losses as the favorite. BEAMING may have the best early speed of these, and wouldn't be a surprise off that speed figure, but he probably won't offer much value. Therefore, we'll take a chance with FATE TAKES A HAND, who sold for $130,000 last year after working one furlong in 10.60, and a quarter-mile in 21.60. His sire is 61-348 (18%) with beginners including a maiden claiming winner at Santa Anita this year, and the dam, a $135,000 juvenile purchase herself, is a half-sister to stakes-winner (and debut winner) Runaway Jet (149K in earnings). It's a bit disconcerting that he will make his debut in a maiden claimer, but Todd Pletcher excels with first-time starters, and he has already sent out a pair of debut winners (through assistant Anthony Sciametta Jr.) at this meet. The barn's go-to rider, John Velazquez, likely had his pick between Fate Takes a Hand and UNGI BLANC, and opted to ride the former. Fate Takes a Hand may work out a nice stalking trip while clear of traffic, and is worth a play for the top connections.
SCOTTISH DIAMOND took some money for his debut at Calder, and should appreciate dropping into a claimer while adding blinkers. Expect better early speed from this half to stakes-winner Lawrenceville (101K). SIX PACK ABS hasn't started since July, but that race produced three next-out winners including the third- and fourth-place finishers of the Cradle Stakes at River Downs. The drop should help, and it's a promising sign that Edgar Prado takes the mount. TEXAS BILLY BOY failed to gain ground over an intensely speed-favoring track last time, but he put up solid Beyer Speed Figures in three of his previous four races. He offers some upset potential.

The selection: Fate Takes a Hand to win (7-2 odds or more)
YTD statistics (starts-wins, top pick in the money, profit/loss based on day's wager): 17-2 (6) +$40.80