Adele Dilschneider’s Apart
, best known for winning the Grade II Super Derby at Louisiana Downs two years and two months ago, has been installed the tepid 3-1 choice when he heads a well-matched field of nine in Saturday’s featured 48th running of the $75,000 Tenacious Handicap at Fair Grounds.
Although Apart’s lone victory in 2011 came in Pimlico’s Grade III William Schaefer Memorial on Preakness Day the Al Stall Jr. trainee was beaten only a length and a half when third in Churchill’s Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap four weeks later. Earlier, during his winter campaign at Fair Grounds, the 5-year-old son of Flatter out of an Unbridled mare was extremely competitive in all three legs of Fair Grounds’ handicap series for older horses, finishing as the runner-up in the Grade II New Orleans Handicap, third in the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap and second in the $60,000 Louisiana Handicap. Richard Eramia will be up on Apart, making up most of the starting high weight of 120 pounds.
Ike and Dawn Thrash’s Hurricane Ike
may be the one to beat in the Tenacious ‘Cap. Pegged as the 4-1 co-second choice in the early line, the Mike Stidham trainee finished third in the $150,000 Delta Mile Nov. 17 at Delta Downs when carrying 123 pounds but gets in the Tenacious with 118 including jockey James Graham. Hurricane Ike won the $100,000 Michael Schaefer Memorial Mile last Oct. 6 at Hoosier.
Also at 4-1 in the morning line with a 117-pound impost is Maggi Moss’s It Happened Again
who finished third in West Virginia’s $150,000 Mountaineer Mile in his last trip to the post on Nov. 3. Trained by Tom Amoss, the 6-year-old Proud Citizen gelding won the $150,000 Claiming Crown Jewel at Fair Grounds last year but also captured Oaklawn’s Grade III Razorback Handicap in March of 2011. Two-time Fair Grounds defending jockey champion Rosie Napravnik will be in the stirrups.
Completing the Tenacious Handicap field with respective jockeys and weights assigned is Winchell Thoroughbreds and WinStar Farm’s Brethren, Shaun Bridgmohan (117, 5-1); Gallant Stable’s Majestic Harbor, Mark Guidry (117, 5-1); Jay Em Ess Stable’s Worldly, Brian Hernandez Jr. (115, 8-1); Sure Shot Stables’ Big Town, Leandro Goncalves (114, 10-1); Alton Anthony Sr.’s Mr Slew to You, Ricky Faul (112, 30-1) and Raut LLC’s Macho Bull, Iram Diego (110, 30-1).