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Artemus Kitten Beats Upperline in Bayou

Fair Grounds Race Course
Photo: CDI
Ken & Sarah Ramsey’s Artemus Kitten settled off the early pace, made the lead in upper stretch and held off a final rush from Michael Stidham, John Adger, Oakcrest Farm & Stone Farm’s favored Upperline by a neck in Saturday’s $100,000 Bayou Handicap for older turf females on the Fair Grounds Oaks undercard.


Longshot Vera Belle set the opening fractions of 13.84, 48.75 and 1:13.24 over a turf course rated “good” before Artemus Kitten took over and held sway through the stretch, completing the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.89.


“It was a good trip and this filly really liked the turf here last time and she ran even better this time,” said winning jockey Rosie Napravnik. “We were able to go up on the inside and get a jump on the other favorite and she just dug in to the wire. It was a great race.”


The Bayou was Napravnik’s meet-leading 110th winner, equaling her leading total from last year with 19 races left to go.


Hal Snowden Jr.’s Bet On the Blue got up for third, 3 ¾ lengths behind Upperline in the field of seven.


Artemus Kitten paid $7.60, $2.80 and $2.40. Upperline returned $2.40 and $2.10 while Bet On the Blue was worth $3 for a $2 show wager.


The winner upped her career earnings to $146,388 with her first stakes victory and third triumph overall.


--Jim Mulvihill




Garland Goins’ She’s Prado’s Idol pushed herself into the running for top 3-year-old filly bred in Louisiana with a convincing 4 ½-length win in the $75,000 Crescent City Oaks on the Fair Grounds Oaks undercard.


The one mile and 70 yard stakes event was a rematch for many of the horses who ran in the Sarah Lanes Oates earlier in the meet, where She’s Prado’s Idol showed significant improvement with a game effort behind eventual winner Sunday’s Child, who was part of a favored Brittlyn Stables-owned entry today. The narrow Sarah Lanes Oates loss, officially listed as a nose, came after She’s Prado’s Idol was steadied and checked on the far turn, costing her at least three lengths in the process.


With a cleaner trip today, the daughter of Screen Idol powered home a clear-cut winner for her third career victory from six starts. Jockey Tracy Hebert, who rode her to an allowance win in December at Delta Downs, reunited with owner-trainer Garland Goins for the win.


“I had some obligations at Delta and I couldn’t ride her last time,” Hebert said. “I am grateful I was able to do it today. We wanted to kind of sit off the pace a little bit and it worked out well. She dug in real hard.”


Patrick Devereaux Jr.’s Little Miss Protocol finished a well-beaten second while Sunday’s Child and her entry-mate, Bleu Darling, checked in third and fourth, respectively.


The winner paid $15.20, $7.60 and $2.80. Little Miss Protocal returned $3.80 and $2.20, while the entry was worth $2.10 for a $2 show wager.


The final time was 1:43 4/5.


--Travis Stone




It was “Bombs Away” in Saturday’s $60,000 Red Camelia Stakes for Morris Hewitt’s overlooked Beverly Belle, who returned to the winner’s circle as her mutuels of $88.60, $20.60 and $10.60 flashed on the infield tote board.


“It was a pleasant surprise to us,” admitted winning trainer Bret Calhoun of the 8-year-old mare while being interviewed moments after the grass stakes restricted to accredited Louisiana-bred fillies and mares. “We ran her going short and it just wasn’t her game. There was a lot of optimism. There were a lot of horses here that really couldn’t quite go the distance and I think that’s how it ended up.”


Ridden by Miguel Mena, Beverly Belle was unhurried early, rallied boldly when set down for the drive, challenged at the furlong grounds and drew clear by a length at the wire. She accomplished the about 1 1/16-mile distance over a Stall-Wilson turf course rated “good” in 1:45.78 and increased her career earnings to $127,333 with her fourth win in 19 lifetime starts.


“It’s pretty soft out there and there was plenty of speed in the race,” said winning rider Mena. “About the five-sixteenths pole when I asked her she took off and I got really excited.”


Maggi Moss’s favored Little Polka Dot pressed the pace briefly before taking command, could not withstand the winner when challenged but was easily second best, paying $2.60 and $2.20, while Randy Davis & Associates’ Divine Loretta got up for third, 3 1/4-lengths farther back and returned $4.20


Russell Welch’s Warrior Maid made the pace with splits of 23.24 and 47.81 before tiring.


--Graham Ross


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