With the already announced defection of Ramona Bass’s morning-line choice
Applauding from Saturday’s Grade III Rachel Alexandra Stakes, Brereton Jones’s
Believe You Can is likely
to assume the favorite’s mantle in this weekend’s $200,000 event for
3-year-old fillies that serves as the final designed local prep for the
Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks March 31.
After being the length and a half heroine of Fair Grounds’
$125,000 Silverbulletday Stakes
Jan. 21, Believe You Can obviously proved her mettle, but the brilliant
but untested speed of Applauding did deserve a healthy measure of
hand-clapping when handicapping the original
seven Rachel Alexandra entrants.
Applauding’s ability now a mute point, at least for this weekend,
Believe You Can is expected to be the new choice in Saturday’s filly
fixture. The daughter of Proud Citizen, who also sired Brereton Jones’s
2008 Fair Grounds Oaks and Kentucky Oaks winner
Proud Spell, has been training with vigor for her trainer
Larry Jones, most recently going a robust five furlongs in 1:00.60 Monday morning at Fair Grounds.
Defending jockey champion and current leading rider
Rosie Napravnik, aboard Believe You Can in the Silverbulletday, returns in the irons Saturday.
one of those capable of providing strong competition for Believe You
Can in the Rachel Alexandra, and originally the co-third choice
in the projected line at entry-time, is the undefeated Table Three Ten,
owned by Team Valor International of 2011 Kentucky Derby success, now
trained by last year’s Kentucky Derby-winning conditioner
Graham Motion and to be ridden Saturday by highly-regarded stakes jockey
winning her last start in allowance and $75,000 optional claiming
company at Gulfstream by 2 3/4-lengths, Table Three Ten won her racing
debut in the maiden ranks here at Fair Grounds by 5 1/4-lengths on Nov.
25 when trained by
Not to be discounted in the Rachel Alexandra are Gillian Campbell et al.’s
Summer Applause, second behind Believe You Can in the Silverbulletday and to be ridden once again by
Robby Albarado, Jake Ballis’s Inny Minnie, third in the Silverbulletday a nose farther back and to be ridden by
Shaun Bridgmohan, and Tall Oaks Farm’s dangerous
Avie’s Sense, who broke her maiden by 5 3/4-lengths at last asking here on Jan. 5 and will be have jockey
James Graham aboard this weekend.
Annaclone, with Miguel Mena named aboard, will round out the Rachel Alexandra field.