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Bouquet Booth Eyes Rachel Alexandra

Fair Grounds Race Course
Photo: CDI

Trainer Steve Margolis was all smiles Sunday morning on the clubhouse apron as he watched workouts with wife Sue by his side – and that was easily understandable.


Two of his 3-year-old fillies, Right Time Racing’s Bouquet Booth and Gold Square’s Little Miss Holly, finished first and third respectively in Saturday’s $100,000 Silverbulletday Stakes and Margolis began his afternoon by saddling Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein’s Early Return to win the $60,000 F. W. Gaudin Memorial in the first race of the day.


“I didn’t anticipate being on the lead with Bouquet Booth yesterday, but she certainly ran a good race,” said Margolis. “I would say she’s a little more advanced than the other filly at this point in time, but I thought Little Miss Holly ran a very good race, too.


“I would say we’ll probably be pointing Bouquet Booth to the (Grade III) Rachel Alexandra (middle leg of Fair Grounds’ series for sophomore fillies Feb. 19) but I’m not sure what we’re going to do with Little Miss Holly. I hate to keep running them against each other, but I just might do that. I’ll talk it over with the owners. Maybe I could send Little Miss Holly to Oaklawn for one of their 3-year-old filly races. I just don’t know yet.


“Of course, I was very happy with Early Return’s race, too,” said Margolis. “We’ll probably shoot for the ($60,000) Colonel Power (Feb. 19) with him. We’ve been very fortunate here this winter. We’re having an unbelievable meet and it’s because I have a really good staff helping to keep things going. Everyone from my assistant Loren Diego to Ashley Giannini to Shorty The Foreman. He’s the chef. He feeds all the horses.”



Rick Giannini serves as trainer Neil Howard’s assistant, while wife Ashley is a key member of trainer Steve Margolis’s staff, and reflected together on their separately successful professional afternoons Saturday evening.


“Yes, we were one happy household last night,” said Howard’s chief assistant on Sunday morning. “I grew up around horses, but when I first met Ashley, she didn’t know anything about them. I dragged her into this business, but now she enjoys it as much as I do.”


Coincidentally, trainers Howard and Margolis were the two special guests for a “Question and Answer” session with Fair Grounds Racing Analyst Katie Mikolay Thursday night at a Twin Spires Club V.I.P. Stakes Mixer held in the Clubhouse for Gold and Platinum level members, and both conditioners graciously stayed around to mingle with the players following the structured portion of the program.



Jockey Rosie Napravnik enjoyed a riding triple Saturday at Fair Grounds, including a score astride Feel The Thunder Stable’s Gran Estreno in the Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap, to move her into sole possession of the runner-up spot in Fair Grounds’ jockey standings at the end of the day.




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