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Category Seven Elevated in Furl Sail

James Perron Racing Stable’s Category Seven, overlooked by Fair Grounds racing fans in Saturday’s $60,000 Furl Sail Handicap, ended up paying win mutuels of $34.40, $14.60 and $6.60 following a disqualification of Team Block’s Never Retreat, who was first under the wire a neck in front of the eventual winner.


Trained by Kenneth Hargrave and ridden by Richard Eramia, Category Seven came from far back to move for the lead at the eighth pole, but was carried out by Never Retreat in the final furlong despite corrective action by Never Retreat’s rider James Graham.


“(Never Retreat) ran a good race,” said eventual winning rider Eramia, “but she was getting a little tired over the soft turf in the late stages and we bumped. I felt bad for her and for James. It was not intentional but I felt I had to file an objection. Naturally, I’m glad it worked out for us.”


Hargrave said: “She always runs hard. She doesn’t like the dirt as much as the grass, but she always runs hard and has a great frame of mind.”


Never Retreat accomplished a final time of 1:46.42 for the about 1 1/16-mile distance mile distance over a Stall-Wilson turf course rated “good,” and paid $7.20 and $5.40 when demoted to the place position.


“It’s disappointing, frustrating,” said Richie Scherer, trainer of Never Retreat. “I thought she was the best horse but that’s the way it goes.”


Final Refrain finished third 3 1/ 4-lengths farther back and returned $8.20.


Never Retreat increased her career earnings to $241,677 with her eighth career win in 31 lifetime starts.


Goldlilox made the pace with splits of 22.94 and 47.85 before fading to eighth at the wire.


Racing resumes Sunday at Fair Grounds with an 11-race program beginning at 12:30 p.m.
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