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Can Cherokee Queen do it again?

Fair Grounds Race Course
Photo: CDI
Clark Brewster’s Cherokee Queen, who ruled over rivals in the $75,000 Blushing K. D. Handicap on Dec. 17 at Fair Grounds, has been installed as the lukewarm 3-1 choice in Saturday’s featured $75,000 Marie Krantz Memorial Handicap based on that performance.

 

Past heroines of the Marie Krantz Memorial, for older fillies and mares at about 1 1/16-miles over the local Stall-Wilson turf course, include the legendary Louisiana-bred Hallowed Dreams, owned by Johnny Gaspard and Lloyd Romero, who won the race 11 years ago when it was run as the Victoria Lass Stakes. The race was renamed in 2004 in honor of the late former chairman of the board of the Fair Grounds Corporation.

 

Cherokee Queen, winner of Gulfstream’s Grade III Suwannee River last year, was purchased by her present connections primarily as a broodmare prospect, but the decision was made to keep her racing at least temporarily this winter under the care of conditioner Steve Margolis. With that in mind, they have decided to accept the assigned top impost of 122 pounds in the Marie Krantz, most of which will be made up by jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, who rode the mare with justified confidence in the Blushing K. D.

 

Likely to provide strong competition for Cherokee Queen in the Krantz Memorial is Steve Asmussen’s Pleasantly Blessed, pegged as the 4-1 second choice in the early line.  Trained by her owner, the 8-year-old Pleasant Tap mare mounted a serious stretch challenge in the Blushing K. D., missed matching the winner by a neck but gained the place under Rosie Napravnik, who will be in the saddle once again Saturday.  She gets in Saturday with 116 pounds.

 

Named to oppose the top two, with jockeys and weights assigned, are:  William and Graydon Patterson’s Juanita, Miguel Mena (118); Phillip Maas’s A She’s Adorable, James Graham (117); Wertheimer and Frere’s Weekend Party, Brian Hernandez Jr. (115); Daniel Family Farms’ Skipping Town, Robby Albarado (114); John Fielding and Frederick Hertrich II’s Poof Too, Jesse Campbell (114); Bobby Flay’s Countess Lemonade, Shane Sellers (114); and Greg and Kim Boarman’s Miss Shananiegans, Iram Diego (113).

 

Of these, the Stidham-trained pair of A She’s Adorable and Weekend Party, although uncoupled in the wagering, are both worthy of consideration.  The former raced wide when fifth in the Blushing K. D. and the latter, beaten less than a length when fourth, made the pace before being run down in the last strides.

 

 

 

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