Virginia Tarra’s Giant Oak,
absent from competition since finishing fourth beaten a length-and-a-quarter
for the win in Churchill’s Grade II Clark Handicap Nov. 27, breezed five
furlongs Sunday morning in 1:01.60 in preparation for Saturday’s Grade III
“He couldn’t have worked any better,”
said trainer Neil Pessin. “He went easy the first part of it and then
picked it up in the last quarter. I got him doing that in (23.40). He came out
of it great and couldn’t be doing any better right now.”
Giant Oak is set to challenge last
year’s Louisiana Derby winner Friesan Fire and last year’s Blue Grass
winner General Quarters in the Mineshaft. Those two veterans of last spring’s
Kentucky Derby and last spring’s Preakness finished first and second,
respectively, in Fair Grounds’ Louisiana Handicap Jan. 23.
Saturday’s Mineshaft also serves as the
final major designed local prep for Fair Grounds’ upcoming Grade II New
Handicap March 27.
Quiet Temper Get’s Valentine’s Day
Breeze for Saturday’s Silverbulletday Stakes
Mark Stanley’s Quiet Temper, who
disappointed as the favorite when fifth in Fair Grounds’ Tiffany Lass Stakes as
the first leg of the local oval’s three-race series for sophomore fillies,
breezed five furlongs in 1:01.80 Sunday morning in preparation for Saturday’s Grade
III Silverbulletday Stakes, second leg of the series that concludes with
the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks on March 26.
Four of the last Fair Grounds Oaks
winners have gone on to win the Grade I Kentucky Oaks later in the spring.
Get Rich Quick, Secret Getaway Get
Pre-Fair Grounds Handicap Breezes Sunday
Pin Oak Stable’s Get Rich Quick,
runner-up in Fair Grounds’ Grade III Colonel E. R. Bradley Jan. 23, breezed
five-eighths in 1:02.20 Sunday morning in preparation for Saturday’s Grade
III Fair Grounds Handicap.
Sand & Cee Stables’ Secret
Getaway, suddenly a strong possibility for the Fair Grounds Handicap, went
the same distance in 1:00.60 after finishing fourth in the Louisiana Handicap
on the main track last time Jan. 23.
The Fair Grounds Handicap is the
designed final local prep for the Grade II Mervin Muniz Memorial March 27.
Four Gifts, Coy Cat Prepare for
Saturday’s $60,000 Pan Zareta Stakes with Valentine’s Day Breezes
Peter Redekop’s Four Gifts and
Jay Em Ess Stable’s Coy Cat both breezed Sunday in preparation for their
probable starts in Saturday’s 44th running of the $60,000 Pan Zareta Stakes
for fillies and mares at six furlongs.
Coy Cat, second in Fair Grounds’ $75,000
Dr. Leggio Memorial Jan 23, breezed a half in 52, and Four Gifts, who won
Churchill’s Grade III Eight Belles on Kentucky Derby Day last spring,
went five-eighths in 1:00.60
Others now likely for the Pan Zareta are
Virginia Kraft Payson’s Powder Princess, Goldmark’s Double Expresso,
Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Simplify, and Mark Stanley’s Trusty Temper.
Grand Traverse, Turfiste Both Breeze
Sunday for Saturday’s $60,000 Colonel Power Stakes
Mimicry Partnership’s Grand Traverse
and Walts David Stable’s Turfiste – both trained by Tim Glyshaw –
breezed Sunday morning prior to their expected starts in Saturday’s 23rd
running of the $60,000 Colonel Power Stakes at about five-and-one-half
furlongs over the Stall-Wilson turf course.
Grand Traverse went four furlongs in
47.60 and Turfiste went five furlongs in 1:01.4. The two finished first and
fourth, respectively, in Fair Grounds’ $60,000 Bonapaw Stakes Dec. 19, and
Grand Traverse since returned to run third in the local oval’s $75,000 Gaudin
Memorial Jan. 23.
Others expected for the Colonel Power
are Carl Moore Management’s Chamberlain
Bridge, who won this
race last year, Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein’s troika of Country Day,
Due Date and Early Return, as well as Mike McCarty’s Storm