Sophomore colts and geldings as well as sophomore fillies considered
Louisiana Derby or Fair Grounds Oaks candidates earlier this season get a
chance to dance over the local lawn Saturday when the 55th running of
the $75,000 Black Gold Stakes Fire and fourth renewal of the $75,000
Allen LaCombe Memorial – both slated for the Stall-Wilson turf course –
serve as the co-featured events of the upcoming New Orleans weekend.
Black Gold is named in recognition of the first horse in history to
capture the Louisiana Derby and parlay that score into victory in the
Kentucky Derby, while the Allen LaCombe Memorial honors the memory of
Allen “Black Cat” LaCombe, Fair Grounds’ revered longtime publicity
director who died in 1989.
Terry Hamilton’s Hammers Terror, who finished sixth in
the Grade III Lecomte Stakes Jan. 21 on the main track, breezed five
furlongs March 3 in 59.80 in preparation for his grass debut in
Saturday’s $75,000 Black Gold Stakes over the Stall-Wilson turf course.
son of Artie Schiller, installed as the tepid 7-2 morning line choice
in the Black Gold, made his career bow over Arlington’s Polytrack
surface last September 25 and finished second by a nose, but broke his
maiden going over that same synthetic surface at Keeneland Oct. 20.
After that, he won at first asking in first level allowance and $50,000
optional claiming company at Fair Grounds Dec. 8 before his wide trip in
the Lecomte as the first leg of the series that concludes with the
Grade II Louisiana Derby on April 1.
Jockey James Graham, the
only rider Hammers Terror has ever known, will return in the irons
aboard the Mike Stidham trainee in the Black Gold.
Pegged as the
9-2 second choice in Saturday’s early Black Gold line is David Randal’s
Capetown Devil, who in his last start finished seventh in the Lecomte, a
length and a half behind Hammers Terror. The altered son of Cape Town
raced five wide that day after winning at first asking over Keeneland’s
Polytrack Oct. 14, then won by four over Churchill’s main track Nov. 9
and made it three straight over Fair Grounds’ main track before tasting
defeat in the Lecomte.
Louisiana native reinsman Corey Lanerie,
aboard for all four of Capetown Devil’s starts, is slated for the saddle
once again on the David Carroll-trained gelding who worked four
furlongs in 49 flat on Monday.
Facing the top two Black Gold
choices Saturday are the Raut LLC-owned coupling of Hero’s Choice and
Adena’s Chance, to be ridden respectively by Kerwin Clark and Jermaine
Bridgmohan; Robert Cartwright’s Alexander Thegreat, Richard Eramia;
Erich Brehm and Gene Voss’s Speargun, Iram Diego; Zayat Stables’ Bravo
Habibi, Brian Hernandez Jr.; Don Eberts’ Pure Tactics, Shaun Bridgmohan;
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Wayward Sailor, Shane Sellers; Woodford Racing’s
Rock Harder, Robby Albarado; Fletcher and Carolyn Gray’s Icon Ike,
Rosie Napravnik; and Steve Martin’s Ted’s Folly, Ramsey Zimmerman.
Tactics, undefeated in two career starts – both over the local lawn –
could prove dangerous to the top two considering his obvious familiarity
with the grass course here. The son of grass sire Pure Prize is
trained by Morris Nicks and penciled in at 6-1 in the Black Gold morning
CITIZEN ADVOCATE, DEVIOUS INTENT VIE IN LACOMBE
Whitehall Lane Farm’s Citizen Advocate, who captured Calder’s
$74,000 Catcharisingstar Stakes in his lone lifetime outing over grass,
has been pegged as the lukewarm 3-1 favorite in the morning line for
Saturday’s $75,000 Allen LaCombe Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds.
that Miami score, Citizen Advocate won Pennsylvania’s $150,000 Presque
Isle Debutante Oct. 1 and Delta’s $150,000 My Trusty Cat Stakes Oct 22
before being outdistanced in Grade III Delta Princess at that same
western Louisiana oval in her most recent start Nov. 19.
by South Florida-based David Vivian, the daughter of Proud Citizen will
be ridden by Luis Jurado in the LaCombe Memorial.
and Larry Hirsch’s Devious Intent, second choice in the LaCombe morning
line odds at 4-1, may be the one to beat. She finished second, beaten a
length by Citizen Advocate in the My Trusty Cat, then was fourth in the
Delta Princess, won the $75,000 Genesis at Delta Downs but was then
fifth at last asking in Oaklawn’s $75,000 Martha Washington Feb. 11.
Brian Hernandez Jr. rides the Bret Calhoun trainee.
the Allen LaCombe Memorial field is the Stoneway Farm-owned entry of
Queen Teuta and Falconess, Richard Eramia and Ramsey Zimmerman as the
respective riders; Cindy and Larry Jones’s Robi Jo, Robby Albarado;
Stephen Fidel and Ken Corazza’s Ithinkisawapudycat, Corey Lanerie; Keith
Plaisance’s Spun Ribbon, John Jacinto; Richard, Bertram and Elaine
Klein’s Miz Ida, Shaun Bridgmohan; Hinkle Farms’ Firehouse Red, Rosie
Napravnik; Jack Smith and Rob Auerbach’s Rainbow Blossom, Shane Sellers;
and Glencrest Farm’s Kiss in the Forest, James Graham.