Trainer Joan Scott keeps her base of operations in Kentucky most of the year but winters her horses in Tampa. However, whenever she ships a horse out of town from either of those bases, handicappers should pay attention.
Two summers ago, she shipped a horse named Sheriff Bullock, owned at the time by Dan Considine and Pine Lake Bloodstock, up to Chicago for the last race of the day before they both rode off into the sunset back to Kentucky with the win as soon as the horse cooled out.
“One for one,” Scott said as she hosed Sheriff Bullock off in the tunnel prior to their journey home when speaking of the brief Chicago sojourn. “Can’t do much better than that, can you? Come to think of it, that was also my record at Saratoga a couple of summers ago.”
Now, for the first time since 2003, Scott will be returning to Fair Grounds to invade Saturday’s $75,000 Battle of New Orleans for its inaugural running with Steve Ballou and Harriet Waldron’s Cor Cor. That daughter of Smoke Glacken has been installed as the 9-5 favorite in the morning line odds in the sprint for 3-year-old fillies over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course.
“We’re excited about her,” said Scott, speaking from the Tampa airport Friday as she awaited her flight to New Orleans. “She’s turned out to be a nice filly for us. She’s never run on the turf before, but maybe the race will be over before she figures out she’s on the grass.”
Cor Cor made her career debut running over the Polytrack at Keeneland last fall, and easily broke her maiden with a front-running 2 3/4-length tally. Then, she made her next start in Tampa’s $68,000 Sandpiper Stakes while still a juvenile and won that with wire-to-wire tactics. However, then she finished second to Stonestreet Stables’ highly regarded Kauai Katie in Gulfstream’s Grade III Old Hat Stakes on New Year’s Day in her last trip to the post.
But it should be noted that Kauai Katie had won Saratoga’s Grade II Adirondack and Belmont’s Grade II Matron before the Old Hat, and has since easily captured the Grade II Forward Gal at Gulfstream last Saturday.
As a trainer, Scott has an interesting background. She trained for nine winters at Fair Grounds but has not been to the Crescent City oval since two years before Hurricane Katrina. She grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and as a young adult she galloped for and worked as an assistant to trainers like Hall of Famers Bud Delp and Carl Nafzger, as well as other prominent horsemen such as Dickie Small, Al Stall Jr. and Hal Wiggins, but before taking out her own trainer’s license in 2002 she also worked on farms in England and France exercising and breaking horses.
TRAINER MIKE STIDHAM SET TO SADDLE TWO OR THREEE FILLIES TO FACE COR COR
Trainer Mike Stidham, who has based his operation at Fair Grounds during the winter months for many years, is likely to saddle at least two fillies – and possibly three – to face Steve Ballou and Harriet Waldron’s Cor Cor in Saturday’s inaugural running of the $75,000 Battle of New Orleans.
Feel the Thunder Stable and Scott Unter’s My Princess Dawn and Ike and Dawn Thrash’s Truly Marie are the more likely participants, but David Soblick’s Livin Peace is still a possibility.
“My Princess Dawn has run and won on both surfaces (dirt and turf) so she’ll go even if they take the race off the grass,” Stidham said Friday. “Truly Marie has also run well over both surfaces. We tried her long but now we think she just wants to sprint, but she’s also likely to go even if they take the race off the grass.
“I’m not so sure about Livin Peace,” said Stidham. “She seems to like the dirt a little more than the turf. We ran her once on the grass up at Arlington, but that was the race that was declared no contest after a horse hit the rail and the rail came off and interfered with the whole field. That definitely affected her performance that day. I’m not ruling her out yet for Saturday. I’ll have to talk it over with the owner.
“That race (Saturday) is a good spot to get some black type,” Stidham concluded, “and that’s what we’ll be trying to do.”