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Louisiana Derby Preview Day News

Fair Grounds Race Course
Photo: CDI

Two prominent 3-year-old colts pointing toward Fair Grounds’ Grade II Risen Star Stakes Feb. 20 were given their last significant works Saturday morning in advance of next weekend’s final major prep for the Grade II Louisiana Derby March 27.


Sam-Son Farms’ Hotep, a full brother to last year’s Grade I Queen’s Plate winner Eye of the Leopard, breezed a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 flat Saturday morning in a move that met with trainer Mark Frostad’s full approval.

“It was a terrific work,” said Frostad later in the morning. “I was very pleased, and Robby (Albarado, jockey) was very pleased. When (Hotep) won his last start so impressively (Feb. 1), I expressed some concern that running back in the Risen Star might come up a little too quick. I wanted to see how he came out of that race. However, he’s been training so forwardly since then I’ve decided that it’s not going to be a problem. We’re in good shape.”


Also on Saturday’s work tab was Jay Em Ess Stable’s Worldly, who breezed an easy five-eighths in 1:03 in advance of the $300,000 Risen Star.


“After (Worldly) ran fifth in the Lecomte (Jan. 23), we were originally going to give him a month and a half off, said trainer Paul McGee, “but he’s been doing so well we decided to shorten it up to a month.”


Jody Slew Set for Silverbulletday Stakes in Advance of Possible Sophomore Fillies Series Sweep

Martin Racing Stable and Dan Morgan’s Jody Slew, half-length heroine of Fair Grounds’ $75,000 Tiffany Lass Stakes Jan. 23, breezed an easy half-mile Saturday morning in 48.80 in a tune-up for next Saturday’s Grade III Silverbulletday Stakes, middle leg of Fair Grounds’ sophomore fillies series which concludes with the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks on March 26.


“I thought it went great,” said trainer Bret Calhoun of the breeze. “We just wanted to give her an easy half. It should set her up perfect. Miguel Mena was aboard for the move.”


General Quarters Works Up to Mineshaft Handicap

Tom McCarthy’s General Quarters, runner-up to last year’s Louisiana Derby winner Friesan Fire in this year’s Louisiana Handicap Jan. 23, worked a half in :51 Saturday morning in preparation for his next confrontation with that rival in next Saturday’s Grade III Mineshaft Handicap.

“Robby (Albarado) thought it was a great work for him,” said owner-trainer Tom McCarthy later in the morning. “The track was deep and slow, but I thought things went very well.”


Weights Released for Mineshaft, Fair Grounds Handicaps

Vinery Stable and Fox Hill Farm’s Friesan Fire is expected to shoulder the top impost of 122 pounds in next Saturday’s Grade III Mineshaft Handicap, and the connections of the next two assigned high weights at 121 pounds – Tom McCarthy’s General Quarters and Virginia Tarra’s Giant Oak – are also expected to accept their imposts in the final designed prep for the Grade II New Orleans Handicap March 27.


William Don Bennett and Carl Bowling’s Acting Zippy, winner of the Grade III John B. Connally Handicap in his last start on Jan. 30, and Antsu Stable’s Blues Street, a Todd Pletcher trainee who won his last start Jan. 3 in $80,000 optional claiming company on the Gulfstream grass, are expected to be the starting top weights in next Saturday’s Grade III Fair Grounds Handicap, middle leg of the Crescent City oval’s Stall-Wilson turf course series that concludes with the Grade II Mervin Muniz Memorial on March 27.


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Looks like a great card at Fair Grounds is shaping up for Feb 20th.

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