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
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
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
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
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.