James Spence’s El Caballo, winner
of the Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap at Fair Grounds last week on Road
to the Derby Kickoff Day, will not be a candidate for the Grade III Fair
Grounds Handicap as the next leg of the Crescent City
oval’s grass series on Feb. 20.
“No, we’re not going to come back in
that next race,” trainer Ralph Nicks said. “We’re going to wait and come
back in the (Grade II Mervin) Muniz Memorial at the end of the
The $400,000 Mervin Muniz Memorial
Handicap will be one of four Grade II races contested as part of Fair Grounds’
Derby Day program
Prior to the Col.
Bradley ’Cap, Nicks had spent the better part of seven months getting El
Caballo back to the races after the son of El Corredor was injured last June.
The Spence color bearer finished second
by a nose to the Bobby Frankel-trained Proudinsky in last season’s
Mervin Muniz when Proudinsky became the first horse ever to win the Muniz
Memorial two years in a row.
Another Nicks trainee, the Spence-owned Flying
Pegasus, who finished second in last season’s Grade III Risen Star
Stakes and sixth in the 2009 Louisiana
worked a half-mile in 48.80 Friday morning and will be pointed for an allowance
race for his next start, according to Nicks.
David Garner’s Elusive Jozi, who
made the pace before finishing fourth in the Tiffany Lass Stakes Jan. 23 as the
first of three races that culminate in the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks,
remains a possibility for the Grade III Silverbulletday Stakes as
the next leg of that sophomore series for members of the distaff set, according
Good News for Get Rich Quick
Trainer Malcolm Pierce, who
jokingly referred to his horse Get Rich Quick as “Get Rich Slowly” when
his 6-year-old gray finished second to El Caballo in the $100,000 Col. E. R.
Bradley Handicap, was aware that the Ralph Nicks-trained El Caballo was not
likely for the upcoming Grade III Fair Grounds Handicap Feb. 20 on Louisiana
Derby Preview Day.
“I had heard that and I will probably
now shoot for the Fair Grounds Handicap with my horse (Get Rich Quick) and then
take a pass on the Mervin Muniz,” said Pierce. “Get Rich Quick (owned by Pin
Oak Stable) is an honest little horse and I thought he ran very well in the
Col. Bradley. If I run him back in this next race I can probably give him a
little vacation and then shoot for something at Keeneland with him.”