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Populist Politics Back to Turf in Dixie Poker Ace

Populist Politics Back to Turf in Dixie Poker Ace
Photo: Hodges Photography
Klaravich Stable and William Lawrence’s Populist Politics, winner of Fair Grounds’ $60,000 Mr. Sulu Stakes on Thanksgiving Day but unable to match strides with Benoit Stable’s Star Guitar in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic Dec. 10, gets another chance to visit the winner’s circle when he heads a field of 10 named to the 31st renewal of Saturday’s $60,000 Dixie Poker Ace Stakes at Fair Grounds.


Last season at Fair Grounds, Populist Politics won the $109,000 Louisiana Futurity on the cusp of his sophomore campaign and then was first under the wire in the $75,000 Crescent City Derby March 25 before being disqualified and placed third for a bumping incident in the stretch run.


Conditioned by Fair Grounds’ nine-time trainer champion Tom Amoss and to be ridden by veteran jockey Jesse Campbell in the Dixie Poker Ace, Populist Politics easily captured the Mr. Sulu on opening day of this Crescent City Thoroughbred season and gave Star Guitar – the current runner-up in lifetime earnings among Louisiana-breds – a significant challenge in the Classic before weakening behind that rival in the stretch run.


Populist Politics has been installed as the 5-2 morning line choice in the Dixie Poker Ace, scheduled for about one mile over the Stall-Wilson turf course. In his only other lifetime start on grass, Populist Politics finished second by a head in the $60,000 Gentilly Stakes over the local lawn last Feb. 26.


Capable of providing strong competition for Populist Politics is Red Oak Stable’s Kissimmee Kyle, second by a nose at last asking in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf Dec. 10 after leading in all but the last jump. Although fourth in the Mr. Sulu on Opening Day when that race was transferred to the main track, Kissimmee Kyle was the length-and-a-quarter winner of Fair Grounds’ $75,000 Bayou St. John Stakes over the Stall-Wilson grass on March 25, Closing Day of the New Orleans racing season last spring.


Al Stall Jr., a two-time trainer champion at Fair Grounds, serves as the conditioner of Kissimmee Kyle, who is pegged at 4-1 in the morning line and will be ridden by seven-time local champion jockey Robby Albarado.


Of the others, Charles Zacney and Edward Johnston’s Wildrally, third beaten a head in last month’s Louisiana Champions Day Turf but winner of that same test three years earlier, is also the defending champion in the Dixie Poker Ace Stakes and deserves serious consideration as the 9-2 third choice in the early line. Last season’s local leading rider Rosie Napravnik will be aboard the Eddie Johnston trainee.


Completing the field is Brooks, Larson and Fakouri’s Blackntansatlarrys, Richard Eramia up; Larry Johnson’s Old Bushmill, Shaun Bridgmohan; Charles Craig Smith’s String King, James Graham; Valene Farm’s Ide Like a Double, Carlos Gonzalez; Allen Peltier’s Idefromthebayou, C. J. McMahon; Threes Company Racing’s Congo Cat, Shane Sellers; and Bill Cunningham’s Hallway, Miguel Mena.




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