Augustin Stable’s Smart Bid, hero of Fair Grounds’
Grade II Mervin Muniz Memorial Handicap last year as the Crescent City oval’s showcase event for older horses over the
Stall-Wilson turf course, heads a field of 10 named to Saturday’s designed prep for that test – the
Grade III Fair Grounds Handicap, which is also carded at about nine furlongs over the local lawn.
Although the son of Smart Strike has not visited the winner’s circle since the Muniz Memorial, run last March 26, the
Graham Motion trainee finished second by three-quarters of a length in Churchill’s
Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby Day last spring, second in Virginia’s
$500,000 Colonial Turf Cup June 18 and was then runner-up once more in Woodbine’s
Grade II Sky Classic over Canadian grass last Aug. 21.
Edgar Prado will make up most of the starting high weight of 121 pound assigned astride Smart Bid.
Among the challengers for Smart Bid Saturday are Andrews T & S Racing’s
Mr. Vegas, David Holloway Racing’s
Dubious Miss and Chester Miller and Pat Dupuy’s
Strike Impact, respectively the one-two-three finishers in Fair Grounds’
Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap run over the Stall-Wilson course Jan. 21.
Mr. Vegas will be ridden by
Miguel Mena, aboard for
that last local tally but astride this time with an increased 118-pound
assignment. Dubious Miss, assigned a lesser 116 pounds this weekend, has
Corey Lanerie slated for the saddle once again; while
Strike Impact, in this time with two pounds less than in the Col. Bradley, gets a new rider in
Completing the Fair Grounds Handicap field is Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s
Derby Kitten, Rosie Napravnik up with 114 pounds; Starlight Racing’s
Achaemenes, Ramsey Zimmerman (114); Terry Hamilton and Robert Morgan’s
Gleam of Hope, James Graham (116); Fantasy Lane Stable’s
Uptowncharlybrown, Paco Lopez (113); Team Block’s
Mister Marti Gras, Shaun Bridgmohan (117) but cross-entered in Saturday’s
Grade III Mineshaft Handicap; and Team Block’s
Ioya Bigtime, Robby Albarado (115).