Gary and Mary West’s Tour Guide for Saturday’s Grade III Lecomte Stakes and Iroquois Racing Club’s Gal About Town for Saturday’s $125,000 Silverbulletday Stakes. That will be trainer Bret Calhoun’s team for each leg of the coming weekend’s sophomore portion of Fair Grounds’ Road to the Derby Kickoff Day Presented by Hotel Monteleone.
Tour Guide, a speedy Broken Vow colt who galloped home 3 1/2-lengths in front in the $60,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes here Dec. 22, will be attempting two turns for the second time in his young career after coming up short last October in Delaware’s $75,000 Dover Stakes. However, he’s responded well in two one-mile morning moves designed to teach him how to stretch out his talent for speed.
“I think we’re still on schedule for the (mile and 70-yard distance of the $200,000) Lecomte,” said Calhoun Sunday morning during training hours. “We’re happy with that mile move yesterday (1:47 flat over sloppy going), as well as the one the week before (1:44.40 Jan. 5). The important thing for me was that he finished up strong both times.”
Gal About Town, who was second beaten a half-length in her last start in Churchill’s Grade II Golden Rod Nov. 24, breezed a bullet three-quarters from the gate in 1:13 here at Fair Grounds one week ago and a bullet five-eighths in 1:00.40 locally two weeks ago.
“I don’t think we’ll work her again,” said Calhoun Sunday. “I’m pleased with the way she’s been training. I think she’s ready to go.”
Calhoun also breezed Gillian Campbell et al.’s Summer Applause a half-mile Saturday at Fair Grounds in 49.40 over sloppy going for the upcoming $400,000 Houston Ladies.
PAUL MCGEE HAS PAIR FOR SATURDAY’S COL. BRADLEY, ONE FOR LOUISIANA ’CAP
Trainer Paul McGee breezed Z Thoroughbreds’ Infrattini five furlongs in 1:02.20 Sunday morning at Fair Grounds in preparation for Saturday’s 67th running of the $100,000 Louisiana Handicap as part of Fair Grounds’ Road to the Derby Kickoff Day Presented by Hotel Monteleone.
Infrattini, a winner of his last three starts by a total of almost 15 lengths, is expected to be the starting high weight at 121 pounds in the 1 1/16-mile race for older horses on the main track.
On Saturday, McGee breezed both David Holloway Racing’s Dubious Miss and Amerman Racing’s Tetradrachm five-eighths in preparation for Saturday’s Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap for older horses at about 1 1/16-miles over Fair Grounds’ Stall-Wilson Turf Course. Dubious Miss, assigned 115 pounds Saturday, accomplished the breeze in 1:02 flat, while Tetradrachm, assigned 114, toured the move in 1:00.40.
“All three of them are ready to go now,” said McGee Sunday morning.
PEITZ PONDERING OAKLAWN PROBLEMS PRIOR TO FG RETURN MIDWEEK
Trainer Danny Peitz is already enjoying a banner Fair Grounds season, and will be returning to New Orleans midweek with an eye on Saturday’s local Road to the Derby Kickoff Day Presented by Hotel Monteleone program, but the native Arkansan was frustrated with the problems encountered at his Oaklawn Park headquarters due to the heavy rains that forced the Spa’s cancellation of the current weekend’s Saturday and Sunday racing.
“Now they’re saying we’re going to have freezing temperatures coming in,” said Peitz, speaking over the phone from central Arkansas. “That’s not going to help matters at all.”
However, all systems remain on “go” for Peitz representatives in the upcoming multi-stakes Fair Grounds program Saturday.
Shadwell Stable’s impeccably bred but inexperienced Hawaakom breezed a half-mile Saturday in 49.60 in advance of this Saturday’s Grade III Lecomte Stakes as the first preview of the $1 million Louisiana Derby March 30.
“We’ll be trying to figure out exactly where we are at with him,” said Peitz. “We’ll be waiting to see if he can take the next step forward by continuing his progress in this race Saturday.
“I’m going to run both (Lawana and Robert Low’s) Zapper Belle and (Shadwell’s) Ausus in the ($75,000) Marie Krantz Memorial,” said Peitz. “We’ll be going up against (James Miller’s 2011 Fair Grounds Oaks winner) Daisy Devine but at least it will probably be a short field.
“I have backed off on Zapper Belle a little bit since she won the ($75,000) Pago Hop here on opening weekend because I’d been running her every month,” said Peitz. “Hopefully, the freshening will help her. As for Ausus, this may be her last race or she may run one more time before they breed her and I’m sure they’d love to get a little black type on her record.”
STARLITE STARBRITE SUFFERS SLIGHT TENDON INJURY IN PAN ZARETA JAN. 12
The bad news was that Andrena Van Doren’s Pan Zareta Stakes favorite Starlite Starbrite stopped suddenly after making the pace in Fair Grounds’ featured $75,000 Pan Zareta Stakes Jan. 12 and was pulled up and vanned off past the wire.
The good news Sunday morning was that Starlite Starbrite merely suffered a slight tendon injury after taking a bad step past the wire and is expected to make a full recovery quickly.
“She’s going to be just fine,” said trainer Tom Amoss Sunday morning during training hours. “The jock said she just hurt herself a little after bobbling just a bit when pulling up. It’s nothing serious.”
Amoss had a training double on the Jan. 12 program, winning the third race with John Stavropoulos’s Trelawny and the 11th with Jack Smith III’s Call me George. Jockey Leandro Goncalves was aboard both winners.