Photo: Hodges Photography/Alexander Barkoff
It’s time to stop using the phrase “Louisiana-bred” as a somewhat negative modifier when describing Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Vicar’s in Trouble, who drew off from Brereton Jones’s Albano in Saturday’s Grade III Lecomte Stakes on Road to the Derby Day at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slot to beat that rival by 6 ¾ lengths.
“That horse can really run,” said an admiring Larry Jones
as the trainer of the runner-up. “Where did they find him? I thought
we were in pretty good position with Albano at the top of the stretch
and then that winner just drew off.”
Assistant trainer Joe Sharp, husband of winning rider Rosie Napravnik and the man chiefly responsible for handling Vicar’s in Trouble this winter for trainer Mike Maker, did not seem all that surprised Sunday morning when accepting congratulations outside the racing office.
“He’s shown us a little ability since the day he came to us,” said
Sharp. “He’s what I would call a pretty pliable horse and I wasn’t
really surprised when he ran as well as he did.”
And how did Vicar’s in Trouble come out of his impressive effort Saturday?
“So far he seems to be getting along just fine,” said Sharp. “In fact he tried to eat me this morning.”
Had Sharp talked to Maker about future plans for Vicar’s in Trouble?
“Well, he’s staying on this circuit for now,” said Sharp, “so we’ll probably be taking a look at the next one (Fair Grounds’ Grade II Risen Star Stakes on Louisiana Derby Preview Day Feb. 22).
Meanwhile, trainer Jones was not displeased with Albano’s race or the runner-up effort by Brereton Jones’s Divine Beauty in Saturday’s $125,000 Silverbulletday Stakes.
“I don’t have either of these two 3-year-olds really cranked up all the way yet,” said Jones. “Believe You Can and Proud Spell both lost races down here (before coming back to win Fair Grounds’ Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks and Churchill’s Kentucky Oaks later in the spring.) We’re just going to build on those races yesterday.”