Multiple graded-stakes winner Concert Tour, unraced since finishing ninth in the Preakness Stakes for trainer Bob Baffert, is entered in the Dec. 27 Woodchopper Stakes on turf at Fair Grounds for new trainer Brad Cox.
It remains to be determined if Concert Tour actually contests the one-mile Woodchopper for 3-year-olds, however. Weather will be the determining factor in the decision
"He's not running unless it comes off the turf," Cox told Horse Racing Nation in a text message Saturday.
The extended weather forecast for New Orleans shows only a minimal chance of rain.
A homebred for Gary and Mary West, Concert Tour returned to the work tab Oct. 31 at Churchill Downs and has been breezing weekly in the interim, which includes an easy four-furlong spin over the Fair Grounds strip on Sunday.
Concert Tour won his debut in January at Santa Anita for Baffert and came back to add victories in the San Vicente (G2) and the Rebel (G2) when shipped to Oaklawn Park. Subsequently sent off as the odds-on favorite in the Arkansas Derby (G1), the son of Street Sense would disappoint with a third-place finish.
That effort led the connections to bypass the Kentucky Derby and await the Preakness, where he was never a factor.
Also set to return from a lengthy layoff in the Woodchopper is Big Lake for trainer Steve Asmussen. The son of American Pharoah, who was a maiden and allowance winner on dirt at Fair Grounds last winter, has not started since finishing third behind Concert Tour in the March 13 Rebel.
|Rank||Silks||Horse / Sire||Rating||Trainer / Jockey||Last Start||Status|
B. Hernandez, Jr.
Point of Entry
F. De La Cruz