Mrs. Yoshio Fujita’s Ravi’s Song, allowed to settle, launched a bold bid along the inside when set down for the drive and drew off for a convincing length and a half score in Saturday’s second running of the $100,000 New Orleans Ladies for older fillies and mares at Fair Grounds.
The winner, trained by Carl Bowman and ridden by Corey Lanerie, overcame a slow early pace not particularly agreeable to her running style but accomplished the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:44.64 while increasing her career earnings to $258,173 with her sixth victory in 12 lifetime starts. The daughter of Unbridled’s Song out of 1998 Fair Grounds Oaks winner Lu Ravi paid $8.20, $4 and $3.
“I was a little concerned because they were going so slow up front,” said winning rider Lanerie, “but at the half-mile pole the race started to pick up and I knew I had plenty of horse left.”
John Gunther’s Stage Magic prompted the early pace, gained a clear advantage at the furlong grounds, could not withstand the late surge of the winner but was easily second best returning mutuels of $10.80 and $4.80.
Four and three-quarter lengths farther back at the wire was Jim Tafel’s Fighter Wing, who had established early splits of 24.90 and 49.57, but was no match for the top two in the drive. The pacesetter paid $4 to show.
“I’ve worked (Ravi’s Song) since she won the Pelleteri here (Feb.12) and she’s trained great down here,” said Bowman. “I felt she was ready for this race.”
GREAT MILLS GOES GREAT GOING TWO TURNS IN GRINDSTONE STAKES
Millennium Farms’ Great Mills, going two turns again after two straight sprint races, made every pole a winning one in Saturday’s Grindstone Stakes, rescheduled from a week ago when an afternoon deluge forced the cancellation of last Saturday’s Fair Grounds program after two races.
“Pace is everything and he was stretching out for the second time going two turns,” said winning rider Shane Sellers following Great Mills one-length front-running score. “But I wasn’t expecting to get (an opening quarter-mile in) ‘26.’ In those kinds of races you take what they give you and they gave it to me.”
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Great Mills got early fractions of 26.20 and 51.23 before getting the about 7 1/2-furlongs of the race for 3-year-olds over the Stall-Wilson turf course in 1:34.09
Great Mills returned mutuels of $20, $5.60 and $4 and increased his career earnings to $82,800 with his third career win in four lifetime starts.
All In Stable’s favored Willcox Inn found his best stride late to be clearly second best, paying $2.80 and $2.40 while finishing 1 3/4-lengths in front of Team Block’s Mavericking, who returned $2.80 in the show spot.