Mrs. Yoshio Fujita’s Ravi’s Song, who dazzled all her New Orleans Ladies rivals in last season’s renewal of Fair Grounds’ $100,000 main track test, will try to extend her talents to the local grass course when her connections accept the top impost of 122 pounds in Saturday’s fourth running of the $75,000 Blushing K. D. Handicap at about 1 1/16-miles over the Stall-Wilson turf course.
Interestingly, Ravi’s Song has never won over grass, although in her three starts over the lawn – recorded in her last three trips to the post – she has finished a very good second and has run well each time.
“The way I look at it, she’s beaten a number of Grade I and Grade II winners in those last three starts,” said Ravi’s Song’s veteran trainer Carl Bowman Wednesday morning, shortly after completing his own morning run at adjacent City Park. “Also, in my opinion, she suffered significant trouble in two of those races and I think each time it cost her dearly.”
For the record, those three runner-up finishes came when she was second by a neck in Churchill’s Grade III Mint Julep Handicap June 11, then by 1 1/4-lengths in Monmouth’s Grade III Matchmaker last July 31 on the Jersey Shore and then once again under the Twin Spires in Churchill’s Grade III Cardinal Handicap the day after the Breeders’ Cup ended.
“(Ravi’s Song) has been training great since she got down here,” said Bowman. “She had a terrific work (breezing three-eighths in 36 flat) last Sunday and her work before that (a bullet five furlongs in 59.80 Dec. 3) wasn’t too shabby, either. She should be ready to run a good race.”
Informed that last year’s Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks heroine – Blushing K. D. nomination Daisy Devine –owned by James Miller, was not an expected participant in Saturday’s competition, Bowman said, “That’s good. That’s one less horse I have to beat, then.”
QUEEN MAKES FAIR GROUNDS DEBUT SATURDAY
Multiple stakes winner Cherokee Queen, who will be racing in the silks of Clark Brewster for the first time this weekend, will make her Fair Grounds debut with the second-high weight of 121 pounds in Saturday’s $75,000 Blushing K. D. Handicap.
Heroine of the Grade III Suwannee River Stakes at Gulfstream earlier this year, Cherokee Queen will be making her first start for trainer Steve Margolis.
“Mr. Brewster (an Oklahoma-based attorney) bought her out of a November sale in Kentucky right after the Breeders’ Cup as a broodmare prospect,” said Margolis. “We decided to keep her going for now and see where we’re at with her after she runs Saturday.”
DAISY DEVINE TO SIT OUT SATURDAY’S $75,000 BLUSHING K. D. STAKES
James Miller’s Daisy Devine, who won last season’s Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks Mar. 26 and this season’s $75,000 Pago Hop on Nov. 26, will not run in Saturday’s $75,000 Blushing K. D. Handicap, trainer Andrew McKeever indicated Wednesday morning while speaking over the phone from Louisville.
“We’re going to sit this one out and wait for the next one,” McKeever said. “She came back good after that last race, but she didn’t come back great. She’s fine, but I felt she just left a little bit on the table in that last race, so we figure we’ll skip this one and wait for the next one (presumably the grassy $75,000 Marie Krantz Memorial Handicap over the Stall-Wilson turf course Jan. 14.)
“I would think that she will greatly benefit from just a little more time between her races right now,” McKeever said. “I think we learned that lesson with her last year, and we just want to make sure she’s ready for her best effort when she runs again.”