(Fair Grounds starting gate / Photos by Holly M. Smith)
From the Fair Grounds Media Team:
Mapping out a talented horse’s racing career can be difficult, but it helps to have a scout show the way. Clairiere’s sensational 3-year-old surge for the Kentucky Oaks began with a win in the Rachel Alexandra (G2) at Fair Grounds and her half sister, Stonestreet Stable’s La Crete who is nominated and expected to run in the Silverbulletday, looks to take a very similar path.
The nominations for the 30th running of the $150,000 Silverbulletday have been released, and 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Oaks points have helped entice 13 sophomore fillies for this 1 mile 70 yards main track contest. The Silverbulletday is one of six stakes on the “Road to the Derby Day” card at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, which takes place on January 22. First post will be at 12:05 pm CT.
Unlike her sister who imposes her will in the late stages, La Crete showed her early interest winning the November 20 maiden special weight at Churchill Downs on the lead through all the calls after a brief duel through the first turn with Late Night Lady. That forward style could prove useful given the success of early speed so far at Fair Grounds meet. But if past tactics of other nominees holds up, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro will likely have early company. Nominated by Al Stall Jr., Columbine’s Stables Fannie and Freddie has shown her pressing tactics most recently beaten a neck when earning 4 Oaks points in the Untapable on the locally contested “The Road to the Derby Kickoff Day” on December 26.
Todd Pletcher leads all trainers with three Silverbulletday nominees: Red Oak Stables’ Goddess of Fire, Repole Stables’ Gratitude, and Westerberg Limited, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B.Tabor, and Derrick Smith’s Sweet as Pie.
All horses nominated for the 109th running of the $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) are also eligible for the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes (G3) with the top four finishers receiving Kentucky Derby points (10-4-2-1). Standouts include Epicenter, Pappacap, Tiz the Bomb, Smile Happy, Rattle N Roll, Cyberknife, Oviatt Class and Zandon.
Finishing third in the Clark (G1), Midnight Bourbon is prepped and ready for his consistent nemesis, Mandaloun, who makes his return in the $150,000 Louisiana Stakes (G3) at 1 mile 1/16. Having raced five times prior, Midnight Bourbon tallies three higher finishes of their five prior bouts.
Michelle Lovell and Griffon Farms’ Just Might and Susan Moulton’s Manny Wah have both been nominated by their respective trainers–Michelle Lovell and Wayne “Catman” Catalano–for the 69th running of the $100,000 Duncan F. Keener Stakes 5.5 furlong turf sprint. Just Might has won the last two, but Manny Wah had the upper hand winning last year’s edition of the Kenner.
The 36th Running Of The $100,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Stakes going 1 mile 1/16 over the Stall Wilson Turf Course has taken 36 nominations. Among many standouts: Hugh Robertson nominates Mr. D (G1) winner, Wolfe Racing’s Two Emmys; Steve Asmussen nominates the “Buddy” Diliberto winner, Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Halo Again; Cherie Deveux nominates David Ingordo and Gmack Racing’s last out 2nd-level allowance winner Own Agenda; and Michael Maker nominates Three Diamonds Farm’s Field Pass, last seen winning the Sea Biscuit (G2) at Del Mar.
Nominations for fillies looking to prove their prowess going 1 mile 1/16 over the turf have closed for the 23rd running of the $100,000 Marie G. Krantz. Narola and Anderson Farms Ontarion’s Summer in Saratoga won with last-second dramatics last out in the Blushing KD and is nominated by trainer Joe Sharp.
“The Road to the Derby Day” at Fair Grounds takes place on January 22 with a first post of 12:05 pm CT. The post position draw will take place on Saturday, January 15. For a complete list of the nominees for the six stakes races courtesy of Equibase, along with past performances, click here.