Homeracing

Silverbulletday, Other Fair Grounds Stakes Drawn Deep Fields

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

January 10th, 2018

If you’re planning to play the races this Saturday, you won’t want to miss the fantastic card at Fair Grounds that includes large fields and six stakes races.

Among the highlights are the Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) and the Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap (click either race name to read a more detailed preview), but the other four stakes races also warrant attention. First up is the $75,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes, a six-furlong sprint that drew the smallest field of the day with just six starters. The 4-5 favorite on the morning line is Yockey’s Warrior, a lightly-raced six-year-old that has won five of his last six starts and is 3-for-4 at Fair Grounds. Last time out, he crushed Chublicious and Blue Wings in the Thanksgiving Handicap over this same track and distance, stamping himself as clearly the horse to beat.

A larger and more competitive field will line up for the $75,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial Stakes, an 8.5-furlong turf event for fillies and mares. The narrow favorite is Mom’s On Strike, who has finished in the exacta in five of her six starts on turf, including a late-running allowance win over this course and distance on December 23rd. But Giada Vegas has won four straight races, including the Blushing K. D. Stakes over this course and distance last month, while Inveniam Viam has won two straight state-bred stakes races over the Fair Grounds turf course, so this race will be far from a walkover for Mom’s On Strike.

The $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes is an official prep race on the road to the Kentucky Oaks and has attracted a dozen fillies. Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) winner Wonder Gadot will surely be favored if she starts, but the Mark Casse-trained runner is cross-entered in the Lecomte Stakes and could potentially run there instead. If she does scratch from the Silverbulletday, then Blonde Bomber—third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I)—could battle for favoritism with Heavenly Love, who finished eleventh in the Breeders’ Cup one start after winning Keeneland’s Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. I) by 5 ½ lengths.

The final stakes race on the card is the $75,000 Louisiana Stakes at 8.5 furlongs on the main track. Last year’s winner Hawaakom is back again and will try to end a six-race losing streak while facing a quality field that includes The Player, winner of the Fayette Stakes (gr. II) two starts back; Scuba, winner of the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. III); the multiple graded stakes-placed runner Dazzling Gem; and Cooptado and Shut the Box, the 1-2 finishers in the Tenacious Stakes at Fair Grounds last month.

Post time for the first race of the day is 2:00 p.m. Eastern.
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