Little Ms Protocol Heads Saturday's Sarah Lane's Oates
Coteau Grove Farms’ Little Ms Protocol, heroine of Delta’s $125,000 Louisiana Premier Night Starlet Stakes at last asking Feb. 4, has been installed as the solid 9-5 morning line favorite in Saturday’s Fair Grounds headliner – the 10th anniversary edition of the $60,000 Sarah Lane’s Oates Stakes.
Restricted to accredited Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies, the Sarah Lane’s Oates will be run at about one mile over Fair Grounds’ Stall-Wilson turf course and has attracted a field of 10 including a coupling.
In the Starlet, Little Ms Protocol raced well behind the early leaders, commenced a rally when set down for the drive and got up to be best by a neck at the wire. Before that the daughter of El Corredor used similar tactics in Delta’s $150,000 Louisiana Jewel Nov. 19 on Delta Jackpot night when best by a length and quarter despite racing four-wide into the lane.
Trained by Pat Devereux, Little Ms Protocol will be running at the Fair Grounds for the first time in her career but will have regular rider Diego Saenz in the irons once again.
Capable of providing strong competition for the morning line favorite is Brittlyn Stables’ Sunday’s Child, who broke her maiden here at first asking during Fair Grounds’ traditional Thanksgiving opening day program on Nov. 24. In her only start since then the daughter of Any Given Saturday finished third in Fair Grounds’ $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie Stakes Dec. 10. She breezed a half-mile in 51.80 last Monday.
Two-time Fair Grounds trainer champion Al Stall Jr. conditions Sunday’s Child, who has been pegged at 7-2 as the second choice in the early line and will be ridden once again by defending Fair Grounds jockey champion and current leading rider Rosie Napravnik.
Not to be discounted in the Sarah Lane’s Oates is Don Eberts’ Scratchmybackhoney, who broke her maiden over the local lawn in her last start Jan. 6. The Morris Nicks trainee has veteran reinsman Shane Sellers slated for the saddle and is the 5-1 third choice in the morning line.
Completing the field is the entry of the I Lee Lange et al.-owned coupling of Tica Caliente and Good Gosh Golly, to be ridden respectively by Robby Albarado and Ramsey Zimmerman; Garland Goins’ She’s Prado’s Idol, Manny Vazquez; Dan Lynch, Ken Sentel and Merrill Scherer’s Leaha’s Princess, Richard Eramia; Ross and Norma Keith and Constance Schuble’s Insincerely Yours, James Graham; S A S Partners’ Lindomo, Eddie Martin Jr.; and Charles Begnaud’s Miss Helen Jay, Shaun Bridgmohan.