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Stakes Advance: Louisiana Futurities

Dixie Beat, 'Nurse' Top Louisiana Futurity Divisions

Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch’s Dixie Beat, a winner at first asking and a closing third behind the two top choices in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile last time at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, may be a tepid choice in the wagering when he faces six rivals in Tuesday’s $97,605 Louisiana Futurity, colts and geldings division, at the Crescent City oval.

The colts and geldings division will be run as the seventh race on a 10-race program.

Bleu and Lacie Schniederjan’s Nurse Emmielle is expected to be well regarded in the $106,105 Louisiana Futurity’s filly division, to be run as the ninth race on that same New Year’s Eve program.

The rare Tuesday racing day at Fair Grounds, one of only two this season in New Orleans, was carded to take advantage of the back-to-back mid-week holidays.

Although Dixie Beat, trained by Bret Calhoun, was a distant third on Louisiana Champions Day Dec. 14, he was clearly best of the others and won’t be facing either of the pair that beat him when he goes to the post on Tuesday.  The juvenile gelding will be ridden by seven-time Fair Grounds jockey champion Robby Albarado.

Strong competition for Dixie Beat could come from Bob Gorsky et al.’s Yankee Gambler, who broke his maiden impressively with a 6 ½-length win at Lone Star Park last May 11.  Although absent from competition since that win, Yankee Gambler breezed a bullet five furlongs in 59.60 here Nov. 27.  Calhoun also trains Yankee Gambler, who will be ridden by three-time Fair Grounds defending jockey champion Rosie Napravnik.

Completing the colts and geldings division of the six-furlong sprint restricted to accredited Louisiana-bred 2-year-olds are Rodney Verret’s Forerun, Mark Guidry aboard; Corrine and William Heiligbrodt’s Pummill, Ricardo Santana Jr.; Maxie Kitchings Jr’s Emma’s Prince, C. J. McMahon; Oak Leaf’s Yankee Hunter, Leandro Goncalves, and Katie Jo Kitchings’ Boston Bash, Billy Patin.

The fillies divisions will be headed by Bleu and Lacie Schniederjan’s Nurse Emmielle, who broke her maiden by 7 ½-lengths on Sept. 20 at Louisiana Downs and was a willing third-place finisher, beaten just over a length in her most recent start here in the first-level allowance ranks Nov. 23.  Conditioned by Steven Duke, she will be ridden by jockey James Graham on Tuesday.

Terrell Jarrett Jr.’s Lady Notional, a daughter of 2007 Grade II Risen Star Stakes winner Notional, who was first under the wire in the Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies at Louisiana Downs last Aug. 17 before being subsequently disqualified to fourth, could prove troublesome in the Louisiana Futurity for members of the distaff set. Donnie Meche rides the Jorge Lara trainee.

Opposing Nurse Emmielle and Lady Notional in the full field of fillies are Susan Love’s Jonny’s Jewel, Shaun Bridgmohan; Merrill Scherer’s Lonely Teardrops, Brian Hernandez Jr.; Valene Farms’ Sammie’s Touch, Jamie Theriot; Wayne Davis’s Top Doll, Filemon Rodriguez; and Double Dip Stable’s Ben’s Juliette, Rosie Napravnik.

Also in the fillies division of the Louisiana Futurity, Glen Warren and Andy Leggio Jr.’s Another Pinot, Richard Eramia; Lee Young Farm’s Sweet Alice Benbow, Robby Albarado;  Virginia  Lazenby’s French Celebrity, Kerwin Clark; Keith Plaisance’s La Justice, Chris Landeros; and Millennium Farms’ Pledge Pin, Ricardo Santana Jr.