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Barn Notes: Friday, January 31
IN TODAY'S NOTES: Quick Indian Could Be Going in Grade II Risen Star; Xtra Luck Another Possibility for FG's $400,000 Risen Star; Fair Grounds Friday Work Tab Unusually Light
Daniel Lynch and Merrill Scherer’s Quick Indian, one length the best in an allowance and $50,000 optional claiming mile and 70 yard test for sophomores one week ago, is now under consideration for the Grade II Risen Star Stakes Feb. 22 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots,according to trainer Merrill Scherer.
The $400,000 Risen Star is the centerpiece of event of the New Orleans oval’s Louisiana Derby Preview Day, now just three weeks away, and the gala afternoon will offer five stakes races, four of which are graded and serve as the designed local preps for a quartet of Grade II stakes on Louisiana Derby Day March 29.
“Yeah, we might want to take a look at (the Risen Star),” Scherer said when asked what the plans were for his improving son of Indian Charlie out of an A. P. Indy mare. “That race might be the next logical spot for him.
“I’ve got a partner on this horse, so I can’t say for sure right now, but he is a pretty nice horse,” Scherer said. “Of course, there was a disqualification in his previous race, but with that disqualification, this horse is undefeated going two turns.
“The other side of that disqualification, of course, is that without the DQ, this horse was a maiden going into Friday’s race and he beat some pretty nice horses in there,” Scherer said.
Scherer was asked if the three days of lost training at Fair Grounds due to inclement weather this week was going to hurt his horse’s training coming up the Risen Star.
“I don’t think so,” Scherer said. “Sure, I lost a couple of days of training with him this week, but so did everybody else. We should be all right with him. That next race is still almost a month away (three weeks and a day on Friday) so it shouldn’t be a problem for us. (Quick Indian) looks like he’s going to be a pretty nice horse for us.”
XTRA LUCK ANOTHER POSSIBILITY FOR $400,000 RISEN STAR—Trainer Danny Pish saddled two horses in the Grade III Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots as the first leg of New Orleans three-race series for sophomores that concludes with the Grade II Louisiana Derby March 29.
One Pish trainee, Dennis Foster’s Got Shades, finished fifth at 8-1 odds. The other, Cesar’s Parra’s Rainbow Trip, ran eighth at 122-1 odds.
Asked about future plans for those two, the southwestern-based conditioner said, “I’ll probably back off on ‘Shades’ once again until late summer but when we bring him back we’ll be staying away from any graded stakes stuff.
“I’ll probably put ‘Rainbow’ in a claiming race,” Pish said. “He’s pretty much out of conditions now so that’s probably the only place we can go.
“However, I am thinking about entering Xtra Luck in the(Grade II) Risen Star,” Pish added, speaking of the Exchange Rate 3-year-old colt owned by Michele and Cliff Love.
Xtra Luck, it should be noted, finished third behind Daniel Lynch and Merrill Scherer’s Quick Indian in the latter’s winning race one week ago, beating JMJ Racing Stable’s highly-regarded Unknown Road in the process.
Another Pish trainee, Dennis Foster’s 3-year-old Louisiana-bred filly Suaveberry, won Thursday’s Fair Grounds finale.
FAIR GROUNDS FRIDAY WORK TAB UNUSUALLY LIGHT —In spite of the fact that the main track at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots was closed for training Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, there were only 16 recorded works at the New Orleans oval at the conclusion of training hours Friday morning.
“I’m surprised we had that many,” said Fair Grounds clocker Mike Diliberto later in the day. “I knew we wouldn’t have too much to do today, because the big trainers don’t like to work their horses when they’ve only been able to walk them for three days. They like to let them jog for at least one day before they start working them again.
“Wait until tomorrow and the next day,” Diliberto added, speaking of training hours on Saturday and Sunday. “We expect we’ll get hit with a whole bunch of workers over the next couple of days.’
One oddity Diliberto was asked about was that all 16 of Friday’s workers were Louisiana-breds.
“I didn’t realize they all were,” Diliberto said. “I did notice that there were a lot of Louisiana-based trainers and Mississippi-based trainers working their horses today, but I didn’t realize that all of them were Louisiana-breds. That is unusual.”