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Barn Notes: Sunday, December 21

IN TODAY'S NOTES: CASSATT ALL CLASS IN TIFFANY LASS; JONES MAY HAVE THREE SHOTS FOR SILVERBULLETDAY

CASSATT ALL CLASS IN TIFFANY LASS

            Fox Hill Farm’s Cassatt strolled home an easy wire-to-wire winner in the $50,000 Tiffany Lass stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course on Sunday afternoon.  The Larry Jones-trained daughter of Tapit broke on top and never looked back as she demolished her competition by 5¾ lengths.  Ridden by Kerwin Clark, the statuesque gray filly galloped through fractions of :24.23, :48.35, 1:13.34 and finished the mile and 70-yard distance in a sharp 1:43.09 while under wraps at the wire.  The victory was her fifth in eight career starts and third in a stakes.  Cassatt paid $2.60, $2.20 and $2.10 as the 3-10 favorite.

Finishing second was William S. Farish’s Interest Free, followed by Barry Schwartz’s Parc Monceau in third to complete an all-gray trifecta.  Distorted Music and Sparta Magic completed the order of finish.

            “It was a $50,000 workout,” Clark said.  “We have been working this filly on getting her calm in the paddock.  That’s where she really beats herself.  She gets nervous and hot.  She’s been getting better and better with every race.  She got a little hot today, but she did the same thing in New Mexico – so I figured we were in great shape.  As crazy as it sounds, you haven’t seen the best of this filly. I really believe that.  She’s a freak.”         

            Cassatt won the $300,000 Zia Park Oaks in New Mexico on Nov. 26 in similar fashion by 4½ lengths.  Next up for the Kentucky-bred will most likely be the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic at Sam Houston.  

            Two races later in the card, Frank Fletcher Racing Operations’ Rocket Time won for the fourth time in his six-race career in the $50,000 Tenacious Stakes.  Under Calvin Borel, the Al Stall, Jr.-trained son of Tiz Wonderful went wire-to-wire for his first two-turn win.  The 3-year-old gelding won by three lengths over Dreamchaser Thoroughbreds’ Hard Aces in a time of 1:42.28, paying $5.20, $4.40 and $3 as the public’s wagering favorite.

JONES MAY HAVE THREE SHOTS FOR SILVERBULLETDAY

            Trainer Larry Jones could have as many as three starters in the first major sophomore filly event of the Fair Grounds season, the 23rd running of the $125,000 Silverbulletday Stakes on Jan. 17.  The always-formidable stable is considering Brereton C. Jones’ Lovely Maria, Tommy Ligon and Michael Pressley’s Divine Dawn and Grayson Farm’s I’m a Chatterbox for the race named after the Breeders’ Cup-winning champion and Racing Hall of Fame inductee.  Silverbulletday also was an impressive winner of the 1999 edition of the Fair Grounds Oaks, for which this race serves as a prep. 

            Lovely Maria ran fourth last out on Dec. 14 in the $100,000 Trapeze Stakes at Remington Park – an effort that came only 16 days after a photo-finish loss to the talented Toutsie Rules in a six-furlong Fair Grounds allowance.  Unfortunately her first attempt at two turns at Remington did not go as planned.

“She came out okay, except for a cut she got at the break on her eye where the strap hit her,” he said.  “She is fine it was just really bad racing luck.  All is well, though.”

Lovely Maria ran on well to lose by five lengths in the 11-filly field, despite breaking from the outside post, enduring a wide trip and never looking comfortable.  The daughter of Majesticperfection could be joined by another (Brereton C.) Jones-bred filly, Divine Dawn. 

“We also are pointing Divine Dawn to (the Silverbulletday),” Jones said.  “She was very impressive on the grass the other day and we might also have I’m a Chatterbox, who was fourth in the (Grade II $200,000) Golden Rod (on Nov. 29 at Churchill Downs).  All three of those are looking at the race.”

Divine Dawn, a filly Jones has liked since seeing her as a yearling at Airdrie Stud, won in sharp fashion going 7½ furlongs on the grass in allowance company on Dec. 11.  By Divine Park, whose offspring can be multi-surface specialists, Divine Dawn is now two-for-two.

I’m a Chatterbox raced three times for trainer Kenny McPeek and was recently turned over to Jones.  In addition to her fourth-place finish – beaten eight lengths – in the Golden Rod, she was third in a Churchill Downs allowance and broke her maiden at first asking on Oct. 15 at Keeneland.