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Barn Notes: Wednesday, March 4

@AdolphsonRacing

IN TODAY'S NOTES
*IKE WALKER TOPS SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI OWNERS AND BREEDERS' STAKES
*DIVINE DAWN ASHLAND-BOUND WITH A GOOD LACOMBE PERFORMANCE


IKE WALKER TOPS SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI OWNERS AND BREEDERS’ STAKES

Ike and Dawn Thrash’s Ike Walker leads a field of 10 in Friday’s $40,000 South Mississippi Owners and Breeders’ Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots – a six-furlong event restricted to 3-year-olds which comply with the bylaws of The South Mississippi Owners and Breeders’ Association.  Making what will be his second start of the year, the son of Bellamy Road will take on a mixed batch that includes three recent winners, three raced maidens and three first-time starters.

Ike Walker broke his maiden at second asking in impressive fashion going seven furlongs on Aug. 7 at Arlington International Racecourse and followed that effort up with a fifth – beaten 2¼ lengths – in the $125,000 Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity at that same course.  Beaten badly in both of his dirt attempts – including a last-place finish in the Grade I $400,000 Breeders’ Futurity in October and a rained-off one-mile allowance on Feb. 5 – the Kentucky-bred did run well when fourth in a grassy Churchill Downs allowance sandwiched between on Oct. 26 behind three horses (Courtier, Wayward Kitten and Broughton Kitten) who finished in the top four in next-out stakes.  He breaks from post nine under James Graham. 

The best dirt Beyer in the field belongs to Joseph Witten’s Likeallgetout, a recent claim from one excellent locally based trainer to another when snagged last out by Tom Amoss from the barn of Bret Calhoun in a 6½-furlong Delta Downs race for $15,000.  The Oklahoma-bred son of the scantly raced Deputy Minister stallion Ra Ra Superstar earned his top figure of 67 when winning a 5½-furlong claiming event at Sam Houston one race prior.  He breaks from post two under Richard Eramia. 

Amoss, who is 31% off the claim, also entered intriguing first-time starter Indian Wildcat – a filly by Indian Charlie and the first foal out of the Forest Wildcat mare Quippery, a half-sister to solid stallion and excellent sprinter Street Boss.  Owned by Pop-A-Top LLC, the bay filly has been working steadily locally for her 17% first-time-out trainer, including a five-furlong gate move on Feb. 21 in 1:01 flat.  She breaks from post three under Francisco Torres. 

The remainder of the field is comprised of High Steppin Cajun (Miguel Mena, rail), Fleetcharlie (Chris Rosier, post four), Joe Bailey (Mitchell Murrill, post five), Barani (Jamie Theriot, post six), Dixie Vicki (Marcelino Pedroza, post seven), Misty Rail (Jose Riquelme, post eight) and Bubbaskoneking (Florent Geroux, post 10).


DIVINE DAWN ASHLAND-BOUND WITH A GOOD LACOMBE PERFORMANCE

While many of her expected rivals in Saturday’s $60,000 Allen Lacombe Memorial may have resolved themselves as specialists over the grass surface upon which the 7½-furlong race will be contested, Tommy Ligon and Michael Pressley’s Divine Dawn has a bigger race on her radar over a different surface – if all goes well.  Trained by Larry Jones, the well-regarded daughter of Divine Park is being prepared for a possible run in the Grade I $500,000 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland on Apr. 4 if she exits her effort this weekend in good shape.

According to Jones, a return to the Keeneland dirt surface is something to which the gray filly’s connections look forward – especially considering the Kentucky-bred broke her maiden at first asking on Oct. 17 over that very surface.  Divine Dawn has since won and finished second in Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots allowance races over the Lacombe’s course and distance and was a disappointing fifth – beaten nearly 12 lengths by her runaway stablemate I’m a Chatterbox – in the Listed $125,000 Silverbulletday Stakes, her only other dirt attempt in four career starts.  By a sire who won the Met Mile and out of a mare by a Florida Derby winner (both on fast dirt courses), it would not be a surprise to see Divine Dawn become a multi-surface specialist.