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Classy Deelites Tepid Top Choice in Saturday's Mr. Sulu
Moran Racing Stable’s Classy Deelites, hero of last summer’s $100,000 Attaway Darbonne Memorial at Evangeline Downs on the Fourth of July, has been installed as the 5-2 morning line choice in Saturday’s $60,000 Mr. Sulu Stakes at Fair Grounds.
The Mr. Sulu, observing its second running, is restricted to accredited Louisiana-breds and is to be contested at about 1 1/16-miles over the Stall-Wilson turf course as a prep for the upcoming $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf on Dec. 12. Named in honor of one of only two Thoroughbreds to win three times on Louisiana Champions Day, last year’s inaugural edition had to be taken off the grass and run on the main track due to inclement weather.
Classy Deelites, however, has run well on both turf and dirt. In addition to last summer’s clear victory over the Evangeline grass in the Darbonne on America’s Birthday, the 4-year-old gelding was easily second best in the Louisiana Cup Turf Classic at Louisiana Downs Aug. 1. That race, like the 2008 Mr. Sulu, was transferred to the main track.
Trained by Don Moran Sr., the son of Afternoon Deelites broke his maiden by eight lengths over sloppy going here in January of 2008 and then came back to win the $60,000 Gentilly Stakes in March of that year over the local lawn.
Jockey Jamie Theriot, Fair Grounds’ leading rider two seasons ago, will make up most of the co-highweight of 122 pounds assigned under the allowance conditions.
Wachtel Stable, Brous Stable and Jerry Lee’s Desert Wheat, victor by 1 3/4-lengths in last year’s Mr. Sulu, may be the one to beat as the 7-2 second choice in the morning line. Although the 6-year-old has not won since, he has finished second in five of his eight starts since then. Conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, Desert Wheat gets in the Mr. Sulu with 118 pounds and will be ridden by Corey Lanerie, who scored a riding triple Sunday at Fair Grounds.
Completing the field is the Hardy Farm-owned entry of Brendyn Jo and Nowandforevermore, ridden by Gerard Melancon and Shane Sellers respectively; the Robert Asaro Enterprises-owned High Toned and Grand Minit, ridden by Jesse Campbell and Eddie Martin Jr. respectively; Idebcrazy, Billy Patin; Ide Miss Dixie, Ken LeBlanc; Kiss My Kriss, Brian Hernandez Jr.; Takin’ the Bullet, Richard Eramia; Lee’s Spirit, Don Simington; and Wildrally, Curt Bourque.