Evolutionist Slight Choice in Wide-Open Woodchopper

Kinsman Stable’s Evolutionist, a promising 3-year-old son of El Prado who appears headed for a future on grass, has been installed as the 5-2 morning line in Saturday’s $60,000 Woodchopper Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

The Woodchopper is scheduled for about one mile over the Stall-Wilson turf course and will be observing its 23rd running as Fair Grounds’ featured event this weekend.

Evolutionist, conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, finished fourth – beaten a little more than a length – in his last start in Keeneland’s Grade III Perryville Stakes Oct. 17, but that race was over the Polytrack course. Prior to that outing, over the Belmont lawn Sept. 17, the son of the good grass sire El Prado was second by a neck under the wire but subsequently placed first after being impeded. James Graham is named in the irons.

Stacey Moak’s Southern Anthem, second choice in the Woodchopper morning line at 3-1, may be the one to beat. The son of Royal Anthem out of a Silver Hawk mare was fifth in last summer’s 75th running of the $150,000 Arlington Classic, won his next race in second level allowance company at that same Chicago oval July 3, but has been away from competition since that time. Victor Lebron is slated for the saddle aboard the Jeff Thornbury trainee.

Complete field
From the rail out, the Woodchopper field with riders assigned consists of Agave Racing Stable’s Marquee Event, Ramsey Zimmerman; Evolutionist, James Graham; Ross and Ross Investments’ Belfast, Shane Sellers; Bellamy Stable’s Smoothcideup, Curt Bourque; Southern Anthem, Victor Lebron; Kari Craddock’s Dakota Gypsy, Benny Landeros; and Don Eberts’ Atlantic Slick, Eddie Martin Jr.