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Grade III Colonel Bradley 'Cap Lures Condo and Cisco
When Barr Three LLC and Cherrywood Racing’s Princeville Condo rallied outside the leaders to win Fair Grounds’ $60,000 “Buddy” Diliberto Memorial Handicap by a head Dec. 26, it justified the long-range plans of part-owner and Chicago-based trainer Michele Boyce to send her Illinois-bred gelding to fellow conditioner Greg Geier for this winter’s three-race grass series at the Crescent City oval.
The first leg of that series to be run over the Stall-Wilson turf course is Saturday’s 24th running of the Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap – one of six stakes races set for Saturday’s “Road to the Derby Kickoff Day” program at Fair Grounds. Understandably, Boyce will be flying down from Chicago to New Orleans earlier on Saturday to witness the turf test.
“I understand he’s been training very well down there,” said Boyce, speaking over the phone from Hawthorne Race Course Friday morning. “What’s the weather like down there? I’d hate to fly all the way down there and then have them take the race off the grass. I know my horse can handle yielding going, but I’d still rather have it firm.
“I know (jockey Francisco) Torres is very happy with him,” said Boyce. “The horse worked slow the other day, but ‘Cisco’ said the track was deep and not to worry about that. He’s a slow work horse, anyway. I just hope we have good racing luck.”
Princeville Condo is listed as the 7-2 second choice in the Col. Bradley morning line behind James Spence’s El Caballo at 2-1. That Ralph Nicks trainee finished second by a nose to the Bobby Frankel-trained Proudinsky in last season’s Grade II Mervin Muniz Memorial Handicap, third leg of the local turf series run on Louisiana Derby Day.
Amoss Trainees Abound in Saturday’s ‘Road to the Derby’ Program
With nine Fair Grounds training championships to his credit, New Orleans native Tom Amoss has won the local title more times than any other conditioner to date, and not too surprisingly, he has four horses permeating Saturday’s six-stakes “Road to the Derby Kickoff Day” program.
Of those, both of his 3-year-olds – Ron the Greek in Saturday’s Grade III Lecomte Stakes and Red Hot Buddha in Saturday’s $75,000 Tiffany Lass Stakes – are of particular interest.
Pop-A-Top’s Red Hot Buddha has made three starts in her career and won two of them, but all three were on the grass and all three were in sprints.
On Saturday, the daughter of Buddha will be making her debut on the main track and also going two turns for the first time, and is 12-1 in the Tiffany Lass morning line.
“Yes, there are a lot of unanswered questions about her,” said Amoss Friday morning, “and, of course, going two turns and going on the dirt is a whole other ball of wax. However, she’s always shown a lot of ability, and she takes instruction very well. She’s always done whatever the rider has asked her to do, and we thought this might be a good race to see what she’s capable of doing.”
The Tiffany Lass is the first designed prep for the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks on March 26, and four of the last five Fair Grounds Oaks winners (including Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra last spring) have gone on to win the Grade I Kentucky Oaks.
Jack Hammer’s Ron the Greek is 8-1 in the morning line for the $100,000 Lecomte after winning his first two and then finishing fourth in Remington’s $200,000 Springboard Mile behind the Lecomte’s 7-2 morning line favorite in their last starts Dec. 13. The Lecomte is the first designed prep for the Grade II Louisiana Derby on March 27.
“This is a very interesting horse,” said Amoss of Ron the Greek. “We’ve always known he wanted a route of ground, and in that last race at Remington he came from last place and then had to check after beginning his run. He’s a bigger horse than most, and he makes quite a presence in the paddock.”
Saturday’s Stakes Sextet Tidbits
Stacey Moak’s Rock Hard, 30-1 in the morning line for the Lecomte: “This is a big step up for him,” said trainer Bobby Barnett, “but I can tell you he’ll be running at the end.”
L T B Inc and Miles Childers’ Sheer Beauty, 5-1 in the morning line for the Tiffany Lass: “I think she fits well in here,” said trainer Bernie Flint. “Dale Romans’ horse (8-5 favorite Quiet Temper) looks really tough, but I’m a numbers guy and our numbers compare well. We’re the only two in there that show ‘85s.’ The races are going to get tough from here on in.”
Mimicry Partnership’s Grand Traverse, 10-1 in the $75,000 F. W. Gaudin Memorial: “We’re going to need help. We need Cash Refund to chase Euroears and tire each other out,” said trainer Tim Glyshaw. “Then we might have a chance.”
Alex Solis Jr.’s Annihilation, 6-1 in the $75,000 Dr. A. B. Leggio Memorial: “She got in (from Santa Anita) about 6 o’clock last night,” said Joe Sharp, an assistant in trainer Mike Stidham’s barn where Annihilation is stabled. “She settled real nice as soon as she got here.”