Ice Climber Wins Feature; Flash Mash Emerges as FG Oaks Contender
Allowed to settle early, Team Block’s Ice Climber commenced a rally outside the leaders when set down for the drive and wore down Last Call Racing Partnership’s Musicstreet Menace in the late stages to be best by a length in Saturday’s featured 1 1/16-mile $47,000 allowance feature over the Stall-Wilson turf course at Fair Grounds.
Ridden by Jamie Theriot, who was scoring his third victory of the afternoon, Ice Climber toured the distance over the yielding going in 1:48.62. The winner paid $8.40, $4.40 and $3.40 and increased his career earnings to $73,060 while scoring his third victory in nine lifetime starts.
Musicstreet Menace, never far back, gained the advantage briefly, could not withstand the winner but was clearly second best, finishing 1 3/4-lengths to the good of Alejandro Leon’s Carson Connection. Musicstreet Menace returned $5.60 and $4 and Carson Connection paid $5.80 for the show.
Joseph Rauch and David Zell’s Cedros made the early pace in fractions of 25.53 and 52.22 before tiring to eighth in the stretch
Flash Mash One to Watch for the Road to the Fair Grounds Oaks
Earlier on the card, 2-year-old filly Flash Mash, owned by Prime Equestrian S.A.R.L., stamped herself as one to watch on the Road to the Grade II, $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks with an effortless 10 1/4-length win in the day’s first race, a six-furlong entry-level allowance. Under a confident ride by Theriot, the Smarty Jones filly drew off without any urging.
“I was a little concerned after Keeneland how she was going to handle dirt but she got here and really worked well on it so we felt good about her making the transition,” said winning trainer Mike Stidham. “Now the next question will be stretching her out two turns and we think she’ll do that, too.”
Theriot was aboard for the first time. Robby Albarado rode Flash Mash in her winning debut at Keeneland but remained in Kentucky this weekend to ride the final days of the Churchill Downs fall meet.
“Jamie was very, very impressed,” Stidham said. “He had worked her for us at Keeneland so he knew about her but then Robby rode her because he had also been working her.”
Flash Mash will be pointed to Fair Grounds’ three-race series for 3-year-old fillies that starts with the $100,000 Silverbulletday Stakes on Jan. 22 and also includes the Grade III, $150,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes on Feb. 19 and the Fair Grounds Oaks on March 26.
“We’re not in any hurry, let’s put it that way,” Stidham said. “We’re certainly going to point her to the big 3-year-old filly races so we’re not in any hurry to run her back in a ‘two-other-than.’”
Racing resumes Sunday at Fair Grounds with a nine-race program beginning a 12:40 p.m.