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Never Retreat, Categor Seven Renew Rivalry in Marie Krantz 'Cap

Team Block’s Never Retreat and James Perron Racing Stable’s Category Seven, first and second under the wire respectively in Fair Grounds’ $60,000 Furl Sail Handicap Jan. 2 before being reversed by disqualification, face off once again in Saturday’s $60,000 Marie Krantz Memorial Handicap for older fillies and mares at about a mile and a sixteenth over the Stall-Wilson turf course.

In the Furl Sail, Never Retreat launched a bold bid in the stretch run along the inside but drifted out late to brush Category Seven in the late stages. The latter, also without speed, gained the advantage in mid-stretch but could not stay with that rival after being brushed near the wire and finished second by a neck. The original order of finish was reversed following a stewards’ inquiry and an objection by jockey Richard Eramia aboard Category Seven against Never Retreat.

Never Retreat has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite for Saturday’s Marie Krantz Memorial, while Category Seven, who is coupled in the wagering with Anne Perron’s Sweetsouthern Doll, is the 7-2 third choice in Saturday’s morning line.

Du-Zee Stables’ Bubbler, a winner of his first three starts on dirt but sixth in the grassy Furl Sail, is the 3-1 second choice in Saturday’s morning line but is entered for main track only.

From the rail out with horses, jockeys, weights and odds, the Marie Krantz Memorial field consists of Final Refrain, Victor Lebron, 119 (9-2); Category Seven, Richard Eramia, 120 (7-2); Never Retreat, James Graham, 120 (5-2); Silver Sands, Corey Lanerie, 115 (12-1); Love to Tell, Shaun Bridgmohan, 116 (12-1); Lookalike, Brian Hernandez Jr., 116 (10-1); Dancin Perfect, Shane Sellers, 117 (8-1); More of the Best, Francisco Torres, 116 (8-1); No Use Denying, Miguel Mena, 116, (10-1); Sweetsouthern Doll, Curt Bourque, 114 (7-2); Zhou, Trey Agilar, 114 (20-1) and Bubbler, Eddie Martin Jr., 113 (3-1).