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Sophomore Hopefuls Stay Put, Quiet Temper Win Sunday
Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein’s Stay Put joined the list of Steve Margolis-trained sophomores who have passed their latest tests on the road to the Grade II, $750,000 Louisiana Derby by coming from last place to win Sunday’s $45,000 allowance optional claiming feature by one length in impressive fashion while going a mile and 40 yards.
Earlier in the day, Mark Stanley’s 3-year-old filly Quiet Temper made similar strides toward the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks with a dominant front-running performance in a race with similar conditions but restricted to members of the distaff set.
Margolis, who already has Sugar Bowl Stakes hero Cool Bullet as a possible Grade III Lecomte starter Jan. 23, could also run Stay Put in that event based on the way he ran Sunday.
“He’s a true distance horse that will settle and make that one run,” said Margolis. “This horse will run all day.”
Stay Put, confidently ridden by Jamie Theriot, leading rider at Fair Grounds two seasons ago, paid $16, $7 and $4.40, toured the distance in 1:40.67 and increased his earnings to $59,600 with his second career win in four lifetime starts.
Jay Em Ess Stable’s Worldly finished second to Stay Put as the choice of the fans while two lengths to the good of Letsgetitonmon. Worldly paid $3.60 and $2.60, while Letsgetitonmon returned $7 to show.
Depaul made the pace with splits of 24.23 and 48.56 before tiring to finish seventh.
Quiet Temper, trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Fair Grounds defending jockey champion Robby Albarado, paid $2.80, $2.10 and $2.10 and accomplished the distance in 1:40.90 after setting early fractions of 24.36 and 48.26. She increased her career earnings to $355,800 with her second win in five lifetime starts.
“The racing’s going to get tougher for her but she was well within herself today,” said Albarado. “I didn’t ask anything of her. Her speed will be her biggest asset.
“I’ve never won the Fair Grounds Oaks,” Albarado added. “I’ve won every one of the big ones here but that one.”
Bella Medaglia finished second, a length and a quarter behind Quiet Temper, returning $3.60 and $2.20 while finishing third 4 3/4-lengths farther back was Best Reward, who paid $4.40.
The Kleins and Margolis also scored in the eighth race, a six-furlong maiden special weight for 3-year-olds, with the first-time starter What’s New. The Dixie Union colt broke sharply from the rail and led all the way, drawing clear by two lengths over Nelson Bunker Hunt’s Berberis, making his debut for trainer Steve Asmussen, and Sam Winstead’s Delong Road, another first-time starter, by Storm Cat out of millionaire Tates Creek and trained by D. Wayne Lukas.
What’s New finished the race in 1:11.09 and paid $6.40 to win.
“We’ll let him come back in a ‘N1X,’” Margolis said, referring to an entry-level allowance race. “We don’t need to push him to come back in 20 days for a two-turn stakes (the Lecomte), and I’ve already got Stay Put and Cool Bullet.”