Undercard: Gran Estreno, Recapturetheglory, Wild About Marie, Early Return Win Stakes

Feel The Thunder Stable’s Gran Estreno, a two-time winner of the Grade III Washington Park Handicap over Arlington’s synthetic surface in Chicago, proved equally proficient in Grade III company on the grass by capturing Saturday’s Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap on Fair Grounds’ Stall-Wilson turf course with a clear-cut come-from-behind win by 1 1/4-lengths.

“He’s really adaptable,” said trainer Mike Stidham immediately after the race. “I told Rosie (winning jockey Anna Napravnik) to let him sit where he’s comfortable. She’s got a tremendous amount of ability and she can judge those things. He can be up close or he can come from the back. He continues to amaze me. He’s amazed me in his last four or five races, like he’s almost changed his style as an 8-year-old.”

Over the course of his lengthy career, the Argentine-bred Gran Estreno has won 14 times in 35 lifetime starts and amassed earnings of $543,175.

“He’s a great horse to ride,” said Napravnik, who was aboard Gran Estreno for the first time in a race. “I’ve watched him train in the mornings and he’s very cool to ride.”

Gran Estreno returned mutuels of $8.20, $4.40 and $3.20 and accomplished the about 1 1/16-mile distance over a Stall-Wilson turf course rated “yielding” in 1:46.04.

David Holloway Racing’s Dubious Miss pressed the early pace, could not stay with the winner when challenged in mid-stretch but continued willingly to be clearly second best, finishing a length to the good of Henry Pabst’s Joinem. Dubious Miss paid $6.20 and $3.80 while Joinem returned $3.60 to show.

Sam-Son Farms’ Red Strike made the pace in the Col. Bradley with early splits of 25.04 and 50.93 but weakened to fourth in the stretch.

RECAPTURETHEGLORY RECAPTURES GLORY IN LOUISIANA HANDICAP – Louie Roussel III and Ronnie Lamarque’s Recapturetheglory returned to the form he showed winning the Grade II Illinois Derby three years ago when he proved clearly best by a length and a quarter in Saturday’s $60,000 Louisiana Handicap.

After winning the sixth race of his career and increasing his lifetime earnings to $542,646 from 23 starts, the 6-year-old son of Cherokee Run paid $14, $4.60 and $3.20 and toured the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:43.41.

“I told (trainer) Louie (Roussel) that he was going to improve off of that last race,” said winning jockey Jamie Theriot. “He kind of emptied out on me that day –  he was a little short – but today he just took off and gave me everything he had when I asked him, just like I knew he would.”

Adele Dilschneider’s Apart got up for second in the Louisiana ’Cap to return $2.40 and $2.10 while finishing a neck to the good of Jim Tafel’s Country Flavor, who paid $3. Richard Rudolph and Michael Vranich’s Royal Express set the pace with fractions of 23.33 and 47.10 before tiring to sixth.

WILD ABOUT MARIE WINS DR. A. B. LEGGIO MEMORIAL – Ike and Dawn Thrash’s Wild About Marie set early fractions of 23.17 and 47.39 and then continued willingly when challenged by Team Valor International and Highfield Stock Farm’s Chantilly Nayla to win Saturday’s $60,000 Dr. A. B. Leggio Memorial by a neck while touring the about 5 1/2-furlong distance over a Stall-Wilson turf course rated “yielding” in 1:05.49.

The winner, trained by Jeff Thornbury and ridden by Richard Eramia, paid $22.60, $11.20 and $7.20 and increased her career earnings to $122,950 with her fourth win in nine lifetime starts.

Chantilly Nayla ranged up alongside Wild About Marie in the late stages, could not stay with that one but clearly held the place by finishing 2 1/4-lengths in front of WinStar Farm’s Mimi’s Bling. Chantilly Nayla returned $9.60 and $7.40 and Mimi’s Bling paid $4.80 to show.

EARLY RETURN CRUISES IN F. W. GAUDIN MEMORIAL – In the opening race of the gala Road to the Derby Kickoff Day program, Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein’s Early Return provided just that for those who backed him in the $60,000 F. W. Gaudin Memorial with mutuels of $5.60 and $2.40 while increasing his career earnings to $232,806 with his sixth victory in 19 lifetime starts. After taking command out of the gate, the Steve Margolis trainee cut out early fractions of 23.03 and 46.20 and continued willingly the rest of the way to accomplish the six-furlong distance in 1:09.51 while posting a 1 1/4-length score under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan. Favored Mambo Galliano, owned by Louie Roussel III, pressed the pace of the winner throughout, could not catch that one but was clearly best of the others.  He paid $2.10 to place.