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Weekend Stakes: Tiffany Lass and Black Gold Could Have FG Oaks, La Derby Implications
Prime Equestrian’s Flash Mash, undefeated in her first two starts but a disappointment in the $200,000 My Trusty Cat Stakes at Delta Downs at last asking, heads a field of seven sophomore fillies in Saturday’s inaugural running of the six-furlong $60,000 Tiffany Lass Stakes at Fair Grounds.
The new Tiffany Lass Stakes, now at three-quarters of a mile, could still serve as a steppingstone for a late-developing 3-year-old filly to be considered as a possibility for the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks on Louisiana Derby Day March 26.
Flash Mash, despite her unimpressive last outing, has been installed as the 9-5 morning line choice Saturday and the highly-regarded Mike Stidham trainee could remain on the radar for the Fair Grounds Oaks with the right kind of run this weekend. That’s because the daughter of 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones has the breeding to indicate she could get the 1 1/16-mile middle distance of the Fair Grounds Oaks seven weeks later.
Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Wicked Deed, 2-1 second choice in the Tiffany Lass morning line and an impressive winner of her last two at six furlongs, is another who could possibly stretch out to two turns for the Fair Grounds Oaks with the right kind of performance this weekend because she is by middle distance sire Harlan’s Holiday out of a Marfa mare.
Jockey Jamie Theriot, Fair Grounds’ leading rider during the 2007-2008 meeting, has been named to handle the reins on Flash Mash, while Rosie Napravnik, Fair Grounds’ current leading rider, is listed astride Wicked Deed by trainer Steve Asmussen.
Completing Saturday’s Tiffany Lass field with jockeys and odds is Richard Davis’s Unbridled Praise, Miguel Mena (4-1); Majestic Farm’s Lost My Halo, Marlon St. Julien (5-1); Ron McCauley’s Going to Kukaro, James Graham (8-1); and Eldon Hall’s Miss Polly, Corey Lanerie (10-1).
DIVINE MUSIC, TRUBS VIE IN SATURDAY’S BLACK GOLD STAKES – Pin Oak Stable’s Divine Music, clearly best in a first-level allowance sprint at Fair Grounds Jan. 15, and Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s Trubs, who won in that same kind of company going two turns at Delta Downs last fall, may vie for favoritism when they head a field of six 3-year-olds in Saturday’s 53rd renewal of the $60,000 Black Gold Stakes at Fair Grounds, to be run at six furlongs over the main track for the first time since 1997.
The revised distance as well as the race’s return to the main track could allow Saturday’s running to serve as a steppingstone for a late-developing sophomore to be considered as a possibility for the $1 million Grade II Louisiana Derby as this season’s centerpiece event on March 26.
W. F. Lucas’s Taylor’s Special parlayed a win in the Black Gold to another victory in the Louisiana Derby in 1984 when the Black Gold was contested on the main track at three-quarters of a mile.
Divine Music has been installed as the tepid 5-2 choice in the morning line for Saturday’s Black Gold based on his 1 1/4-length score in first-level allowance company at last asking, and Trubs, fourth in Delta’s $250,000 Jean Lafitte Stakes last time but a winner at that same one mile and 30-yard distance last fall at that western Louisiana oval, has been pegged at 3-1 Saturday here.
Miguel Mena is listed to ride Divine Music, trained by Malcolm Pierce, and Jesse Campbell is slated for the saddle on the Al Stall Jr.-conditioned Trubs.
Completing the Black Gold field, with jockeys and morning line odds assigned, is Vinery Stables’ Changing the Rules, Rosie Napravnik (3-1); Peter Redekop’s Inhisglory, Jamie Theriot (7-2); Richard Rudolph’s Hydro Power, Kerwin Clark (6-1); and Jose Gonzalez’s Thewayitusedtobe, Eddie Martin Jr. (12-1).
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI OWNERS/BREEDERS STAKES SET FOR FRIDAY – The upcoming weekend’s three-stakes program actually gets underway Friday with the 15th renewal of the $40,000 South Mississippi Owners/Breeders Stakes at Fair Grounds.
The race restricted to 3-year-olds which comply with the bylaws of the South Mississippi Owners and Breeders Association is to be contested at six furlongs and has attracted a field of 10, including an entry.
James Alexander’s Call, a gelding undefeated in two starts at Delta Downs, is pegged as the lukewarm 9-5 choice in the wagering, while the filly Red Hot Maria, part of a Pop-A-Top-owned coupling, is slated as the second choice at 2-1 as the presumed stronger half of that entry.