Cherokee Queen Overcomes Soft Pace to Win Marie Krantz Memorial

Clark Brewster’s Cherokee Queen continued her rule over the turf-favoring filly and mare challengers to her throne in New Orleans with a 1 l/4-length victory in Saturday’s 17th running of Fair Grounds’ featured $75,000 Marie Krantz Memorial Handicap.

The 7-year-old daughter of Cherokee Run –  her rumored potential date in the breeding shed with Malibu Moon still unconsummated as yet – repeated her come-from-behind talents as a race mare shown earlier in this winter in the $75,000 Blushing K. D. Handicap with a sweeping late run around rivals as the choice of the fans. She returned mutuels of $6.20, $4 and $2.80 while touring the about 1 1/16-mile distance over Fair Grounds’ firm Stall-Wilson turf course in 1:45.59. She increased her career earnings to $613,312 with her 11th win in 34 lifetime starts.

“It’s not me, it’s her,” said winning rider Shaun Bridgmohan following his second straight winning ride astride Cherokee Queen when asked how he went about arriving in the winner’s circle. “All you got to do with her is find her a place to run.”

William and Graydon Patterson’s Juanita pressed the early pace, could not withstand the winner in the late stages but gamely held down the runner-up spot, paying $6.20 and $4.20 while finishing a head in front of Steve Asmussen’s Pleasantly Blessed, who returned $2.60.

Wertheimer and Frere’s Weekend Party made the pace with splits of 24.50 and 50.06 before weakening to fourth in the stretch run.

“We have to wait and see,” said winning trainer Steve Margolis when asked about Cherokee Queen’s planned future as a broodmare.  “Nothing is certain.  Now we have to talk to Clark (owner Brewster) and see what he wants to do.”

Racing resumes Sunday at Fair Grounds with an 11-race program beginning at 12:40 p.m.