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STAKES ADVANCES: Louisiana Futurities

The male and female divisions of the $100,000 Louisiana Futurities at Fair Grounds will be run for the 51st and 48th times, respectively, on New Year’s Eve as a final chance for accredited Louisiana-bred juveniles to collect on the lucrative Pelican State-bred program.  Leading their respective fields will be morning line favorites Cook Some Rice in the colt and gelding division and Wind Chill Factor in the filly division.  Both races will be contested at six furlongs and all competitors will carry 122 pounds.

Scott & Company’s Cook Some Rice proved his quality with a decisive victory in maiden company on Oct. 30 at Delta Downs going seven furlongs and then a good second to well-regarded Four Leaf Chief next out in the $150,000 Louisiana Legacy Stakes at that same course going a mile on Nov. 22.  Trained by Samuel Breaux, the gelded offspring of hot sire Half Ours will be ridden by Gerard Melancon from post three in the six horse field and has been assigned a morning line of 8-5.

Cook Some Rice’s main competition could come from Suzette Necaise’s Earl Bankston-trained Just Kissing Buck, who breaks just to his outside under Colby Hernandez and has been assigned a morning line of 2-1.  A gelded son of Limehouse who has only raced twice, he followed a promising debut second – beaten only a half-length – on Nov. 22 at Delta Downs going 7½ furlongs with a dominant four-length tally 22 days later in a Fair Grounds maiden over the Futurity’s distance.

The remainder of the field consists of Union Builder (Francisco Torres, rail), My Friend Flavin (Jamie Theriot, post two), Slowpoke Sam (Willie Martinez, post five) and Wild Tchoupitoulas (Robby Albarado, post six).    

The filly division features another appearance of a filly with a great deal of class in Gary Scherer and Al & Bill Ulwelling’s Wind Chill Factor.  Already a two-time stakes winner, she cracked open the fields in her last two races – the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie at Fair Grounds and $150,000 Louisiana Jewel at Delta Downs – with impressive accelerations.  A winner of her three of four races by a total of 14 lengths, the only black mark on her record was a third behind stakes fillies Sarah Sis and Lovely Maria second time out at Keeneland on Oct. 11.  The daughter of Successful Appeal is a full-sister to three-time stakes winner and seven-time stakes-placed Polar Plunge and will break from post five under Willie Martinez for trainer Scherer with a morning line of 4-5.         

Taking another stab at Wind Chill Factor will be JRita Young Thoroughbreds’ Vivian Da Bling, the beaten favorite in the Lassie last out.  After setting the pace under Brian Hernandez, Jr. for trainer Bret Calhoun, the gray daughter of the swift Too Much Bling retreated to third, six lengths astern her aforementioned rival.  A winner of the $100,000 My Trusty Cat Stakes three starts back on Oct. 24, she will look to return to form in a smaller field when she breaks from the outside post seven.  Hernandez gets the return call under the two-time stakes-winning filly who was assigned a 3-1 morning line. 

Set-Hut’s Forest Lake will make her first start since her victory in the $78,000 Evangeline Downs Starlet on Aug. 30 for trainer Jerry Delhomme in open company.  The daughter of Forestry won her maiden one race prior to that in state-bred company and hails from the family of swift miler and notable sire Najran.  Hector Santiago gets the return call from post four and has been aboard for both of the bay filly’s victories, which have both been at the Futurity’s six-furlong distance.  She is 8-1 on the morning line.

Completing the field will be Jackie Ems Pal (Florent Geroux, rail), Irish Salute (Gerard Melancon, post two), Starrific Is Ours (Chris Landeros, post three) and Private Promise (James Graham, post six).