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Barn Notes: Sunday, February 1

@AdolphsonRacing

IN TODAY'S NOTES: HAPPY TO GO AIMS FOR LACOMBE; THURSDAY ALLOWANCE A BLACK GOLD REHEARSAL; BLUFF HAS RISEN STAR ON RADAR; LA TIA BULLETS, SHIPS TO CALIFORNIA MONDAY FOR BUENA VISTA


HAPPY TO GO AIMS FOR LACOMBE

Raul Bahena’s Happy to Go has exited her second-place finish in last week’s $50,000 OBS Sprint Stakes at Ocala Training Center in fine order, according to trainer Armando De La Cerda, and will now be aimed toward her turf debut.  A Pennsylvania-bred by Saint Anddan, Happy to Go has yet to run a poor race in six starts. 

After a victorious debut in late May at Arlington International Racecourse, the bay filly was third in the Listed $125,000 My Dear Stakes and fifth in a blanket finish in the Listed $125,000 Ontario Debutante – both at Woodbine.  She then was a wide third in the Listed $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie back at Arlington, 19 days before winning the $75,000 Mrs. Henry Paxton Memorial at Presque Isle Downs. 

On Tuesday, the earner of $102,550 rallied after a rough start to pick up second behind runaway track record-setter Lady Shipman, who blitzed the six furlongs in 1:08.80.  After performing well on three different kinds of synthetic surfaces ranging from 4½ to seven furlongs, Happy to Go will now stretch out to 7½ furlongs on the grass and attempt two turns for the first time. 

“She’s really happy and came out good,” De La Cerda said.  “She had a lot of time off and broke slow, but then came running and got second.  The winner is a nice filly.

“I want to run her next month in the ($60,000 Allen Lacombe Memorial) going long on the grass,” he continued.  “I think she will go longer.  She is bred for it.  After this, we’ll know if she’s a two-turn grass horse or a Polytrack sprint horse.”

Happy to Go is a half-sister to stakes winner Caviar N Champagne, stakes-placed Pyrite Mill and Gulfstream Park track record-setter Paizano – all from the mare Arctic Dove’s first four offspring to race.  Arctic Dove, herself, is a daughter of turf specialist Dove Hunt – a graded stakes-winning son of Danzig who finished fourth in the 1995 Breeders’ Cup Mile for trainer Neil Howard.


THURSDAY ALLOWANCE A BLACK GOLD REHEARSAL

Thursday’s fourth race at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has the look of a dress rehearsal for the $60,000 Black Gold Stakes on Feb. 28 at 7½ furlongs on the grass.  At the same trip as the Black Gold, the conditioned allowance for sophomores has attracted some promising prospects.

Wireless Future – a Tom Amoss trainee owned by Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence – leads the way as the 2-1 morning line favorite.  The son of Scat Daddy exits two consecutive wins at one mile on the Fair Grounds turf, including a professional victory on Jan. 8 by 2¼ lengths.  A $250,000 Keeneland September 2013 purchase, he is beginning to live up to a pedigree that includes turf champions Theatrical, El Gran Senor, Green Forest and One For All on his damside.  Florent Geroux has the return call from the rail.

Bringing the most back-class into the allowance feature will be Ike and Dawn Thrash’s Ike Walker.  Making what will be his second turf start, the son of Bellamy Road was last seen finishing fourth in a Churchill Downs grass allowance behind Courtier, Wayward Kitten and Broughton Kitten.  All three of those charges would return in their next races to run favorably in stakes company, highlighted by Courtier’s head loss in last week’s $100,000 Kitten’s Joy Stakes at Gulfstream Park.  Previous to that event, Ike Walker was outpaced in both the Grade III $125,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity at Arlington International Racecourse and the Grade I $500,000 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland.  James Graham has the ride from post six on the 3-1 morning line second choice. 

Worth watching will be 7-2 third choice Fusaichi Flame from the Scott Gelner barn.  A winner two back over the grass to break his maiden, the son of Fusaichi Pegasus out of multiple turf stakes winner – including the 2005 Red Camelia Handicap at Fair Grounds – Merry Mary was a driving second in the $75,000 Big Drama Stakes at Delta Downs behind Amoss trainee Control Stake on Jan. 10.  Miguel Mena picks up the mount and breaks from post five.


BLUFF HAS RISEN STAR ON RADAR

Fox Hill Farm’s Bluff – an impressive maiden winner in January – has set his gaze upon a possible run in the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes for trainer Larry Jones.  After two losses to kick off his career at a mile and 70 yards, the son $250,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase of 2013 finally got things right – and in a big way – on Jan. 22 when walloping nine other sophomores by a geared-down 5¾ lengths at the same distance. 

“We’re not for sure yet, but we’re thinking about the Risen Star for him,” Jones confirmed.  “We haven’t worked him since the race, but the way he’s going we have to put that on the radar.  We’ve always liked him. We think we know what Bluff is – he just wasn't showing up in his first two races because of bad trips.  We’re pretty happy with him right now.”

Bred in Kentucky by Double K, the son of 2014 champion sire Tapit is out of the El Prado mare Ermine Slippers – a full sister to multiple Grade I winner Borrego.  A robust, long-winded type, Borrego would go on to post his two biggest triumphs  – the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup and Grade I Pacific Classic – at the classic distance of 1¼ miles, thus ideally eliminating any stamina concerns for Bluff.

LA TIA BULLETS, SHIPS TO CALIFORNIA MONDAY FOR BUENA VISTA

Locally based Grade I-winning turf mare La Tia turned in a visibly impressive work on Sunday morning, going five furlongs in 1:00 flat at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots under jockey Florent Geroux for trainer Armando De La Cerda.  Owned by Salvador Hernandez, the Illinois-bred daughter of City Place has not raced since annexing the Grade I $300,000 Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar in November, but has been aimed toward the Grade II $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 16 since December. 

“She worked in a minute flat and galloped out in 1:12,” De La Cerda said. “Florent said it was her best work.  I told him to not go too fast, but she did it on her own.  We leave (Monday) morning from the track at 10:30 a.m. and she will have two weeks to get comfortable at Santa Anita.  We are going to the Mark Casse barn, like we did at Del Mar – I’ve known the assistant Randi (Melton) for a long time.  (Joel) Rosario will be in to ride her in the race.”