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Barn Notes: Friday, February 13

@AdolphsonRacing

IN TODAY'S NOTES
*WAR STORY OUT OF SOUTHWEST, POINTS TO RISEN STAR
*HARD ACES SOLD, OUT OF MINESHAFT
*HIGHBALL FIRES WARNING SHOT


WAR STORY OUT OF SOUTHWEST, POINTS TO RISEN STAR

One of the most exciting sophomores based at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will return to the New Orleans oval after shipping to Hot Springs, Arkansas, for Oaklawn Park’s Grade III $300,000 Southwest Stakes and drawing the 11-post of 12 in that Monday feature.  Owned by Loooch Racing Stables and Chris Dunn, the son of Northern Afleet is trained by Fair Grounds’ leading conditioner Tom Amoss and exits a sharp second after a troubled trip in its Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes on Jan. 17. 

“It just didn’t work out,” Amoss said.  “We drew an outside post-position and there’s a strong statistical negative to that post.  Plus, there’s a forecast for dicey weather on Monday.  He worked quite well at Oaklawn (on Wednesday).”

The chestnut gelding will now ship back to Fair Grounds to prepare for the 41st renewal of the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 21, where he is expected to meet Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Lecomte winner International Star again.  In a triad of career starts, the Kentucky-bred has two wins and a second and is regarded by many as a Triple Crown trail prospect to watch.


HARD ACES SOLD, OUT OF MINESHAFT

Expected to be one of the favorites in the Grade III $125,000 Mineshaft Handicap on Feb. 21, Hard Aces has been sold and will now leave the barn of Larry Jones and depart for the shedrow of California-based conditioner John Sadler.  Previously owned by Dreamchaser Thorobreds and Jones, the son of Hard Spun has won five of 19 starts and earned $215,145. 

The 5-year-old horse exits a career-best performance in the Listed $75,000 Louisiana Handicap on Jan. 17, where he handily defeated odds-on stablemate and Brereton C. Jones homebred Albano.  With Hard Aces out, it is probable that Albano will now represent the Jones barn in the Mineshaft, in lieu of an expected start in the $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston on Feb. 28. 


HIGHBALL FIRES WARNING SHOT

Gary and Mary West’s Highball has always been highly regarded by trainer Wayne Catalano, but he has rarely been an exceptional workhorse.  Such is not to say the 4-year-old has not been a sharp horse in the mornings, but on Friday he upped his game and sent out a warning shot for his expected rivals in the Grade III $125,000 Fair Grounds Handicap on Feb. 21 when bulleting five furlongs in 1:00.80 – best of 23 at the distance. 

Pleasing his connections in the process, the good-looking bay colt will look for an overdue stakes win when he takes on many of the same rivals he defeated when third in the Grade III $125,000 Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap – losing second place by a nose to Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Gentleman’s Kitten and finishing 1¼ lengths behind Charlie Smith’s popular Louisiana-bred String King. 

In eight career starts, the $250,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase and half-brother to graded stakes winner Glorious View has a second, two thirds, a fourth and a fifth in five stakes starts – four of which were graded.