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Barn Notes: Thursday, March 19

@AdolphsonRacing

 

IN TODAY'S NOTES
*WAR STORY BULLETS IN FINAL LOUISIANA DERBY WORK
*EDEN PRAIRIE TO TRY GRADE I COMPANY
*SIX OWNERS COULD WIN MEET TITLE

WAR STORY BULLETS IN FINAL LOUISIANA DERBY WORK

Loooch Racing Stables and Chris Dunn’s War Story put the finishing touches on his preparation for the Grade II $750,000 Louisiana Derby (Mar.28) on Wednesday morning with a bullet work in :58.80 over the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots main track for trainer Tom Amoss.  Working early in the morning, the son of Northern Afleet negotiated those five panels in a move that mirrored his bullet work at Oaklawn Park in :47 flat on Feb. 11 – his final preparation prior to a runner-up finish in the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 21.

“He came out of the work fine,” Amoss reported.  “That’ll be our last breeze before we run.  We worked him about the same amount of days out from the Risen Star and he ran well.  We got on the track (Wednesday morning) when it was at its best; it was very quick and he was one of the first on it, plus he had a workmate.  (Jockey) Joe Talamo will be in to ride for the race.”

Wednesday’s move followed gate work earlier in the week for the 3-year-old chestnut gelding – a drill to cure the compact chestnut of his aversion to a quick start.  In both the Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes on Jan. 17 and the Risen Star on Feb. 21 – the first two of the triad of Fair Grounds graded sophomore stakes – the Kentucky-bred was off slowly before rallying to finish second behind budding nemesis International Star.  He is expected to revive that rivalry when said Mike Maker trainee returns for the Louisiana Derby.


EDEN PRAIRIE TO TRY GRADE I COMPANY

Lothenbach Stables’ Eden Prairie looks to be headed to the Grade I $300,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland, per trainer Neil Pessin.  A versatile filly who has performed well on dirt, turf and synthetic surfaces from seven furlongs to 1 1/16 miles, the four-time stakes winner exits arguably the best performance of her career when annexing the $60,000 Bayou Stakes on Feb. 21 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.  On Thursday, the earner of $392,185 worked a bullet for her connections, going five furlongs in :59.80.

“She was sharp today,” Pessin said.  “We wanted a little better work from her this time.  We will probably run in the Jenny Wiley and we have no plans past Keeneland.  I think the Bayou was her most impressive race to date.  She relaxed and when she does that, she’s going to be tough.  If she can do that in the Jenny Wiley, she’s going to be very hard to beat.”

In the Bayou, Eden Prairie defeated multiple graded stakes-winning favorite Istanford and earned a career-best Equibase Speed Figure of 107.  She did so despite sitting near a swift pace of :47.36 set by the favorite and breaking from an outside post.  Florent Geroux was in the irons.

The Jenny Wiley is contested at the same 1 1/16-miles distance at which the daughter of Mizzen Mast has won her last three stakes.  Earlier in the Fair Grounds meet, the 5-year-old dark bay mare won the $50,000 Blushing K D Stakes and was second by a length in the $60,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial.  The Jenny Wiley will also be a return to graded stakes company for the seven-time winner, who was a photo-finish third as a sophomore in the Grade III $100,000 Appalachian Stakes over the Lexington, Kentucky, track’s turf course.


SIX OWNERS COULD WIN MEET TITLE

As many as six owners look to be in the running for Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots’ meet title with eight race days remaining.  As of Thursday morning, the leader is last year’s defending champ Maggi Moss (above), who owns a one-win margin over Louis Roussel, III, with 14 victories. 

The top two are quickly followed by a 12-win tie for third between Keith Plaisance and Whispering Oaks Farm, whose main trainers Eddie Johnston and Steve Flint, respectively, are both having a solid meet.  Rounding out the top six in a tie for fifth with 11 wins apiece are Brad Grady and the team of Al and Bill Ulwelling.  Grady, whose two main conditioners – Bret Calhoun and Joe Sharp – are second and third in the trainer standings, could pose a serious threat with a good showing over the final week of racing, despite only having one runner this weekend.

As far as opportunities to increase their totals this weekend (Thursday through Sunday), Moss has six, Roussel four, Plaisance one, Whispering Oaks Farm five and Al and Bill Ulwelling four.