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Friday Notes: Saturday's Silverbulletday Attracts Margolis Pair

A year ago at this time, trainer Steve Margolis  was juggling the campaigns of two talented 3-year-old colts, Winmore LLC’s Cool Bullet and Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein’s Stay Put.

Cool Bullet had won the Sugar Bowl Stakes in the last month of his 2-year-old season and went on to run fourth in the Grade III Lecomte and win Turfway’s $50,000 Hansel Stakes prior to the Triple Crown races, and Stay Put ran fifth in the Grade II Risen Star, fifth in the Grade II Louisiana Derby and went on to be fifth once more in the Belmont Stakes.

This winter, Margolis has a pair of 3-year-old fillies – Right Time Racing’s Bouquet Booth and Gold Square’s Little Miss Holly – ready to run in Saturday’s $100,000 Silverbulletday Stakes, headline event for members of the distaff set on Saturday’s Road to the Derby Kickoff Day Presented by Hotel Monteleone.

As the first leg of Fair Grounds’ three-race sophomore filly series, the Silverbulletday Stakes will precede the Grade III Rachel Alexandra Stakes Feb. 19 and conclude with the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks on Louisiana Derby Day March 26, but Margolis was asked to evaluate Bouquet Booth and Little Miss Holly as they head into Saturday’s Silverbulletday.

“Bouquet Booth has been training really good coming into this race,” said Margolis of the daughter of 2005 Travers winner Flower Alley, who also went on to finish second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic that year.  “Obviously, at this point in time, she’s accomplished a little more (with her win in the Grade III Delta Princess in her last start Nov. 20.) She worked a bullet five-eighths here on New Year’s Eve in 59.80 and did the same time in her last work Jan. 15, so she should be ready for a good effort.

“The other filly (Little Miss Holly) just broke her maiden in her last start, but she did it impressively (by six lengths at Fair Grounds Dec. 9), but she’s run against some quality horses in the past and she has some pedigree to her. We’ve always had high hopes for her.”

Little Miss Holly, it should be noted, is a daughter of Maria’s Mon out of a Storm Cat mare and finished second by a nose to Adele Dilschneider’s Aide, the Silverbulletday morning line favorite, when Aide broke her maiden at Turfway Park last September. Little Miss Holly raced wide that day.  

SHEER BEAUTY SET FOR RETURN IN SATURDAY’S $60,000 LEGGIO MEMORIAL – Bernie Flint-trained Sheer Beauty, owned by L. T. B. Inc. and Miles Childers, won the only grass start of her career by capturing Churchill’s $61,000 Caressing Handicap in 2009, but also got up to finish in a dead-heat for third in last season’s Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks on the main track when beaten less than a length for all the money.

On Saturday, Sheer Beauty will be making her first start since the Fair Grounds Oaks in the $60,000 Dr. A. B. Leggio Memorial at about 5 1/2-furlongs over the Stall-Wilson turf course. The grass dash for older fillies and mares is one of six stakes – two of them graded – on the Road to the Derby Kickoff Day program.

“We found a chip in her ankle (after the Oaks) which we took out,” said Flint. “We don’t want to overtax her this first time back but she’ll be coming from the back of the pack in this race. She’s bred to be a very good grass mare but she’ll run over anything – grass, dirt or an off track – and she’ll go short or she’ll go long. She’s just one of those really good horses.”

Pop-A-Top Stable’s Red Hot Buddha is the lukewarm 7-2 morning line favorite in the Leggio Memorial, and her trainer Tom Amoss was asked to evaluate her chances.

“I thought she ran a good race last time” said Amoss of his filly’s runner-up finish Dec. 4. “On Saturday we’re going to give her a chance to redeem herself for that second place finish.”

Amoss, currently third in the Fair Grounds standings, is a nine-time trainer champion at his hometown oval. 

SATURDAY’S COL. BRADLEY RUNNER DUBIOUS MISS HAS DUBIOUS NAME – Despite the feminine connotations of the name, let the record show that David Holloway Racing’s Dubious Miss is a 7-year-old gelding who will go to the post in Saturday’s Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap over the Stall-Wilson turf course as the first leg of Fair Grounds’ grass series for older horses.

“A lot of people think this horse is a filly because of the name,” said trainer Paul McGee, “but the ‘miss’ in the name is supposed to be like a ‘swing and a miss’ in golf or baseball. This horse has only made two starts on grass but he did run well when he finished second in the (Grade III) Fair Grounds Handicap last year (middle leg of Fair Grounds’ grass series) and we thought this might be a good spot to try him on grass again.”

REMINDER:  SPECIAL SATURDAY POST TIME OF 12:10 P.M. – Due to the expanded 13-race program including six stakes races on Saturday’s Road to the Derby Kickoff Day Presented by Hotel Monteleone, a special early first race post time of 12:10 p.m. will be in effect for the day.