Home of the Louisiana Derby

Jody Slew Would Be Welcome Addition to Grade III Silverbulletday

Last weekend’s $75,000 Tiffany Lass Stakes provided one welcome surprise for the barn of conditioner Bret Calhoun when Martin Racing Stable and Dan Morgan’s Jody Slew got up in time to win the local oval’s first  prep for the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks March 26.

Carl Moore Management’s Speedacious, 12-length heroine of Fair Grounds’ $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie, was the expected probable starter in the Tiffany Lass for the Calhoun barn, but a minor setback for her left Jody Slew in a position to step up to the plate. Originally scheduled for a grass career, the daughter of Slew City Slew was left in the Tiffany Lass to keep her fit for the next attractive turf stakes to come along, but what happens now after she has won her first race at two turns on dirt?

“You would think we’d have to consider a dirt campaign for her,” said “Peaches” Geier, Calhoun’s longtime assistant trainer on Monday morning during training hours. “She certainly ran a big race Saturday. As for (Speedacious), I would think we’d try to keep them apart as long as we can, and there are plenty of Louisiana-bred races available for that filly.”

With the Grade III Silverbulletday Feb. 20 and the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks March 26 both run at a mile and a sixteenth, the late-running Jody Slew might have found an interesting alternative future.

Of course, last Saturday’s Road the Derby Kickoff Day program also was the source of some disappointment in the Calhoun barn because of James and Marilyn Helzer’s Euroears and his sixth-place finish in the $75,000 Gaudin Memorial.

“You got to take the good with the bad in this business,” said assistant Jill Perry of Euroears. “He (Euroears) seems to be okay so far. We don’t know what happened there. We’ll have to wait and see.”

General Quarters Marching to Mineshaft
Tom McCarthy’s General Quarters, hero of last spring’s Grade I Blue Grass Stakes and runner-up in last Saturday’s $75,000 Louisiana Handicap, will be nominated to the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap Feb. 20, the 76-year-old owner-trainer indicated Monday morning during training hours.

“I need to get another race into him before the (Grade II) New Orleans Handicap (March 27),” said McCarthy Monday morning. “I need to get some more weight off of him. We missed a lot of training due to the weather in December, so I don’t have him quite where I want him to be, yet.

“We may have lost the battle the other day, but we didn’t lose the war,” said McCarthy of his second-place finish behind last year’s Grade II Louisiana Derby winner Friesan Fire in the 2010 Louisiana Handicap.

Princeville Condo Suffered Entrapped Epiglottis in Col. Bradley Handicap
Barr Three and Cherrywood Racing Stable II’s Princeville Condo, who ran a non-threatening fifth in last Saturday’s Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap as the second choice in the wagering, has been diagnosed with an entrapped epiglottis, trainer Greg Geier indicated Monday morning.

“He didn’t run at all the way I expected him to,” said Geier. “At least now we know why, and at least that’s something that can be fixed.”

Lecomte Contestants Worldly, Citrus Kid Out of Risen Star Stakes Consideration
Jay Em Ess Stable’s Worldly and Golden Goose Enterprises’ Citrus Kid, fifth and seventh respectively in last Saturday’s Grade III Lecomte Stakes as the first leg of Fair Grounds’ sophomore series leading to the Grade II $750,000 Louisiana Derby March 27, will not participate in the Grade III $300,000 Risen Star Stakes – next leg of that 3-year-old triple scheduled for Feb. 20.

“We’re going to give (Worldly) a little break,” said Galen Pruitt, trainer Paul McGee’s assistant. “We’re going to give him about a month and a half off.”

Meanwhile, Citrus Kid arrived back at South Florida’s Palm Meadows training center Monday morning, reported trainer John Terranova II.

“He (Citrus Kid) kind of lost it in the paddock (before the Lecomte) the other day,” said Terranova, “and then he got antsy in the post parade. We’re going to give him some time to regroup before we run him again. He still needs to grow up a little bit.”

Trainer Pennino Celebrates 90th Birthday Monday by Saddling Horse at Fair Grounds
Trainer Joe Pennino celebrated his 90th birthday Monday at Fair Grounds by saddling his son Frank’s Louisiana-bred mare Lil Initiative in the third race of the day.

Pennino, who took out his trainer’s license in 1941 and talks of galloping Thoroughbreds through unpaved New Orleans streets in his youth, has been a jockey, jockey’s agent, owner and trainer during his career.

Lil Initiative ran seventh in Monday’s six-furlong test for older Louisiana bred fillies and mares.