03/27/2010 4:54PM

Fair Grounds: Battle Plan uncatchable

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That's a real racehorse.

Battle Plan almost got hung wide into the first turn of the NO 'Cap, but was able to scoot over to the two path outside no-hoper Big Polka Dot around the first turn. But the pace was demandin: 47.11 seconds to the half-mile in a nine-furlong FG race is a serious split. Six furlongs in 1:11.73, and Battle Plan still was clear, and though stalking General Quarters made a little run at him into the stretch, Battle Plan held firm, wining by a couple lengths over Quarters, with Awesome Gem a late-running third. Final time of 1:49.33 a fine clocking for Battle Plan, who was making his stakes debut, and will be a factor in the dirt h'cap division if he can stay sound this year.

Giant Oak a disappointment, with little late progress despite the decent pace. La-bred Star Guitar middle-moved and flattened out to fourth. Hold Me Back, who I didn't give much chance, but who went off at surprisingly low 5-1, never a factor.

Whoa - Angel Penna-trained Baletti opening 5-2 favorite in the Mervin Muniz off 8-1 morning line.