01/10/2011 6:22PM

Fair Grounds: Silent Pipe has improved in routes: Main track 'good'??

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Silent Pipe just won race 8, an LA-bred N2X allowance also open to $25K claimers, with one mile 70 yards in 1:43.98. This is a quick time not just for the class level, but in general, so why is the Fair Grounds surface still labeled "good" rather than fast? Doesn't seem to be wet at all, and rather than a drying-out and tiring kind of strip, the dirt has seemed lively enough all day, and getting quicker race by race. To me, that's fast, not good.

Silent Pipe in for the $25K tag here, but does not figure to be tagged next time. 5yo has won two in a row since being stretched out from sprints, and came back on Hud's Rebel after being passed in mid-stretch. Hud's Rebel could have won this race, but was asked to start his full run too soon. Jockey put Hud's Rebel in high gear before the 5/16ths pole, and the horse flew up to the lead by upper stretch, gaining something like 8 lengths in 3/16ths of a mile. But only a truly good horse can sustain that kind of run for more than a quarter, and Hud's Rebel might not really want to go more than a mile. Don't like to knock riders, but this is the second recent too-soon move made by Corey Lanerie at Fair Grounds. That's surprising, since Lanerie generally is so solid, and has been riding in New Orleans for years.