12/31/2010 3:33PM

$1.475 million weanling purchase set for debut


A pair of Louisiana-bred entry-level allowance races on the Sunday card at Fair Grounds attracted a total of 16 entrants. Add up their perceived monetary value, and it probably wouldn’t pay for half of Achieving.

Achieving, a 3-year-old filly, is set to make her career debut in race 7, which is carded for maidens at a mile and 70 yards. Co-bred by Hill n Dale Equine Holdings and Edward McGhee, Achieving is currently owned by Hill n Dale and trained by Josie Carroll. A daughter of Bernardini out of the Storm Cat mare Teeming, Achieving was sold for $1,475,000 as a weanling at Keeneland’s November breeding stock sale in 2008. The next summer at Saratoga, she failed to reach a reserve of $1.6 million; later in the year, she was taken out of Keeneland’s September yearling sale. And now it’s time to see if Achieving can run. She’s one of nine fillies in Sunday’s race, which has no obvious favorite.

Race 9 also is for 3-year-old maidens, these of the male, sprinting variety. A quartet of first-time starters includes Machen, a Distorted Humor colt who has posted encouraging works for trainer Neil Howard. Howard’s barn has gotten off to an excellent Fair Grounds start, winning with five of their first 13 starters at the meet.

As for the Louisiana-bred first-level allowance races, both are tough to figure. Race 3 is carded at one mile on turf, and somewhat surprisingly drew just seven horses entered for grass, with Celestial Show to start only if the race is rained onto dirt. Tortuga Town figures to be favored after finishing second by a neck in a race at this class level and distance Dec. 5, but she has won just 1 of 10 turf tries and seems as likely to regress as break through. Frijiliana comes off a maiden turf win at Fair Grounds but was aided by a course bias.

Race 8, a six-furlong dirt sprint, seems even more impenetrable. Lyd River had finished second six times in her first 10 races but finally cleared the maiden ranks Nov. 27 at Fair Grounds. Typically, he is the sort of horse best played against, but Lyd River’s chief rivals come out of claiming races of varying stripes.

Even with a second straight win, though, no one figures to be offering a million-and-a-half bucks for Lyd River.