09/15/2010 2:36PM

Apart has brisk work for Super Derby

Lou Hodges Jr.
Apart, with Jesse Campbell riding, works a half-mile on Sunday at Louisiana Downs.

BOSSIER CITY, La. – Super Derby Prelude winner Apart turned in his next-to-last workout for next weekend’s Super Derby last Sunday at Louisiana Diowns, and the results left trainer Al Stall Jr. generally pleased.

“He might have gone a little faster than I ideally wanted,” Stall commented about the 47.80-second clocking for the half-mile breeze. “I wasn’t there, but I have total confidence in Pam and Jesse, and both said he was well within himself,” Stall continued in referring to longtime assistant Pam Fitzgerald and winning Prelude rider Jesse Campbell. The move was third-fastest of 58 at the distance that morning.

Stall went on to say that Apart will work another half-mile this Sunday as his final preparation.

“We’ll work him in company this time to get him a bit more racy. As lightly raced as he is, the mental aspect of preparation is as important as the physical.”

Halter to benefit ministry

Stall, a Louisiana native who sent out last year’s Super Derby runner-up and this year’s top older handicap performer, Blame, will not returning to his former stomping grounds empty-handed.

He is bringing a halter worn by Blame in his victory in the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga earlier this summer. The piece of tack will be auctioned off at a fund-raiser for Chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk’s Backside Ministry next week.

Purse increase takes effect

In a surprise move, purses were increased just before the first race here on Saturday. The $4,000 per race hike went into effect immediately, and represents a healthy 25 percent jump over previous purse levels.

Louisiana Downs management did not give a reason for the increase, and a meeting with the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association about the purse situation was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in Baton Rouge.

Fifty-cent wagers delayed

Louisiana Downs had intended to offer fifty-cent trifectas and pick fours starting Thursday but have to delay making the new bets available, said Trent McIntosh, the track’s director of racing operations. The delay is because of an issue with the tote system.

“We are awaiting the results of additional testing of the tote system,” McIntosh said Wednesday. “The bets are something we plan on doing in the future, and want to make sure we get everything in order.”

McIntosh said his goal is to be able to add the fifty-cent trifectas and pick fours to the wagering format for the final weekend of the meet, Sept. 25-26. Louisiana Downs will run the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby and seven other stakes on Sept. 25.

Morality heads feature

Friday’s feature race is an entry-level optional affair set for 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track. Morality rates as the one to beat after a fourth-place performance in a second-level optional-claimer grass sprint in his last start. Richard Eramia has the call to ride.

Also in the feature is Lumberjack Cat. Trained by Richard Jackson, he returns to the main track after three turf tries and was a winner on dirt the last time he tried it early in the season. Former Louisiana riding champ John Jacinto, fresh off winning the riding title at the recently completed Evangeline Downs meeting, will handle the riding chores.