09/01/2010 11:57AM

Apart tries to follow in Blame's footprints in Super Derby

Lynn Roberts
Apart, ridden by Jesse Campbell, wins his stakes debut in the Prelude.

 It was about this time a year ago that co-owner Adele Dilschneider and trainer Al Stall Jr. came up with a Super Derby horse in Blame. Now they have Apart, who put his name in the hat for the Grade 2, $500,000 race by winning last weekend’s $100,000 Prelude at Louisiana Downs.

Apart has taken a different road to the Super Derby than Blame, who came to the region after taking the $79,000 Curlin last August at Saratoga. But he shares some similarities with his stablemate, who is now one of the top older horses in training. Apart won his stakes debut, and will enter the Super Derby as a fresh, improving 3-year-old. In the Prelude, he overcame a difficult trip to win by 1 1/2 lengths and earn a career-high Beyer Figure of 93. It was just his fifth career start, and first in a stakes.

“He drew the outside, stumbled leaving there, and was in the middle of the track the whole race,” Stall said. “He showed more than we expected. He’s really a nice-looking horse that is starting to come to himself rapidly.”

Stall said Apart came out of the Prelude well, and plans are to work him back twice before the 1 1/8-mile Super Derby on Sept. 25. Apart shipped in from Churchill Downs for the Prelude, but will now remain in town with Stall’s division at Louisiana Downs.

Stall said at this point, Jesse Campbell is to ride Apart back in the Super Derby.

Dilschneider, who co-owns Blame with Claiborne Farm, bred and owns Apart. Last year, Blame was second to Regal Ransom in the Super Derb. He has gone on to win his next five starts, including last month’s Grade  1 Whitney over Quality Road.

Apart earned a fees-paid berth into the Super Derby with his win in the Prelude.

Aces N Kings targets Sunday Silence

Aces N Kings will likely make his next start in the $100,000 Sunday Silence on the Super Derby undercard after running his record to 5 for 5 in last weekend’s $50,000 Sunny’s Halo. Aces N Kings was making his two-turn debut in the one-mile turf race, and sat in second for much of the race until taking the lead in the stretch and opening up by more than six lengths to earn a career-best Beyer Figure of 77.

“He’s totally easy to rate and go on with,” said Caroline Dodwell, who owns Aces N Kings. “And he loves the grass. But he runs on the dirt as well.”

Aces N Kings started his career with three main track wins, including the $60,000 colts and geldings division of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity at Lone Star Park. He then traveled to Louisiana Downs and won the $50,000 Minstrel at five furlongs on turf, and the Sunny’s Halo. Dodwell said the horse is currently being freshened at her family’s farm in Texas.

“We turned him out the last couple of days for two or three hours where he can graze,” she said. “That’s a luxury a lot of people on the track don’t have.”

Aces N Kings, who is trained by H.B. Johnson Jr., will be racing over 1 1/16 miles on turf in the Sunday Silence. Dodwell said the other fall goal for the horse is the $75,000 El Joven, a one-mile turf race at Retama Park on Oct. 23.

Dates set for 2011

Louisiana Downs on Monday received Louisiana Racing Commission approval for an 84-date Thoroughbred meet next year that will run from May 6 to Sept. 25. The dates mirror the current calendar that was adjusted this year in order to open and close the meet earlier than originally scheduled.
“It worked better for us,” said Trent McIntosh, director of racing operations for Louisiana Downs. “May is a better month for us than October.”

Louisiana Downs was also granted a 46-date meet for Quarter Horses, from Jan. 8-March 23.

Other tracks receiving dates Monday were Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, which was granted an 89-night Thoroughbred meet from April 6 through Sept. 5. Delta Downs in Vinton, La., received a 46-date meet for Quarter Horses, from April 16-July 3.

Louisiana awards dates at two different times during the year. Also at the meeting Monday, the commission approved a new offtrack betting site for Fair Grounds, at 3621 Lapalco Blvd., in Harvey, La. The site is in Jefferson Parish.