01/01/2011 7:45PM

Avie's Tale enjoys the slop in Blushing K D

Lou Hodges Jr.
Avie's Tale, who had raced on dirt just once in her career, took to the slop in the off-the-turf Blushing K D.

Avie’s Tale went winless from six starts in 2010 and had won just once in her last 14 outings dating to 2008, and in a 25-race career the 6-year-old mare had started just once on dirt. But forget all that: Avie’s Tale was much the best on a sloppy Saturday at Fair Grounds, easily winning an off-the-turf edition of the $60,000 Blushing K D Handicap.

Under jockey Anna Rose Napravnik, Avie’s Tale raced sixth of seven for much of the 1 1/16-mile Blushing K D, but she moved quickly into contention around the far turn, took the lead at the top of the stretch, and had no trouble holding off a belated rally from Single Solution, who trailed most of the trip.

“I’ve been optimistic since we arrived” at Fair Grounds from Woodbine, trainer Josie Carroll said. “This filly took to this racetrack and this atmosphere. She’s been very, very happy here.”

Avie’s Tale’s lone prior dirt start also had come on a sloppy track, and while her performance hardly was sensational, she finished third in a stakes, giving Carroll reason to keep her in the Blushing K D despite the surface switch.

“I thought we should take a rattle at it and see what happened,” said Carroll, who trains Avie’s Tale for owner Ivan Dalos.

High Quail, the even-money favorite off a second-place graded-stakes finish in the mud, set fractions of 24.84 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 49.55 for the half, and 1:15.14 for six furlongs. But she was hounded throughout by Mizzcan’tbewrong, and had no spark when asked for run in the stretch, fading to last of seven. Mizzcan’tbewrong finished decently but was worn down for place by Single Solution.

Avie’s Tale, a daughter of Tale of the Cat, paid $15.20, and was timed in 1:46.89.

Morning-line favorite Never Retreat was a late scratch, and because of it, Fair Grounds paid out on pick three wagers including Never Retreat and two other winners.