03/07/2013 5:28PM

Delta Downs: Mr. Bandini's Band seeks elusive stakes win in Pelican


If a horse ever was due for a stakes win, it is Mr. Bandini’s Band. He has brought home checks in eight of the nine stakes he has run in and gets another shot Saturday night in the $75,000 Pelican at Delta Downs.

The Pelican is a 7 1/2-furlong race that will be run around two turns and is restricted to 3-year-olds bred in Louisiana. Others set to start include Hero Force, winner of the $125,000 Premiere Night Prince at Delta, and Desert Ransom, winner of last year’s $50,000 Minstrel at Louisiana Downs.

Mr. Bandini’s Band will move back to two turns for the Pelican, and in one of his recent races at the trip, he finished first in the $100,000 Big Drama at Delta but was disqualified for impeding a rival and was placed fourth. Prior to that Jan. 5 race, Mr. Bandini’s Band won a two-turn allowance at Delta with a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 81.

He will be returning to routing in the Pelican after finishing fourth last out in the South Mississippi Owners and Breeders Stakes at six furlongs at Fair Grounds. Kevin Smith has the mount on Mr. Bandini’s Band, who adds blinkers for owner William B. Gilmore and trainer Eric D. Nelson Jr.

Hero Force will be seeking his third stakes win Saturday. He won the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile at Fair Grounds in December prior to taking the local Prince in February.