09/05/2013 1:41PM

Evangeline Downs: Solid Sender strong favorite in John Franks Memorial Sales Stakes


Graduates of last March’s John Franks Memorial 2-year-olds in training sale will have the spotlight Saturday night at Evangeline Downs, the final program of the 2013 season. The two divisions of the Franks Memorial Stakes will carry $50,000 purses each and will be contested at 5 1/2 furlongs.

Solid Sender should rule a prohibitive favorite in the filly division of the Franks. The Sam Breaux-trained Solid Sender is undefeated in two starts, including a win in the $128,000 D.S. “Shine” Futurity here in late July. She is the lone winner in the field of seven and should use that class edge to remain unbeaten. Breaux has once again given the call to Gerard Melancon.

Avery Lynn was a much-improved second-place finisher in her last start when trainer Brett Brinkman moved the daughter of The Daddy to a two-turn turf maiden race in her second career start. Avery Lynn remains an unknown commodity on dirt, however, as she was never involved in her debut when she finished some 21 lengths behind Solid Sender when attempting to qualify for the finals of the “Shine” Futurity. Jansen Melancon, son of Gerard, has the call Saturday.

Sweet Alice Benbow could warrant a flyer play in the filly division of the Franks simply because of the apparent lack of early speed. The Patricia West-trained Sweet Alice Benbow drew the rail and adds Lasix following a distant second-place finish in her debut. Leading rider Diego Saenz retains the mount.

There also is only one winner in the colt and gelding division of the Franks.

Stay Friendly was victorious in a 7 1/2-furlong maiden race after a pair of fifth-place finishes over the main track. Jeff Delhomme trains Stay Friendly and has given the call to Saenz.

Risky Forest owns the best last-race Beyer Speed Figure of any youngster in either division of the Franks after posting a 59 in a runner-up performance against fellow maidens three weeks ago. He is trained by Corale Richards and posted a solid 48.40-second half-mile work between starts. Gerard Melancon will take over the riding chores.

Montbrooks Miracle also is worth a look in the colt and gelding division after a late-running third-place performance in his only start, which was compromised by a slow start. Kerwin Clark will be on board for trainer Ray Sibille.